Saturday, February 18, 2012

On Suissa's "Liberal" Case for Israel

In "How Democracies Perish", French intellect Jean François Revel decried the autoimmune ruminations in which democratic states inadvertently undermine themselves. Democracy as a historical phenomenon is a blip on the radar, as nations and people for thousands of years have succumbed to tyranny and despotism. Yet unlike other forms of government, democracy is the only regime which tolerates self-criticism, a mode of thinking which can incite internal divisions while distracting citizens from external enemies.

Russian-Jewish dissident Natan Sharansky implored his fellow Israelis to look beyond their domestic differences and remember their common heritage and dedication to each other and the Jewish state. They may not agree with their different views on foreign and domestic policy, but at the end of the day they are all Israelis living in a country which permits them to air their views in the public square without fear of reprisal. Rather than seeking a just society (one in which outcomes are predicated on "fairness and balance"), Israelis and the world at large need to recognize that inhabitants of a free society must permit imperfections, an essential and inevitable element of human existence and political discourse.

I see no value in a columnist arrogating to himself the right or responsibility of making any case for Israel, liberal or conservative.

The Jewish state has every right to exist, as does any other nation in the world. Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn declared that nations "are the spice of life." Yet of all the nations in the world, only Israel has to make the case for its existence, fighting internal peacniks internally and bloodthirsty terrorists externally.

The only "liberal" case for Israel rests on the right of free people to determine for themselves the full enforcement of their rights and the full protection of their life and liberty. Any nation hostile the rights of people to live free and have their being is a threat not just to Israel but to all nations who desire liberty for their people. Rather than faulting Israel for her openness, we need to fault that surrounding Arab states who have taken advantage of the "self-critical" element in democratic regimes to justify their own despicable conduct.

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