Thursday, October 3, 2013

Are the Islamist Extremists Winning? What Would Rav Kook and Jabotinsky Say?

Dry Bones pulled out another classic.

Originally published October 27, 2003

One of the main reasons I'm not so impressed and enamored by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's latest speech at the United Nations General Assembly is that all his fine words and great performance have no real effect on any country's policies, nor on the United Nations.  Bibi is a wonderfully  skilled performer and presenter.  Probably the best since the world (and the United States especially) had Ronald Regan to admire.  The biggest difference is that Netanyahu is a writer and can produce his own material.  But, call me a jaded cynic, none of his skills and talents will really change the world.

Elder of Ziyon has summarized some of the world's reactions to Netanyahu's speech. Excerpt:
Iran Learns the Language of the West
To be sure, Rouhani’s performance at the United Nations was stellar, although he did not have much to live up to. Former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood on the podium at the General Assembly denying the Holocaust and promoting 9/11 conspiracy theories before claiming that he’d felt “bathed in light” during his speech. Certainly not conducive to winning any PR points.
Rouhani’s UN appearance reminds me of one of the UN’s more infamous moments (of which there are too many) when, in 1974, PLO leader Yasser Arafat addressed the General Assembly stating: “Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter’s gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”
Rouhani entered the UN with the equivalent of an atomic bomb poking out of his clothing. Yet, like Arafat before him, the crowd focused on the “olive branch” while ignoring the gun. In the subsequent years, Arafat’s gun was responsible for murdering and wounding thousands of innocents. Will Rouhani also follow suit albeit with more horrific weapons?
White House 'Understand's Israeli Skepticism on Iran'
Following the speech made by Binyamin Netanyahu to the United Nations General Assembly, White House Spokesman Jay Carney has said in a press briefing, that the US administration understands Israeli fears as it attempts a rapprochement with the Islamic regime.
“We’ve said all along, as the president has said, we understand, and it is entirely justifiable, that Israel is skeptical about Iran and Iran’s intentions,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, "after all, this is a country whose leadership, until recently[?], was pledging to annihilate Israel.”

But the most important fact to remember is that Iran is still appointed to crucial and powerful positions in the United Nations.
Jewish Groups Express Outrage at Iran’s Appointment to Head Key UN Committee
Iran was elected Tuesday by United Nations member states to serve as the rapporteur of the UN First Committee on Disarmament and International Security. Iran, which had lobbied for the position for months, also serves as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, the largest bloc of nations at the UN.
We must not trust or support foreign nations nor international organizations. The proof's in the pudding as the saying goes.

Honestly, besides the existence of the State of Israel, little has changed since the 1930's when Hitler came to power.  The world, the Vatican, the League of Nations, the United States and most Jewish leaders refused to recognize the dangers, either due to Pollyanna syndrome or anti-Semitism, latent or unabashed.

Recently a friend brought up the topic of Rav Abraham Yitzchak Kook, 1865-1935, and his inherent optimism which bothers her about his philosophy.  Suddenly it hit me that Rabbi Kook and Ze'ev Jabotinsky, 1880-1940, were contemporaries.  There was nothing very optimistic in Jabotinsky's view of the world, if I'm not mistaken.  Jabotinsky, who was from a secular background saw the world in black and white, while Rabbi Kook's vision was enhanced by a spiritual "light."

PM Netanyahu was greatly influenced by his father, the late Professor Benzion Netanyahu a disciple of  Jabotinsky.  Neither of the Netanyahu's have/had a comprehension of the "spiritual light" that imbued Rabbi Kook and his followers with the confidence that we will survive and flourish without the world's backing.  Our G-d is more powerful.  That is Bibi's tragic flaw and the key to the reason he has accepted the "two state solution."

At present, the Rav Kook followers and the Jabotinsky followers are together in the Israeli Government, but they haven't taken the best from either philosophy/ideology.  Today's Rav Kook followers are mamlachti'im, worshipping the State of Israel, and the Jabotinsky followers are following the Left and foreign values. They are more like the ten out of twelve tribal leaders in the time of Moses, who voted to delay entrance to the Land of Israel, because they were afraid of the physical size of those living there, the "sin of the spies."

Herein is the danger of democracy, the rule of fools.  Calev and Joshua were correct, only two out of twelve tribal elders who had been assigned the task to stake out the Land, not to decide whether or not it was feasible to enter it at the time.

G-d is in control but demands that we use our Free Will correctly. On occasion, G-d will override our mistakes and save us, but His goal is for us Jews to make the right decisions.


YMedad said...

a) Kook & Jabo had a falling out already in 1920 over the issue of women's right to vote. Jabo was for; Kook against. Jabo won.

b) this - "Rav Kook followers are mamlachti'im" - is a bit out-of-date. You have Yeshivat HaRav Kook and Har HaMor and its Rav Tau and off to the side, Rav Aviner. There are mamlachti'im and momloctim not to mention the chardalnikim.

Batya said...

a, was that their only conflict?
b, true but so complicated
Has anyone done a real study on them as contemporaries? That would make a nice doctorate.

Anonymous said...

Atheist? vs. Grand revered rabbi

Batya said...

a, when it comes to the best advice as the Nazis were gaining power, Jabotinsky was right, and many, many, too many revered rabbis were totally and deathly wrong.

Unknown said...

It's plain stupid to call an atheist a hero and the father of religious esp. hardal zionism who was the first chief rabbi of Israel (albeit under British Mandatory control) totally wrong in comparison to Jabotinsky.
Rav Kook influlenced Jewish nationalism and wrote about the failure of diaspora Jewry.
I saw the Yom Kippur war coming two years before same war broke out and pleaded with all concerned who were in power etc. Does that make me a hero too? You think only jabo foresaw the holocaust??? The Wansee conference spelled out total annihilation, seven years after Rav Kook passed away. Nobody knew about TOTAL annihilation. Jabo used the term liquidation as a metaphor. Unless of course he was told about total annihilation by the Nazis a few years ahead of time.

Anonymous said...

1764 thaturb

Batya said...

Don't exaggerate what I wrote, and why do you think Jabo meant it as a metaphor?
The Israeli establishment made lots of mistakes before and after Yom Kippur, and we still haven't learned.