Israel’s Perplexity: Scipio or Samson?

samsonby Glenn Fairman  7/21/14
Though Arab and Jew are by lineage the rival sons of Abraham, any connection binding their brotherhood seems to have evaporated long ago in the arid climes of a region that gave birth to monotheism by way of the crucible of environment — a landscape more fiercely accommodating to scorpions and birds of prey. Solitude and austere surroundings seem to incubate prophets and lunatics, and deserts seem to augment the propensity of souls towards extremes – therein dividing the human spirit into frontiers of darkness and light. For the Arab, visceral blood feuds that flourish beneath the awareness of conscious memory and take on the character of instinct serve to choke off that quality of mercy in response to the “other,” and it requires a Herculean effort to swim upstream against the currents of mistrust that boil within fragile veins. It then becomes second nature to multiply reasons for war in one’s quiver, while any open hand reaching across that invisible divided line is viewed with suspicion and even the charge of impiety. Indeed, the Arab’s vision of God is unforgiving, unyielding, and absolute, and the abject terror of being weighed in the balance and found wanting on Allah’s exacting scales compels an unquestioned obedience of argument and action before the political-theological command of the “Divine.”

But family traits are never quite extinguished. Both Jew and Arab suffer disparate manifestations that proceed from the same paralysis of memory: the former harboring the fear that grows from a very genuine perennial victimhood and the latter as the exacting patriarchal Lord of the charnel house. After 1400 years, it seems impossible, due to the constraints of his history and revelation, for the Arab to process the state of Israel’s reversal of political fortune in the region. If this judgment is doubted, one need only study the biblical stories of Isaac, Joseph and Jacob to gain clues to the passions that arise when the younger becomes ascendant at the expense of the elder.

Within the sanctity of our own private lives, there is a time to be magnanimous and to let insults and bad faith wash over us. If we are saintly, we may even consent to suffer a certain level of malice from our neighbor in hopes that we shall, by the example set forth by Christ, pour “hot embers” upon his conscience and bring about that catharsis of the heart that is morally elevating. But what if that neighbor features all the characteristics of a man possessed whose seared conscience bears little more reason than that of a Great White Shark trolling for supper? “Turning the other cheek” may win converts or even friends when men view the earth in even mildly similar fashions, but which of us would stand pat and acquiesce to a neighbor lobbing rattlesnakes or hand grenades into our backyards? In the absence of a supervening authority to help cauterize the villain’s evil, how far do we bend before we break; and when we defend our hearth and home, how long can we proceed down that avenue of justice and retribution before we too are deemed monsters by a world deafened to everything but its own diversionary pursuits?

In such a neighborhood — that “nasty state of nature” where everyone wants you dead or won’t lift a finger for your cause, how prudent is it to just play “tit for tat?” How wise is it to be bound to a sterile “Just War” theory that holds self-preservation hostage to a calculation of proportional response, all while doing nothing to solve a dilemma that is doomed to end in at least one party’s effective annihilation? After a millennia of subjugation and generations of hot and cold war with no relief on the horizon, how long would you allow that barbaric neighbor to lick his wounds and recover, so that at a time of his own choosing he begins his belligerence over again? In reality, nothing has ever changed between both combatants and nothing ever will as long as he carries within his darkened heart the indictment that your survival is an affront to his honor. Moreover, that niggling hope of making peace so that the neighborhood would blossom and your children could play together without the constant fear of violent death has revealed itself to be a pipe dream, and it is only now a matter of time before your enemy, and the considerable resources of his well heeled friends, fall upon and murder every last vestige of your household.

In a degenerate world populated by of jackals, lambs, and every temperament in between, utilizing wishful thinking at the expense of prudent statesmanship is antithetical to the self-preservation of peoples. The gambit of exposing your throat to wolves in the anticipation that your moral excellence may inspire new vistas of conciliation is suicidal. Indeed, in the broadest and most comprehensive moral sense imaginable, is it not patently unjust to allow violence and evil to prevail while we still retain the capacity to see clearly and act decisively with virtue?

Knowing all this, and realizing in the marrow of your being that your “fair weather friends” will shrug their shoulders and deliver flowery eulogies about your moral restraint while your ashes smolder in the Mediterranean sun, is it not now time to rethink the unthinkable? Iran, that demonic nation state that funds death and degradation with the West’s own petrodollars, is on the verge of going nuclear and its client entities, Hezbollah and Hamas, surround and threaten Israel with enough firepower to make the Jewish corpse a monument to Islamic resolve. Sooner or later, before the beast grows too formidable, Israel must strike quickly and decisively with its own considerable nuclear and/or conventional arsenal or throw in the towel. Southern Lebanon, which houses 50,000 rockets targeting Israel’s vibrant cities, must be made desolate and the Gaza strip must be bulldozed and its inhabitants sent fleeing back into Egypt. And finally, Iran, that nest of vipers that evangelizes and nourishes this concentrated hatred, must be made an example to the world so that fundamentalist Islam will learn that the wages of its bellicose rhetoric and treacherous actions carry a terrible cost.

