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Daniel Pipes "vs" Mordechai Kedar

Reader comment on item: "Arabs and Muslims Will Never Accept Israel as the Jewish State"

Submitted by Sigmund Derman (United States), Feb 10, 2018 at 14:56

I think that Mr. Kedar is essentially saying the same thing as Dr. Pipes, even if Kedar does not recognize it fully.They are framing the issues in slightly different ways. But, whichever way one frames it, it's not going to be a cakewalk either for Israel or the free world in general.

Kedar suggests that the statement "Therefore, if Israel is invincible forever, it will enjoy​ a​ temporary peace forever.​" is an oxymoron everywhere except in the Middle East. I would say that this statement is an oxymoron everywhere except the planet Earth (and perhaps other planets that support "intelligent" life). None of the things we think are permanent are really permanent. Even the most "solid" are always in a semi-stable state subject to attack. Seemingly eternal truths of the United States republic, such as freedom of speech, are continually being questioned, redefined, and threatened outright. Sometimes the threat is creeping change of opinion, especially as demographics and cultural norms change. Sometimes the threat is by means of arms, such as the challenges presented in the past by Nazism and Soviet Communism and today by "North Korea-ism", and militant Islamism.

But this has been long recognized. As Thomas Jefferson put it "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." Or as Thomas Paine asserted "The peaceable part of mankind will be continually overrun by the vile and abandoned while they neglect the means of self-defence [sic]. The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside.... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them; . . . the weak will become prey."

I don't delight in saying that. I wish there were a way to ensure that we would not perpetually need to re-fight the old battles for freedom of expression, religious liberty, and the like. But I do not think there is such a way. These old battles are being re-fought right now all over the world. Sometimes the battles are more noticeable than at other times. But such battles have been continually fought and re-fought throughout my lifetime and for centuries before.

The best we can do is to set up structures for freedom and liberty that are readily defensible and try to make them better and better. This will allow us to fight from a position of strength. But, occasionally (perhaps even frequently if we are honest with ourselves), these structures get over-run and then people need to re-fight the old wars uphill, from a position of weakness.

Let's hope and pray that Israel can build on its accomplishments so that it can continue fighting from a position of relative strength. But if that fails, and it may, lets also hope and pray that there will be people who believe in the ideals and the promise of Israel who will keep on fighting.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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