Security: mantra of Israeli PM’s

A modified F-15 squadron of the Israel Air Force. Israel once seemed to know how to deal with enemies. Still, one cannot pursue security at the expense of the virtues that can truly bring it. Sadly, fear of losing democratic respectability, stops Israel from relying on her greatest strength. Her strength will come from a Tzadik level of statecraft.
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Security has ever been the mantra of Israeli prime ministers. Why did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently say, in effect, that his fondest wish is to go down in history as having brought security to the people of Israel? Of course, this wish is not unreasonable in the Islamic Middle East.

Besides, no sound person would deny its importance to the life and happiness of any nation. What great good could we accomplish in the arts and sciences without it?

Security: enemy of victory?

But let us not be deceived by Israeli Prime Ministers who exalt security. Sane people will not dispute its importance. But it is precisely because security, as a human value, is not a politically controversial issue, that it has preoccupied the intellects of Israel’s pedestrian prime ministers to the exclusion of other values such as victory, virtue, and wisdom.

Of course, danger aside, the pursuit of victory or of fame, unlike the pursuit of security, would be very controversial. So would the pursuit of virtue and wisdom. Indeed, to prize virtue and wisdom is beyond the mental horizon of any secular democratic state. To advance the security of a nation does not require the depth and breadth of intellect a statesman would need to advance his nation’s virtue and wisdom.

Virtue and wisdom receive no attention by democratic politicians. Democrats are more concerned about their people’s bellies than about their minds. This is precisely why the speeches of politicians are so boring. That’s why their words are not remembered and studied, like the essays of Hamilton in the Federalist Papers, or the speeches of Lincoln and Churchill. These statesmen aspired to fame and national greatness, not security.

Not the cardinal value

Also, security is not the value that distinguishes the heritage of Jewish people. Ponder the words of John Adams, the second president of the United States:

The Jews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. They are the most glorious Nation that ever inhabited the earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a bauble in comparison to the Jews.

Would Adams have said this if security was the highest goal of the Jewish people?

If security was their highest goal, would Nietzsche have said this?

In the Jewish Old Testament, the book of divine justice, there are human beings, things, and speeches in so grand a style that Greek and Indian literature has nothing to compare with it.

Israel’s pedestrian prime ministers can only speak about “security” (and mendaciously about “peace”). Is it any wonder that these little politicians have pursued a territorial policy that would shrink Jews down to the size of Lilliputians?☼

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