Many in the West will recoil in horror at what I have proposed. Yet, few in their luxurious homes, free from want or cares, would do more than click their tongues and bat their eyelids – lest they further interrupt their dream of pleasure. In waging war against an iron barbarism that threatens to strangle Israel and the West in its bed, one must relearn what it means to fight like a man for one’s life – or accept conversion and annihilation. Fantasizing that a retrograde civilization, whose creed is a “boot in the face in perpetuity,” will one day magically unball its fist as it gains ascendancy, is the sign of civilizational exhaustion and a descent into the delusion that heralds extinction. Any people who are cynically evil enough to encourage the deaths of their children (in order to perpetuate a climate of hate and belligerence) has fallen in love with the idea of death. The Islamic meme: “We love death more than you love life” turns out to be not merely some obtuse warrior rhetoric, but a window to the inner-workings of their collective soul.

No American would countenance passing their lives on the edge of such a volcano. The anxious sorrow that comes from the ever present promise of a violent murder is an unknown thing with us, so why should we condemn others to acquiesce to such a fate by denying them the right of self-preservation from beasts whose only knowledge of peace is tinged with the stench of passive subjugation? I have written before of the clash of civilizations and that the enlightened and liberal are not guaranteed by nature to prevail over the cause of ogres and orcs. In the case of Arab and Jew, the option that avails itself is one of Scipio or Samson. If you recall your history, the Roman general Scipio Africanus defeated the hated Carthaginians in the Second Punic War and in the Third his namesake effectively erased the City state from the African continent. Secondly, the blind warrior Samson, who we encounter in the Old Testament’s Book of Judges, surprisingly brought down his Philistine masters through a final desperate act — destroying the enemy’s temple by calling on God’s might and killing himself in the process. In these latter days, some might hold that Israel could well be the embodiment of Samson — set between the formidable pillars of Islam.

Israel will survive by abandoning half measures and delivering a cup brimming with judgment, therein matching and surpassing the utter desolation that its enemies have sworn by Allah to bring to pass — or they will surely perish along with their foes in a bloodbath like the world has never before catalogued. When battling demons to the death, one must fight them mercilessly with tooth and claw, and only later agonize over those philosophical recriminations that moral victors wrestle with in their restless beds. The Arab world has now left Her little choice in the matter, and soon even Israel’s vaunted resolve will not be enough to ensure survival. The Patrician orator Cato was reported to have proclaimed after every session of the Roman senate Carthago delenda est— Carthage must be destroyed. A time is coming, and perhaps now is, when the Arab who has sown to the wind will reap the whirlwind. Unable to live with themselves or with others of the planet because of an insolent pride that refuses to be tamed, no one, not even their distant god, will be of any avail when that world falls down upon them.

Glenn Fairman writes from Highland, Ca.
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18 Responses to Israel’s Perplexity: Scipio or Samson?

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    The concept of “turning the other cheek” can be useful when dealing with people who are capable of being reached. Hugh Thomas mentions in The Spanish Civil War the story of a Spanish priest who told some anarchist militiamen that he wanted to suffer for Christ, and was therefore tortured in a similar manner. When they decided to shoot him, he asked to be shot form the front — so he could die blessing them. I couldn’t do that, but I can appreciate someone who could. And one assumes that the source was a militiaman who was also affected.

    But it has become abundantly clear that this cannot work with Muslims, and thus the only method to deal with them is “They created a desert and called it peace.” At the end of the movie The Haunting, the scapegrace nephew who had been talking of how he would like to use the house when he inherited it concludes that it should be burned down, and the ashes sown with salt. This sounds like a suitable fate for the Gaza strip (which, be it noted, occupies the core of the original Philistia).

    But a little correction: Scipio Africanus (who defeated Hannibal at Zama in 202 BC) was not the Scipio who finally conquered and destroyed Carthage in 146 BC (who I believe was his adoptive nephew, Scipio Aemilianus). Note that a new Carthage was eventually built on or near the site, and was an important city in later Roman times.

  2. David Ray says:

    How does one defeat a tyrannical foe? Kill them into submission – period! (Simply ignore Little Barry’s pleas for “proportional response” and let the little bitch fume.)

    Prime Minister Netanyahu seriously needs to [blank] or get off the pot. I say take back the Gaza strip, clear the West bank, stack up a monster body-count, and send some five-finger teams & planes to Iran to make sure their nuclear ambitions are never realized.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I’m sorry, David. Harsh realities are officially forbidden from Western Culture. Didn’t you get the memo? 😀

  3. Kathy says:

    Thanks for the article, Glenn. It’s time to determine what we believe and why we believe it in a very practical sense. I think your article makes that clear.

