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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cold Calculation and Hot Lead

Related Link » What does being pro-Israel mean?
“There's something I would add for my own part […] if you don't level criticism when criticism is due, then you're less well-placed to defend, persuasively and credibly, whatever it is you are defending when it needs to be defended.”
— Norman Geras, July 15, 2010 (normblog)
Related Link » Hillel the Elder
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?”
— From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Related Link » Einstein's razor
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
— From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Related Link » Bill Clinton Quotes
“It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is.”
— Bill Clinton, during his 1998 grand jury testimony on the Monica Lewinsky affair
Though I venture an opinion (not without trepidation) in such illustrious company as referenced above, I do so with some confidence in the virtue of my position and in my own credentials as a Holocaust survivor (due to my parents' survival instincts and our great good fortune). In my opinion, Norm's prescription for a "persuasive and credible defense" depends very much on what, and in what circumstances, you are defending, as well as your available means for defense and your ultimate objective. I think that Norm is correct in stating the proper approach if one is engaged in a philosophical debate from the comfort of one's study.

But in the real world, in which Israel's existence is rendered nasty, brutish, and potentially short by terrorist regimes, the rules of engagement must be modified. Note, I do not assert that anything goes. No, even in life-or-death struggles, civilized people must retain at least a modicum of civilized behavior. But the rules of formal debate no longer apply, because they are woefully inadequate to the task. Israel and its supporters are not engaged in polite-society debate, one that abides by polite-society rules.

Israel and its supporters, especially those Jews who have not forgotten the utter futility of persuasive and credible debate with murderous Jew-hatred, understand that they are engaged in a war of survival against overwhelming numbers of despicable fanatics. Not even a Maimonides could make a dent in those numb skulls. The only means of defense that has a chance to succeed is cold calculation and hot lead.

I believe that the misapplication of polite debate to what is clearly a war of survival is not only irrelevant but, indeed, detrimental to the objective of Jewish survival. Arguments supporting Israel have been and will be ignored/ridiculed/denied. Arguments criticizing Israel will be eagerly pounced upon and fed into the Jew-hatred machinery that is well-ensconced in the world at large.

Post #1,352 Cold Calculation and Hot Lead

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