Friday, July 21, 2006

Petition for what?

Hillel, the Jewish student campus orginization has launched a petition which will eventually go to Kofi Annan, where undoubtely his secretary's intern might see it.

Now, while I support said petition, and the sentiment behind it, I am pretty annoyed at the wording: ". . . we respectfully ask that you join us in clearly and immediately reaffirming the right of Israel to defend its citizens and ensure its security in the face of relentless attacks, killings and kidnappings . . .".

I am mostly annoyed that anyone feels the need to ask Annan to reaffirm the right of any country, or anyone for that matter to protect its citizens. The right to self defense is the most intuitive right we have. Any philosophical justification of government starts with that as a premise. What else could justify a government, if not the protection of its citizens? The right of self-defense is not one that anyone needs granted. It is the most basic of rights we have, and it is not one that can be taken away in any case.

Why to Jews feel like they have to ask anyone for permission to live?

Has anyone else in the history of the universe ever begged someone for acknowledgement of the right to defend themselves? Has any country in the world ever feared condemnation merely for protecting itself? A country under attack, a country that just had soldiers kidnapped by an organization not bound by any Geneva conventions and has no expectation that they will live or be safe from torture, a country who put whole cities in bomb shelters, a country whose border has been infiltrated by hostile forces, a country that has been abused since inception - such a country is under no obligation to grovel, to come hat-in-hand, to humbly and meekly ask anyone's permission to defend itself.

Is there something in the Jewish American psyche that thinks that anything is OK if it sanctioned by "the world"? Or that something is only OK if it is sanctioned by "the world"? Is there some real fear that if the UN doesn't see it their way then they'll be worse off? Is there a need to justify your life, your very existence, and the lives of other Jews to a bunch of people who mostly see you as a problem rather than as a person?

A petition needs to demand respect, not be an affirmation of your right not be attacked by a terror group that exists without being accountable to any recognized body of law.


Malaika M. said...

"Why to Jews feel like they have to ask anyone for permission to live?" - Karl


"Is there something in the Jewish American psyche that thinks that anything is OK if it sanctioned by "the world"?" - Karl

It's not just the Americsn Jewish psyche, it's also large parts of the Israeli Jewish psyche. That's why the government has been giving land and guns to the Arabs and pulling settlers out of Gaza all this time.

Personally, I STRONGLY suspect that this constant begging for approval is an example of psychological baggage from the Diaspora (and Eastern Europe in particular) that the Jewish people (especially Ashkenazim who dominate the American Jewish community and the Israeli government) have not entirely gotten over.

It will probably be another generation or two before such psychological baggage is finally put to rest, at least in Israel. The American Jewish community might likely take longer, though.

Anonymous said...

Typical American mentality. Israel excersizes its right to defend itself against acts of violence, terrorism, kidnappings and war, but America is worried about treating terrorist prisoners as citizens and turning up the air conditioning at Gitmo while soldiers and civilians are kidnapped and beheaded in Iraq.

Adam said...

I also agree, Karl. Hillel has always been pathetic, though, and so is most of the "give me permission to live and please please love me" Jewish establishment. Lets just call them the GMPTLAPPLM establishment.