    When I finished it I was brought back to a scene in the second LotR movie “The Two Towers,” where King Theoden has recently awoken from an evil-stupor, only to find his people and all they believe threatened by an incomprehensibly evil, overwhelmingly superior (in numbers) foe. “What can we do against suck reckless hate?” he asks.

    You defeat it by whatever means necessary. And Israel is running out of options.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Unfortunately, Rohan is a better comp for the US than Israel. And we don’t have a Gandalf to remove Grima Wormtongue — particularly since Feckless Leader combines Grima and Théoden into one disaster.

    • Glenn Fairman says:

      It is amazing to me that we must turn to the realm of fantasy to supply us with the heroics needed to combat monstrous evil. But if fantasy can supply the moral imagination with the courage that the world of flesh and blood lacks, then I am all for elves and wizards who believe that battling dragons, even though we perish in a ball of flame, is preferable to watching our existence being eaten away piece by piece. Consigning our children to that Islamic living death because life, even the most wretched life, is held preferable to heroism carries with it the promise of death many times over. Until we cauterize the grotesque and counterfeit vision of God and its corresponding understanding of man, we shall fight these battles on the plain of monotheism.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        ‘The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one” — Ernest Hemingway

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Wasn’t that originally from Julius Caesar? I can see where Hemingway would find it an appropriate quote. (By the way, I learned a few years ago that the common use of ciao comes from Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. It isn’t actually regular Italian, but rather the Venetian version of the Italian word schiavo, which means “slave” (the usage is akin to “your obedient servant”), which I found very interesting in view of the Terri Schiavo case, which had destroyed my respect for the medical profession and led me to conclude that the movie Coma is NO LONGER fiction.)

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            My first thought was that Tim was correct about the quote, but double checked and Shakespeare had the original idea, as far as English Lit. is concerned, but Hemingway refined it and gave it the wording we are familiar with.

            I don’t know if Hemingway was the father of “Ciao” in the English speaking world, but it is used all over Europe by many who don’t speak English, so I suspect it was in common usage for many years prior to “A Farewell to Arms”.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Wasn’t that originally from Julius Caesar?

            I have no idea. I just remember part of the quote and Googled for it. Did Google screw me? 😀 But it did appear in several places as a Hemingway quote from one of his books. Anyway, the way Glenn said it was much better.

      • Paul B says:

        Militant Islam does not respect “restraint”. Rather, it is encouraged by restraint. Jesus took the whip to the moneychangers and cursed the fig tree. This time is not the time to turn the other cheek.

        The essay was brilliant in its thought process and eloquently presented (and saltily presented, thank you Joan Rivers). Israel is a sovereign nation. Hooray for those who speak up for Israel from the biblical perspective.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Bullies and other thugs are always encouraged by lack of resistance. This is what decent people often fail to understand — being nice to them (at least when they’re engaged in their thuggery) is worse than useless.

  4. john hartnett says:

    Bravo, Glenn!
    But aside from whether or not Israel can muster the resolve necessary, which I seriously doubt, does she possess the resources to do what you so correctly prescribe?

    • Glenn Fairman says:

      John: I believe that despite what my Israeli friends believe (every once in a while, the “grass must be mowed”) it will eventually come to pass that the forces that hate Israel will be so formidable as to provoke a nuclear response. When this comes about we shall see the fulfillment of Isaiah and Ezekiel’s prophecies in the region. Will it be solely through Israel’s resources? Probably not. She is still subject to the promises of God in Gen. 12 and there is no reason that the miracles of ’48, ’67, ’73 were flukes. The entire state of Israel, rising up from the ashes only a handful of years following Hitler’s genocide is a miracle. And God is in the business of miracles.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Joel C. Rosenberg did a whole series that ultimately led to exactly this scenario (The Ezekiel Option).

  5. Realisticus says:

    I am at present reading the book “Israel” by M. Gilbert. If there is one thing that is clear in this book, Israel wishes to live in peace with the Arabs but they simply will not stop killing the Jews. If you will note with neutrality, it is always the Arabs/Palestinians that start and cause the retaliation by the Jews. Recently, the dipshitz in the Gaza Strip started it up again with missiles fired into Israel. Now, Israel is going after them with a vengeance, and deservedly so. I agree with the writer of this article. Frankly, Israel should have declared war on the whole bunch of them years ago and had no mercy until they gave up unconditionally. Surely, this delay of many years is going to go nuclear once the long beards manage to produce nuclear bombs. I for one believe that the U.S., by meddling in this, will share a lot of the blame when the mushroom clouds begin.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The primary purpose of the current invasion of Gaza is to destroy the tunnels by which the Hamas Schweinhunde infiltrate Israel to murder civilians. So naturally Jihad’s Man in the White House wants a cease-fire as soon as possible to abort this project, and thereby protect Hamas’s ability to infiltrate Israel.

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