Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Toward a Jewish Foreign Policy

Paul Eidelberg

Inasmuch as President Barack Obama is expected to launch a new American foreign policy, one more favorable to the Islamic world, it may be worthwhile to set forth the paradigm of a new Israeli foreign policy, one that is distinctively Jewish. Not that I expect any foreseeable Israeli to have the intellectual and moral qualifications to pursue a truly Jewish foreign policy. What follows, therefore, is intended solely for pedagogical purposes.

1. Israel, the teacher of ethical monotheism, is supposed to set an example to mankind. Accordingly, Israel will not establish diplomatic relations with any tyrannical regime. To do so is to dignify tyrants and perpetuate their unjust rule over their people. Courting tyrannies demeans Israel and lowers the moral standards of the Jewish people. Hence, contrary to what is implicit President Obama’s Inaugural Address, Israel will avoid moral equivalence.

2. The Torah, which makes distinctions between good and bad regimes, warns against seeking relations with wicked ones. (See Numbers 25:1-3, 17-18; Jeremiah 10:23.) In this connection, note that Middle East expert Daniel Pipes admits that Israel’s 1979 peace treaty with Egypt—a military dictatorship—has been a failure. Even before the assassination of Anwar Sadat, Israel’s establishment of diplomatic relations with Egypt was followed by an increase of anti-Semitism in Egypt’s state-controlled media.

3. Courting recognition of despotic Muslim or Arab regimes only magnifies their contempt of Jews and Israel. By not seeking relations with such regimes, Israel will cease to be diplomatically dependent on the United States. “Praiseworthy is the man who walked not in the counsel of the wicked, and stood not in the path of the sinful, and sat not in the session of scorners” (Psalms 1:1).

4. Consistent with the preceding, Israel should resign from the United Nations. Tens of millions of American have participated in a movement — “Get US out of the UN!” They perceive this organization as anti-American. Surely, Israel can have no higher opinion of this anti-Semitic organization, of which the following remarks are relevant:

a. Haifa University professor David Bukay has this to say of the UN: “This is an organization that has never advanced peace and never prevented war; this is an organization that works for its own sake alone, and strives against the values for which it was set up. This is an organization that surrendered to the dictates of the Arab and Islamic states, against the social-economic interests of the Third World countries.”

b. American diplomat Fred Fleitz’s book, Peacekeeping Fiascoes of the 1990s: Causes, Solutions, and U.S. Interests, provides a comprehensive and highly critical assessment of the UN. Among other debacles, he shows how the failed UN mission in Bosnia led to unmitigated atrocities; how the UN debacle in Somalia emboldened terrorists the world over; how the UN operation in Cambodia enabled a ruthless dictator, Hun Sen, to consolidate and retain power in that country.
c. The policy of the UN, says Caroline Glick, “has been to advance anti-Semitism by systematically and illegally discriminating against the Jewish state all the time and everywhere…. It cannot be regarded as a body responsible for enforcing international law, because in its systematic discrimination against Israel, it stands in breach of international law as embodied in its own charter's determination that all member states are to be treated equally.”

d. The vast majority of the countries represented in the UN are dictatorships. They should never have been admitted to, or allowed to remain in, the UN, since they violate Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to take part in the Government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.” If Israel does not resign from the UN, it should introduce resolutions calling for the democratization or expulsion of any member that violates the UN Charter. (I have especially in mind Muslim and Arab regimes such as Iran and Syria,)

e. Israel’s having a forum at the UN is of dubious value. If the UN cannot be reformed, better that Israel remain true to its biblical reputation as a nation that stands apart.

5. Consistent with Jewish law, Israel will not export arms to any foreign nation except under extreme circumstances. Generally speaking, international arms sales promote war, sustain tyrannies, and impoverish people.

6. Given weapons of mass destruction, no nation — certainly not minuscule Israel — can afford to wait to be attacked before it retaliates. Accordingly, Israel will pursue a pre-emptive war strategy.

a. The Government will therefore develop a strategy designed to uproot terrorist organizations in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. The inane and immoral policy of “self-restraint” toward Arab terrorism will be terminated.

b. In accordance with Amendment 11B of the Law and Administrative Ordinance of 1967, the Government should apply Israeli law to any area of the Land of Israel that comes under the control of the IDF. By a simple order, the Government can thus bring Judea, Samaria, and Gaza within the jurisdiction of the State (as it did with respect to eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights).

7. The Government will comport itself in such a way as to enhance Israel’s dignity and to sanctify the Name of God.

a. The Government should therefore terminate U.S. military aid, which amounts to less than 1.5 percent of Israel’s Gross National Product.

b. The Government will insist that all nations having diplomatic relations with Israel move their embassies to Jerusalem or cease having them on the land of the Jewish people.

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