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Erdogan and Khammeini are only human; but Israel is like something from out of this world!

Reader comment on item: A Republican president will tear up Iran deal: US commentator Pipes
in response to reader comment: responsibility of European Union's policy vis à vis Turkey and Iran

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Mar 4, 2016 at 15:08

Hi, Yael

You have a Jewish-sounding username, so I'll guess that you grew up in that cultural stream and worldview. I was struck by your statement,

"The European Union ...without taking any measure to re[st]rain [Erdogan] and his Ottoman' s views about Turkey..."

You seem to be comparing Erdogan today, with Adolph Hitler in, say, 1936; and compare his ambitions to recreate the Ottoman Empire with Hitler's ambitions to be the new Charlemagne. That's an apt comparison. It ignores, of course, the fact that the European Union itself is a resurrection of Imperial Rome; and some EU leader is likely to get Hitler-like and Erdogan-like ambitions of his/her own, of reclaimed glory. Turkey, the EU, Putin's Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt -- all of these are entities built upon the ashes of ancient empires; and all their leaders can be expected to -- and do --- have ambitions to one degree or another of becoming modern-day Pharaohs, Caesars and Mohammeds.

That's human nature. I just wonder if you and your fellow Jews can muster up a similar ambition, to restore the greatness of the Israel of King David -- recalling, of course, that the source of his greatness was his personal (not very religious) relationship with the God of the Universe. It isn't just Israel that needs strong and wise leadership (and I will grant, that PM Netanyahu is doing a good job); but the whole world is in need of true, Godly leadership like David's.

This is, of course, the Messianic expectation; and most Jews try to steer clear of such things. In fact, I am told that in Israel, being labelled as "messianic" is being called the ultimate credulous, pie-in-the-sky, credulous naif.

That's a problem peculiar to Jews. The Putins, Erdogans and Trumps of the world can carry on all they want about nationalism and the greatness of their people; but Jews are more than hesitant in such matters; because it's not that out-of-place for one to imagine himself as Charlemagne, or Joan of Arc, or Caesar Augustus: It's a high ambition, but conceivably attainable. For a Jew to aspire to be the Messiah, however, seems to be blasphemy There was one Mattathias; but Bar Kochba, Sabbatai Zevi and others did tremendous damage to the Jews and Judaism. Hitler failed, but Volkswagon and Germany survived intact. When Bar Kochba failed, the Jews were scattered all over the world.

Of course, Erdogan wants to become the Great Sultan of a new and improved Ottoman Empire. Khammeini would like to be a ruler like the Sassanids; or even better still, a Darius or Xerxes; but his days are numbered, and there is no telling what chaos might grip Iran when he goes. Putin, for his part, would rather appear as a new Tsar or even a Stalin, than a meek leader of the great banana republic of the North. Sisi would like to be a Pharaoh; but at the moment, it looks like he's in need of a Joseph to keep his people from impending starvation. The Saudis revel in being "guardians of the two mosques"; but they know that King Abdullah of Jordan is genetically their superior and that Abu Bakr is the one with a popular vision. Problems like that are endemic among the Arabs, which is why they've been successfully pushed aside by Turks, Mongols and Englishmen for over 1000 years. Even so, none of this is surprising.

What's surprising, is that Israel exists. It's the sort of surprize that embitters the tea of an English gentleman, makes a German vomit his beer and a Russian curse into his vodka; and it's obviously the sort of surprize that makes Muslims everywhere angry enough to kill.

Let Erdogan have imperial ambitions; and long live the God of Israel, who rules over all the kings of the earth!

Shalom shalom :-)


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