Israel's Strategic, Spiritual Dilemma

The basic problem: Whereas Jews prefer to be loved than feared, Muslims prefer to be feared than loved.

Tags: Jihad
Prof. Paul Eidelberg

OpEds Paul Eidelberg
Paul Eidelberg

Machiavelli famously said in Chapter 17 of The Prince, “It’s better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.” The reason is this: Love depends on the will of the other; fear depends on you. Very clever, but not wholly applicable to the conflict between Jews and Muslims.

There is a basic and inexpugnable asymmetry between Jews and Muslims. Whereas Jews prefer to be loved than feared, Muslims prefer to be feared than loved. This may be inferred from Sura 9:111 of the Quran, which exalts the Muslim who “slays and is slain” for Allah. Unlike the God of the Jews who loves life, Allah loves death. Muslims have been imbued with this love of death for many centuries. Their mentors have taught them from infancy on that by being slain in the process of killing Jews, Muslims merit eternal joy in paradise.

Jews can thus do Muslims no greater good than by facilitating Sura 9:111, hence, by facilitating their own violent death on the altar of Islam. Accordingly, Jews should not be too squeamish about killing their Muslim predators. In other words, Israel’s government should not worship at the shrine of “Proportionality.”

The trouble is that Israeli politicians fear nothing more than a bad press, meaning anti-Semitism or Jew-hatred. This age-old Jewish fear is not irrational. But it has assumed neurotic proportions among Israel’s political and military echelons as a result of the immediate global news coverage of the electronic media.

Even if the mainstream media were not anti-Jewish; even if the mandarins of the media were not corrupted by the university-bred doctrine of moral relativism; even if journalists did propagate moral equivalence, let alone moral reversal; and even if Muslims were not so adept at using Muslim women and children as human shields, to be filmed on Western television as victims of Jewish soldiers—Israel’s military and political echelons would find it extremely difficult to counter the Muslim canard of “genocide.” For TV clips it makes no difference whether Israel’s military forces kill two or twenty Muslims as acts of self-defense.

Whether such acts of self-defense are taken against Hezbollah or Fatah or Hamas terrorists in Lebanon or in Jenin or in Gaza, Israel is demonized by the Israel-bashing media of the West and of course by the United Nations. Since this is so predictable, what shall we say of Israel’s political and military leaders? Why do they play the same self-destructive game of self-restraint? Are they stupid, or have they been castrated by the moral relativism that has infected the curriculum at Israel’s Command and Staff College?

We all know that every year or so Israel will be compelled to retaliate against accumulating terrorist attacks. This means that every year or two Israel will engage in another futile cease fire, which will enable the terrorists to redeploy and obtain more and deadlier weapons to attack Israel a year or so later. Here let us pause.

Let’s get a correct but “politically incorrect” view of why the terrorists—really warriors—persist in killing Jews. Yes, they are animated by a theology committed to Israel’s annihilation, a theology hardly any political leader dares speak of. But it should also be understood that Arab terrorism or killing Jews pays! How could these warriors earn a livelihood without killing Jews! Think of the hundreds of millions of dollars that the Palestinian Authority receives every year from the United States and Europe. Understand one and for all that killing Jews is good business! It stuffs the bank accounts of Arab leaders. It gives the poor, poor Palestinians with some of the goodies enjoyed by American infidels. BUT KNOW THIS: It is precisely because terrorism pays that there is not a snowball’s chance in hell of overcoming this in-your-face religious conflict!

No, it’s not just religion, stupid, it’s business, and no one can beat the Arabs in business who thrive on suckers—liberals and humanitarians. These suckers are born every day. They graduate from Harvard, Oxford, and the Sorbonne. And let’s not forget the fools who graduate from Israeli universities—even from Israel’s “war” college, which stuffed the minds of generals like Barak and Sharon with nonsense about “conflict resolution” rather than what is required for Israel to win a war against an enemy that loves death, today’s greatest threat to \’civilization,” a term hardly understood by an Israeli prime minister who thinks he can resolve Israel’s conflict with barbarians by means of “reciprocity.”