Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict
[ Israeli objectives ]

Spiritual aspects of Judea

Jewish religious jurisdiction

No concern with secular ethics in Judea

Technical details of establishing Judea

Israel might create Judea from Israel's territory along the border with Gaza. That ex-Israeli territory would proclaim itself the State of Judea and seek United Nations recognition.[6] Then Judea would invite Jewish settlers and offer them Judean citizenship. Next Judea would overpower the Palestinian territories under the pretext of stopping the ongoing Islamic violence. Military stronger than the opposing Gazans, Judea would expand more easily than Israel before the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

The money Diaspora Jews now send to Israel would mostly go to the more religiously zealous Judea. Judean lobbyists could make a much stronger case to wealthy Diaspora Jews than Israel’s leaders can now, since most Jews would favor the revival of Judaism. Israeli policy is controversial. Aid being critical to Judea, few Jews would refuse. True, some secular Jews scorn ultra-Orthodox Jews, but their skepticism would vanish once Judea imposed her agenda and forced international opinion to accept it. After the normalization of Jews, comes the normalization of Judaism. When the ultra-Orthodox have their own State of Judea, coherent, motivated, and powerful, they will command respect if they avoid grossly violating human rights. Arab money began flowing to Islamic fundamentalist groups once they became militant and effective. Many people are tired of weak democracy and mutual accommodation and long for action. Radicals rarely lack financial backing.

Judea will be able to maintain a small Jewish army, enough to handle Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon. Israel would guarantee Judea’s borders, even if they expanded, against aggression from Arab regular armies. In fact, Judea would generate unexpected benefits in Arab-Israeli war. A theocratic Jewish state would not hesitate to use chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons instead of watching Jews die by the thousands in a protracted war with Arabs.

Spiritual aspects of Judea

The creation of a theocratic Judea would save some Jews from ethnic assimilation. Judea may forbid non-Jewish immigration altogether or let in only Christians on temporary work permits who would be extensively screened to assure their loyalty to Jewish state. A desirable side effect of Judea forbidding the immigration would be the elimination of Palestinian suicide terrorists, since no Arabs will be allowed in Judea. Fences and extensive Soviet-type border patrols would keep them from coming in Judea illegally.

Judea’s symbol should be the ancient, unique menorah, not the Star of David, which did not become a specifically Jewish symbol until the nineteenth century.

The capital of Judea, if not Jerusalem, should be called Zion, tapping into the energy of messianic expectations.

Judea’s language should be biblical Hebrew, an artful language, superior to its Israeli modern surrogate which insufficiently incorporates biblical lexicology and etymological conventions. Hebrew morphology is flexible enough to accommodate many new words while preserving the ancient roots and two-letter root cells. Reviving the simple, powerful, and beautiful biblical Hebrew in Judea would make the study of scriptures by gentiles livelier since it would reanimate meanings lost in translation. It is ironic for Israel, the last civilized country repressing reformist religion,[7] to embrace reformist language, the Hebrew newspeak. The message of Torah is inseparable from its language. Restoration of ancient grammar in Judea must be paralleled by a return to guttural pronunciation. Israeliwill not let Israel repress Reform Judaism much longer, especially since its lax observance is attractive tohonetics, as Arabs still do. The current situation, when Torah and prayers are recited in a garbled Israeli tongue, should not continue.

Israeli public opinion, given to secularization under the euphemism of religious tolerance, will not let Israel repress Reform Judaism much longer, especially since its lax observance is attractive to secular Jews and their gentile spouses, and a strictly observant Judea would give Orthodoxy a home. As the Torah requires, Judea would have only one religion of Judaism, and be more or less orthodox. A theocracy cannot honestly accommodate factions without slipping into religious superficiality or cynicism: deviation and toleration prop each other.

Jewish religious jurisdiction

Judea would restore the Hebrew system of religious jurisprudence and establish Jewish rabbinical courts in the Diaspora. Because legalism permeates modern social relations, that step would restore Jewish self-awareness, re-asserting Jewish difference from other people, now blurred by assimilation. Decisions of Jewish rabbinical courts are binding on every Jew under the threat of excommunication. Since Israeli law recognizes converts approved by Orthodox rabbis as Jews, excommunication should mean loss of status as a Jew, including descendants. Few Jews would ignore that threat. Jewish rabbinical courts were hailed historically as reasonable and honest, and gentiles appealed to them for arbitrage in antiquity.

