THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Volume X, Issue # 265, October 12, 2008
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor
Government Committed to & Acting in Accord with Conservative Principles
Ensures a Nation's Strength, Progress, & Prosperity
Home Page   Main Menu   Recent Articles   Site Map   Website Index   Issues & Controversies
  Cyberland University   Political Science, Philosophy, & History: Lectures   U.S. Constitution
  American Constitutional Law   American Constitutional System   American Political System
  Conservatism, Liberalism, & Radicalism   How America Goes to War
  World War IV: Islamist Terror War Against the U.S.A. & the West

LOOKING AHEAD BY LOOKING BACK:
Colin Shindler's A History of Modern Israel:
A Review by Asaf Romirowsky

MODERN ISRAEL -- ITS PAST & FUTURE:  THE ISRAELI-ARAB CONFLICT & THE USE OF HISTORY -- USING HISTORY TO LEARN HOW TO MOVE ISRAEL FORWARD OVER THE NEXT SIXTY YEARS -- WILL ISRAEL'S PRESENT & FUTURE NATIONAL LEADERS BE UP TO THE TASK?
FULL STORY:   One of the greatest myths in Middle East Studies Departments across North America and Europe is that the presence of an Israeli faculty member makes a "balanced" department. In fact, many Israeli academics have built their reputation on scholarship that is critical of Israel and its existence. These academics are frequently given center stage by the Association for Israel Studies, the Middle East Studies Association and Middle East Studies Centers, which host them and provide visiting appointments. This gives the scholars the visibility they seek, while allowing their hosts to claim balance in presenting an "Israeli viewpoint."

In Europe, there is hardly any attempt to create this socalled balance; pan-Arabist scholarship has become the coin of the realm. The University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), in the first part of the 20th. Century, produced great Middle East scholars such as Bernard Lewis. But, over the years, Edward Said and his acolytes, such as Joseph Massad, have been the ones to receive red-carpet receptions, especially at SOAS, which is notorious for having an anti-Israel atmosphere. The University's Palestinian Society is the only student society in Britain professionally run by the Student Union and regularly hosts controversial events such as Israel Apartheid Weeks.

Given this environment, Colin Shindler's appointment as the first Professor of Israeli Studies at SOAS is significant. Shindler is the author of seven books and an authority on the Revisionist Zionist movement and the emergence of the Israeli Right. His latest book, entitled A History of Modern Israel (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2008), appeared just in time for Israel's 60th anniversary. In it, the author traces six decades, from David Ben-Gurion to Ehud Olmert.

The author comes to the obvious conclusion that peace between Israelis and Palestinians has yet to be found. But it is worth noting that the same radical views of the al-Aksa Intifada that consumed the Palestinian mainstream were in turn used by the far Left in Britain to justify boycotting Israeli academics. As Shindler observes, "This cocktail of Israeli separation, Palestinian opposition to normalization, and Islamist zeal challenged the very idea of individual Israelis and Palestinians working together for peace and reconciliation."

While the country has come a long way since 1948, it is still driven by ideological disputes and different interpretations of "Jewishness" and Judaism. Nowhere are these divisions more visibly portrayed than in the lives and ideologies of its leaders from David Ben-Gurion to Yitzhak Rabin, whose assassination is still a traumatic memory for most Israelis, and a transformed Ariel Sharon. Sharon represented the last of the old guard in Israeli leadership. His absence from the political arena highlights how desperately Israelis are searching for new leadership, which is nowhere to be found under the Olmert administration. The findings of the Winograd Committee detailing Israel's failures during the Second Lebanon War illustrate this lack of leadership, direction, or vision. The magnitude of the investigation has, without a doubt, created a political earthquake in Israel. As did the harshness of the Winograd Committee's concluding that all Olmert's mistakes "add up to a serious failure in exercising judgment, responsibility and prudence," which should have motivated him to rethink his actions as well as the policies of his government.

Israel has never experienced such a catastrophe in its Cabinet until Olmert-Peretz came to power -- two key leaders utterly lacking defense, military, and political experience. Consequently, Shindler underscores that the tension has significantly grown between Israelis who seek stability and democratization versus those who see despair and destruction.

David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister, as well as the Father of the Israel Defense Forces, was, without a doubt, a war-statesman. He was one of the few leaders with the willingness and ability to think everything through. Less than two years after Israel's War of Independence, Ben-Gurion concluded:

    ". . . the most dangerous enemy to Israel's security is the intellectual inertia of those who are responsible for security. This simple and fundamental idea guided me from the day that I accepted the 22nd. Zionist Congress responsibility for the security of the Yishuv. And this simple and fundamental thought I tried to instill in all the comrades that worked with me on security matters before the war, during the war, and after it."

Finally, 60 years after the War of Independence, it is clear that no one individual can monopolize and maintain the military and political balance needed for Israel to regain the vision and deterrence it needs. Shindler's recount of Israeli history is one that enables the reader to understand the social and political cleavages that make up Israel of 2008, while looking back at 1948. It is that lens that would help any student of the Arab-Israeli conflict to not repeat history, but learn how to move Israel forward toward the next 60 years.


LINKS TO RELATED TOPICS:
Israel & the Arabs -- The Israeli-Arab Conflict

Middle East -- Arabs, Arab States,
& Their Middle Eastern Neighbors

American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East

Islamism & Jihadism -- Radical Islam & Islamic Terrorism
Page Three    Page Two    Page One

International Politics & World Disorder:
War, Peace, & Geopolitics in the Real World:
Foreign Affairs & U.S. National Security

   Page Two    Page One

Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.

Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization

Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies

U.S. National Security Strategy



Asaf Romirowsky, an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum, is Manager of Israel & Middle East Affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia


The foregoing article by Asaf Romirowsky was originally published in the Jerusalem Post, Ocyober 12, 2008, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis--vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (Article URL: http://www.meforum.org/article/1995)


Republished with Permission of the Middle East Forum
Reprinted from the Middle East Forum News
mefnews@meforum.org (MEF NEWS)
October 12, 2008




Return to Top of Page

Go to the WEBSITE INDEX

Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Public Issues & Political Controversies


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA
Most Recent Articles


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Volume X, 2008


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Subject Matter Highlights


Return to POLITICAL EDUCATION Homepage

CONTACT & ACCESS INFORMATION




LINKS TO PARTICULAR ISSUES & SUBJECT MATTER CATEGORIES
TREATED IN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, U.S.A.:

Africa: Black Africa * Africa: North Africa * American Government 1
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * Foreign Policy, U.S.
France * Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control


This is not a commercial website. The sole purpose of the website is to share with interested persons information regarding civics, civic and social education, political science, government, politics, law, constitutional law and history, public policy, and political philosophy and history, as well as current and recent political developments, public issues, and political controversies.



POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS

POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE

Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.

Government, Politics, Public Policy, Legal Issues, Constitutional Law, Government & the Economy, Cultural Values, Foreign Affairs, International Relations, Military Defense & National Security, Geopolitics, Terrorism & Homeland Security, American National Interests, Political Systems & Processes, Political Institutions, Political Ideologies, & Political Philosophy

INDEX FOR THE ENTIRE WEBSITE

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis

Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor

Conservative & Free-Market Analysis of Government, Politics & Public Policy, Covering Political, Legal, Constitutional, Economic, Cultural, Military, International, Strategic, & Geopolitical Issues


Conservative Government Ensures a Nation's Strength, Progress, & Prosperity