What Maimonides penned in the Medieval period still has coherence today. It is not by wiping out our neighbors, ostensibly and tangibly hostile nations that we attain peace and freedom. To Maimonides is was by conquering ourselves that the peace as well as the war could be won. We seem prone to the path of least resistance, the default position of a Sam Huntington, the “clash of civilizations” where Islamic terrorists absorb American pop culture, the music, the goods, and then smash the toys as an almost inevitable reaction whereby primal surges of violence somehow embedded into their DNA code make them genetically prone to destruction.
Whether this clash is partly contrived or authentic and real, the results to the victims are not; raw material in this industry of the psychological prison and bureaucratic apparatus that almost acts as a government within, irrespective of the state actors as public figures, and adept at flowing with and perhaps even being agents of the economic and social pressures buffeting the individual. Again, the bomb blast in Bulgaria killing Israelis turns back to the vexing question of the West and Islam and whether Jews and Muslims are eternal enemies, unable to coexist, and whether religion is the gunpowder that charges xenophobia and destruction.
Certainly, the incident in Bulgaria falls back on the Zionist dogma that Israel was the home of the “new Jew” , this transformed model of the Diaspora; updated software, latest version and virus free of all the religious baggage and frank embarrassment that the jew of western bourgeois ideal had of his brethren in the boondocks of Eastern Europe. The salons and drawing rooms of Berlin, Vienna and Paris to the Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer sophisticates scratching out a living in the pale of settlement. No more, never again, was the proclamation, that the jew would turn the other cheek to get slapped. A bit of firm footing, a Transfer Agreement negotiated with Eichmann and the Nazis and bingo; well, they continue to turn the other cheek and the blows are just as bad.
Maimonides’s invectives on people who held ideas he regarded as primitive, the sheer literalism of interpretation, so annoyed his critics that they banned sections of his code and Guide to the Perplexed in its entirety. In fact, they knocked on the Dominicans door to ask to borrow some kerosene and kindling, to which they happily complied. It began with burning books before the Church caught on to the then novel idea that people were also flammable. Since Maimonides said we couldn’t eat living flesh and there was no proscription against barbequed flesh…The joke making its rounds among the religious pontificators was the sages worry that a Jew would begin reading a part in the Guide in which Maimonides posits a rationalist broadside on religion, and then doze off, before following down to Maimonides’s counterattack. Hence, they would spend their sleep as a heretic.
One thing Maimonides did not cover was the concept of double-standard. The idea of chosen and choice, this complicity for better and less smooth rarely ventured into prophetic projection of what would happen say, if Israel began blasting Iranian affiliated and sponsored institutions or targeting Iranian civilian groups around the world; or community centers or mosques or foreign delegations. If one follows Iran’s example, very little. But, in the sophistry of moral inversion, jews murdered by Muslims is seen as a kind of euthanasia, a kind of purification ritual in the eyes of many that define themselves as “socially progressive” , the kinds of ideological nihilists that love rubbing the slate clean and revising truths to fit new contexts. The kind of superficial Marxism that Slavoj Zizek has written of where there is a vampire engagement with the other without really being profound, that in fact reinforces a mutual disdain and sees the white man as inherently the savior. Like James Cameron.
…Speaking to Haaretz earlier in the day, a Foreign Ministry official said that the attack was a result of a suicide bombing, an estimate seconded by comments made by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Metodiev Borisov.
The Bulgarian police said that footage from airport security cameras captured the suspect roaming the airport for at least one hour, the Bulgarian news agency Novinite reported. According to the report he was a long-haired Caucasian in sportswear.The body suspected as belonging to the terrorist had a U.S. driver’s license issued in Michigan – apparently fake. …
…If indeed it is the case, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleges, that Iran is behind the heinous murder of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria (and Iran, and its proxy Lebanese militia, Hezbollah, are the likeliest suspects, given their recent attempts to kill Israelis in half-a-dozen countries across the globe), then we’ve entered a new phase in the confrontation over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
…Already this month we’ve seen signs that this matter is moving toward confrontation; these signs include a parade of American officials coming to Israel to assure its leaders that they have the situation in hand, and demanding requesti
n a firm manner that Israel take no rash steps against Iranian nuclear sites; and the movement into the Persian Gulf of an enormous fleet of American naval vessels, meant to ensure that the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world’s oil flows, stays open in the event of an Israeli attack, or an Iranian provocation, or some unforeseen crisis.
