“All the world’s a stage,” Shakespeare penned, and last week I was fortunate to behold a performance for the ages, one that moved its standing-room-only audience. Sitting in the gallery above a joint session of Congress and feeling history’s weight at our civilization’s fateful crossroads, I watched Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enter the House chamber to thunderous bipartisan applause before delivering a gracious, credible and consequential speech.
As the last two years of his tenure move toward their conclusion, President Barack Obama’s increasingly probable legacy — on top of the much-discussed debt he will leave to punish future generations — could be a nuclear-armed Iran and a striking diminution of rule of law and American freedoms.
There’s an old political saying that if your opponent is committing suicide, get out of the way. Yet professor Sean Elias requires a response, so hateful was his odious retort in The Aspen Times to my column, “Why coexist with a mortal Iranian threat?”
Imagine catching a lethal, fast-growing, yet operable cancer in a child before it’s spread. The doctors assure a high survival rate, assuming traditional protocols. Meanwhile, a third opinion proposes no treatment, believing the child can coexist normally with cancer.
I finally saw American Sniper, the film about Chris Kyle and his four tours of duty in Iraq. It shows the nature of warfare, the nature of human nature and the nature of peace through strength. Warfare is barbaric. It always has been. And it shows the depth of human depravity. From the earliest records of warfare, the objective has been to win. Each culture sets its limits of what it will or will not do to win. Some will seek to protect non-combatants. Some have no moral boundaries at all. But regardless of the rules of engagement, the objective of winning requires killing a sufficient amount of an enemy to subdue him and his people. Most who engage in a war of aggression or defense seek the most efficient route to winning the spoils they want or protecting what they have.
In 2005 Gaza was unconditionally given to the Palestinians. They quickly handed it over to Hamas, made it a terror fortress, and smuggled in all the weapons of war that they could (which brought about a blockade). All efforts of peace since then have been met with “Massacre all the Jews!”
Asked by a convert to distill the Torah’s essence, Rabbi Hillel — Judaism’s great sage — taught, “What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor.”
NANTUCKET—While this island’s most famous summer resident –Secretary of State John Kerry- tirelessly pursues a matter of comparative irrelevance- Israeli-Palestinian peace talks- the entire Middle East is turning into a blazing conflagration the likes of which we have not seen since the end of the Second World War.