On Iraq And The Gulf Crisis Pt. 3: Isolation

For all practical and pragmatic Jews who look at world events through the spectacles of geo-political and socio-economic theory, let it be understood that - from that point of view - no matter what will be the result of the American-Iraqi confrontation, Israel loses. You think not? Consider.

Should the Americans fail to go all the way and crush Iraq, Saddam will emerge as a victor and Arab hero not known since the days of Saladin. Should the Americans not have the persistence and discipline to go all the way - and that is a distinct possibility given the condition of the American body politic and inability to take serious losses - then Saddam will emerge as the hero of the Arab masses from Morocco to the Gulf, a tiger whose appetite will be inflamed by his victory. Time is and will be even more on his side, as the Iraqi march to nuclear and ever-more deadly chemical and biological weapons goes forward. For that is the real threat of Iraq. Not the takeover of Kuwait oil or even of Saudi fields, but the inevitable (should he not be crushed) acquisition of weapons of total destruction. Stopping him from invading Saudi or Jordan or the Emirates is totally irrelevant to this, the real threat. And once having it, little will prevent him from giving a "baby" nuclear weapon or two to the terrorists of the PLO.

Should the Americans, on the other hand, succeed in crushing Saddam, let it be known that it will have been done under the umbrella of a multi-national force that saw Syrians, Egyptians and other Arabs fighting at the side of the United States force. It will be the precedent for such a multi-national force pressuring Israel to retreat from territories of Judea-Samaria-Gaza. Those Arab states who fought against Iraq will tell Washington: "We fought against our own brothers for you; now you owe it to us to save our Arab credentials by stopping Israeli aggression, too." You think that Bush and Baker, who are hostile to Israel in any event, will not agree? Do you think that the same economic embargo that was called against Iraq will not be used against Israel? Is there anyone who does not understand that U.S. weapons for "friendly" Arab states can no longer be stopped and that AIPAC's sun is setting? Is there anyone who believes that the United States, in crushing Saddam, the darling of the Arab masses, will not try to save its reputation in the Arab world by showing "even-handedness" against Israel?

More. American and Israeli interests are not the same; far from it. American and Israeli interests differ enormously; indeed, they clash. Not only is the long-term American interest to remain on good relations with "moderate" Arab states, but the short-term interest - not to bomb the Iraqi strategic and top-secret centers lest American hostages there are killed - totally contradicts the Israeli need to destroy those centers before they become places of mass destruction against Israel. Will Israel refrain from bombing targets that threaten its very existence because American lives are at stake? Knowing Arens and Shamir, what would you say?

Of course, Israel cannot win in any secular, "practical" event, for that is what the Almighty decrees. He will never bring redemption to a Jewish people that has not returned to Him and His law except through the creation of the conditions that create the foundations of the redemption: Isolation; Israel alone and without allies; Israel with no one to turn to except G-d.

"The exiles shall not be gathered in except through the merit of faith in G-d."
Thus, says the Mechilta in Beshalach. And I repeat again what the Rabbis say:

"When he seeth that their power is gone and there is none to help, they are blocked and forsaken�" (Dvarim 32). "The Son of David will not come until Israel loses hope of redemption as it is said, �When he seeth that their power is gone�� as if to say, 'there is no one to support or aid them.'"

As long as Jews have even one supposed ally, they will always believe that it was that ally that enabled them to overcome and survive. Thus was it with France in the �50s and for the last 20 years with the United States. Never was G-d seen as the One who saved Israel. A people of little faith never looked to Heaven and never credited it with salvation. And so, the redemption cannot come without true faith in G-d, for that is the heart of repentance; and even those who are practitioners of Jewish ritual but people of little faith, always looking to the nations, cannot save the Jews.

The Jew must be alone.
He must be isolated. That was, from time immemorial, the demand and command of G-d. "Am l'vadad yishkon", a people that dwells alone (BaMidbar 23). And: "And Israel dwelleth in safety, the fountain of Jacob alone" (Dvarim 34).

Only a Jewish people that is alone, with no allies, will perforce turn to Heaven. It will then have to turn to Heaven. If it does so willingly, the redemption will come swiftly and with joy. If the Jew eagerly and with total faith turns from the gentiles and looks to G-d, the Messiah comes
"today, if you will but hearken to My voice." If the Jew refuses and in his tiny lack of faith clings to the gentiles, the nations, then his allies will rip him away from them as they turn on him, and the isolation will come anyway - but because we did not seek it ourselves, only with terrible punishment.

This is how the Jew, the authentic Jew, looks at the crisis in the Middle East. The others will continue to wallow in their gentilized delusions and bring down tragedy on all of us.

By Rabbi Meir Kahane
September - October, 1990
Kahane Magazine
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