Imposing the authority of rabbinical courts would create a closed Jewish economy, since Jewish companies would prefer to deal with one another, just as secular businesses prefer to deal with others within a given legal system. A Jewish “business union” would gain competitiveness by acting as one in competition with other companies. Something like that economic support system was present at the micro-level in small Jewish communities before World War II, but now many Jews prefer the minor benefits of dealing with outsiders to making sacrifices for the common good of Jews. Societies lose communal unity when economic and social pressures undo their internal interdependence. But Jews have a basis for interdependence: a common goal and purpose which, properly and continuously explained, could restore Jewish national unity.

With no ambition of becoming a major state and relying on Israel for protection, Judea could be a biblical theocracy built on religious-judiciary, not kingly-administrative, power. Since the law of Torah is exhaustive and administrative power an evil denounced in Jewish scripture,[8] Judea could become a state of liberal ideals without legislative or executive functions. Judean theocracy would be a free society for conforming Jewish citizens. Every Jew would be free to emigrate upon reaching adulthood, and before thirteen, Jews have few responsibilities or obligations. In Israeli kibbutzim, Jewish adolescents often do not share their parents’ ideals and move away as adults. Some Jews leave Israel. Jews leave ultra-orthodox families and communities. Jewish dissenters would be equally free to leave Judea. Jews who found Judean policy too rigid would move out, while more religiously motivated Jews would move in, and the influx of immigrants would sustain and increase the jewish population even beyond what fecund Orthodox Jews would breed.

No concern with secular ethics in Judea

Judea would pay no attention to commonly accepted moral conventions, but to Judaism. Following the Hebrew doctrine of just retribution, Judea would deal harshly with hostile Arab aliens and bring Islamic terrorists and hostile Palestinians to Jewish justice. Following the Torah, Judea could enforce religious separation and resettlement of Arabs, something few secular states would legislate. Judea would prohibit Jewish intermarriage and prohibit other religions from setting up places of worship in Jewish state. Talmudic law would rule Jewish country without prisons, relying on timely punishment and very rare executions.

Many people oppose capital punishment, not because they think particular criminals do not deserve death but because judgments are sometimes passed in error. The Sanhedrin’s due process is so rigid that error is unlikely. A Jewish court accepts no circumstantial evidence. For example, if a person sees someone entering a house, hears screams inside, sees him coming out waving a knife dripping with blood, and there was a murder at that time in the house, the witness is disqualified, since he did not see the murder. Sentencing errors exist in any legal system, and possible errors, including capital punishments, under Talmudic law compare favorably with the myriad years Westerners collectively lose in jails on wrong verdicts and for unwarrantedly defined transgressions. The major problem with Talmudic law would be not the cruelty of punishments in Judea but rather the practical impossibility of convictions because of safeguards. This might require revoking the Talmudic protections the Jews introduced as a face-saving measure when Jewish courts in the Diaspora lacked criminal jurisdiction. The issue of justice is almost irrelevant in a deeply religious society like Judea, with no outsiders to hate and persecute. The Talmudic due process leaves execution for various deviations only in theory.

The government of Judea could do things secular Israel would not if Israel wants to be a state like any other. For example, modern war crimes legislation allows claims against the Vatican and other European powers for persecuting Jews, even in the Middle Ages, and provides for the restitution of property, too staggering to consider. The Nuremberg tribunal meted out justice for crimes against humanity, applying legal innovations retroactively. While Jews cannot bring criminal charges against the descendants of the original perpetrators, claims for property stolen from Jews and still being enjoyed by the descendants of the thieves are quite possible. European governments did not return all real estate stolen from Jews in World War II (or earlier) to Jews. The Vatican’s wealth comes in part from looted Jewish property, and its libraries stock ancient Jewish books stolen during massacres of Jews.

[6] There is no contradiction between Israel finding a pretext to disobey U.N. resolutions on Israeli borders on one hand and seeking U.N. recognition of Judean borders, on the other. Jews should benefit even from an organization as useless and wrong as the U.N.

[7] Israel does not recognize Reformist Judaism

[8] By Samuel on explicit divine instruction in the strongest terms before the inauguration of the first Jewish monarch, Saul. The Bible in other parts recognizes monarchy de facto, demonstrating the Jewish tendency to regulate evil instead of trying unrealistically to eradicate it.