Iran has been waging war, rhetorical and actual, against Israel, and Jews, for at least 20 years, and is the prime sponsor of anti-Israel terror attacks, including the most notorious Iran-sponsored attack of all, the one that took place 18 years ago today, in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were murdered at a Jewish community center. Of course, Israel has responded to the eliminationist anti-Israel program of the Iranian regime by battling Hezbollah, assassinating several of its leaders, assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists, and otherwise sabotaging the nuclear program whenever possible. But in this most recent phase of the confrontation — the last two years or so, when Israel ramped up its campaign to get Tehran to stop its nuclear program — Iran has been fairly inactive in the successfully-murdering-Jews department.
…This is what may have changed earlier today. Prime Minister Netanyahu will be under extraordinary political pressure to retaliate in some serious way, and he will be under more pressure from himself than ever to deal with a regime he believes seeks the annihilation of six million Jews. As Amos Harel put it in Haaretz yesterday, the nuclear clock seems to be ticking more quickly than ever, and the “the key question will be whether…Netanyahu can fulfill his ideological and historical commitment to prevent what he describes as a potential second Holocaust.”
I doubt Netanyahu will retaliate for the Bulgaria bombing by launching an immediate attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. But there is a good chance he will launch attacks on Hezbollah targets and individuals, and possibly certain Iranian targets as well, and this sort of back-and-forth can only escalate tensions further, which could only bring us closer to an Israeli preemptive strike on Iran.
Which, of course, is an enormous challenge for President Obama, who can’t seem to convince the Israeli leadership that he will deal with the Iranian nuclear program militarily, if need be. Leon Panetta, the secretary of defense, is traveling to Israel later this month, to meet with Netanyahu and the defense minister, Ehud Barak. He certainly won’t be the last American official to visit before November. …Read More:http://www.theatlantic.com/jeffrey-goldberg/
…Maimonides discussed the well-being of the soul, which he determined to be primordial, after which was the well-being of the body to complete the management of the relations we have between ourself and others. To Maimonides this state can be attained by eliminating violence from our midst; a kind of splitting of anarchism into that we do not as we pleases, or desire, and are able to do; but rather every one of us does that which contributes towards the common good and welfare, which produces a good social state. It is view that must have influenced Thomas More or Erasmus and one that places the idea of the capitalist ethos firmly within a structure of stewardship and leaving things better than the state they were found. A moral and economic prosperity going hand in hand and not hand to mouth. Its an organic type of thought that excludes an imposition of the consumerist/industrial complex through the aegis of colonization and outright subjection since time immemorial. The takeaway from Maimonides was that there was no perfection of the individual involved in their physical destruction in body or in spirit.
Obviously, the massive government structures to frame and coerce democracy on Iran and the past Tyrant Retirement Tour of the Mideast makes Maimonides affirmations seem less esoteric and mystical and more urgent and necessary. The great fear is that true peace, a messianic age that Maimonides prophesized would be highly deflationary, throw entire conflict and conflict management industries into the scrapheap and create deep unemployment that would lead to insurrection. A throwing the baby out with the bath water. It is worth mentioning that after Maimonides homeland was overrun by Islamic fundamentalists, the nut-job Almohades,who would force him and his family into permanent exile in 1148, Maimonides kept sufficient faith in individual potential to write as he did. His occupation as a physician to people, from pauper to prince,was evidence of his faith and optimism in people, as well as his Creator.