............The Imam and Martyr Hasan al-Banna, from Preamble to THE HAMAS CHARTER
The true goal of the "Peace Process" for the Palestine Authority - and indeed for the entire Islamic world - is utterly clear and altogether unambiguous. Drawn from an irremediably genocidal orientation to Jews (the Hamas Charter reminds that "The time (salvation) will not come until Muslims wil fight the Jews and kill them...."), this goal points unswervingly toward a final war ("There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad."). In this war against all Jews ("The Nazism of the Jews does not skip women and children....," says the Charter again), everyone is a proper target.
The true goal of Israel's many Islamic enemies, a goal sought by the "Peace Process," is undisguised. It is to be left standing while Israel has been made to disappear. These enemies know that they must survive Israel so that Israel does not survive them. Ordered to "discard the evil, crushing it and defeating it," they cannot conceivably survive together. So long as Israel can rise, they cannot endure in any meaningful Islamic sense. So long as Israel exists, no matter how cooperative and forthcoming it may be, they will feel defiled. They will not feel safe. They will not feel powerful.
It is high time that this true goal of Israel's enemies be recognized by all friends of Israel. Without such recognition, the dreadful foolishness of political "thought" in Israel's government and universities may continue to be taken seriously, an ironic circumstance that could bring the Jewish State from its knees (where it is already) to a fully supine position. With such recognition, however, this foolishness could be revealed for what it is, the ill-conceived product of "experts" and apparatchiks who have never had a serious thought.
It is a mistake for Israel to believe that Reason governs the world. It is a mistake for Israel to project its own Western, rational sentiments and expectations upon its Islamic foes. It is a mistake for Israel to seek to remain standing by clinging to leaders (Labor, Likud, it makes little difference) who have now brought nonperformance and intellectual mediocrity to a high art.
What a mistake it is for Israel to elect leaders who cannot understand this complex idea: Israel's enemies wish to kill Jews because it will confer immunity from mortality. This idea of death as a zero-sum commodity is captured generically by Ernest Becker's paraphrase of Elias Canetti: "Each organism raises its head over a field of corpses, smiles into the sun, and declares life good." Shouldn't this idea be especially obvious to the Jewish People after enduring the largest mass murder in human history? Isn't it time that Israel elect leaders who can understand what Otto Rank says in his Will Therapy and Truth and Reality: "The death fear of the ego is lessened by the killing, the Sacrifice, of the other; through the death of the other one buys oneself free from the penalty of dying, of being killed."
Israel's enemies, in order to remain standing - and to prevent Israel from rising up - seek to SACRIFICE the Jewish State on an altar of war and terrorism. The idea of sacrifice is central to what is happening. Their planned destruction of Israel - a plan hastened by Oslo surrenders - is part of a system of religious worship oriented toward the conquest of personal death. This is not an idea that can be understood by those who would find serious intellectual effort daunting.
What a mistake it is for Israel to ignore four thousand years of Jewish history and world politics. The true source of global governance is Power, and power is ultimately the conquest of Death. This conquest, which
displays a zero-sum quality among Israel's enemies, now animates these enemies in their irreversible war against the Jewish State. In Damascus, in Cairo, in Baghdad, in Teheran, in Gaza, in Amman, they are determined that Israel shall not rise because they will not lie down. Killing Jews, preferably in Israel, offers them a feeling of existential relief, because they are more than dimly aware that in killing Jews they have killed death. Killing Jews is their way of affirming life, of warding off their own death.
When Arab terrorists undertake suicide bombings in a Jerusalem market it is not because they are fearless. On the contrary, it is only because they fear death so much that they are willing to kill themselves. The apparent paradox here is elucidated when one learns to understand that the "death" that they suffer in the explosion of Jews is merely a momentary annoyance, a temporary inconvenience on the road to immortality. It follows that an Israel that wants to remain standing must consider immediately the "lessons" of its enemies' conceptions of real power.
Must Israel become a barbarous state in order to endure? Must it behave like its enemies, regarding individual and collective life expectancy as a function of killing? Must the Jewish State "learn" to identify true power with its survival over others, a survival that simply can not abide the survival of its enemies?
By no means! What is required is not a replication of enemy barbarism, but a coherent policy that recognizes such barbarism as the essential starting point for Israel's national defense. With such recognition, the present "Peace Process" would be rejected outright and an authentic peace process - one based on Israel's commitment to rise - could be fashioned.
LOUIS RENE BERES (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971)is a Professor of International Law, Department of Political Science at Purdue University. He lectures and publishes widely on Israeli security matters. E MAIL: BERES@POLSCI.PURDUE.EDU