To sanction Russia or to make a deal?


People who personally experienced the Russian way of life or studied and understood it know that “making a deal” with Russia may be much better for the US than “making sanctions” against Russia.

 

To understand why is it so, we have to remember one of the Judeo-Christian fundamental concepts, which is almost lost in the current politically correct thinking, that we the humans are created not as one spiritually homogeneous human herd but rather as many spiritually competing human groups – competing with each other, ideally without killing and humiliating each other. However, the current sanctions against Russia are humiliating to the Russians.

 

The sanctions are aimed at making an ordinary Russian (both rich and poor) suffer in hope that the ordinary Russians will force their government to surrender to American demands (in regard to Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, Syria, suppression of opposition, etc.) in order to have the US and Europe removing the sanctions. The politically correct idea behind the sanctions is that the Russian people are willing to accept a political surrender of their government to restore the wellbeing of their citizens (“the government loses – the people wins”). However, this idea is wrong – the entire Russian history and the true Russian tradition is the evidence of the wrongness of this idea.

 

To understand the wrongness of this idea, one has to know one of the crucial differences in spiritual beliefs of the two peoples:

 

          American people of traditional American-brand Judeo-Christian values believe that the wellbeing of citizens is much more important than the wellbeing of the State represented by the government.

 

          Russian people of traditional Russian-brand Christian values believe that the wellbeing of the State represented by its government is more important than the wellbeing of the citizens themselves.

 

Therefore, the Russian majority would treat the surrender of their government as humiliation of the entire country. The restoration of perceived indignation may lead to various military actions that may lead even to WWIII. It looks like the “sanction forces” in the US establishment led by Senator John McCain do not appreciate such Russian mind-set that may lead indeed to a war.

 

To reduce the probability of a war, the “making a deal” approach looks much better. In this case, America is reaching its goals without humiliating Russia. Two conditions are needed for this approach to be successful. First, our military should be strengthen to the level at which it becomes obvious for Russia a war with the US/NATO will bring a true humiliation to this country. Second, Russia has to have its own domain of strategic and economic influence – maybe shared with the US – to preserve an internal “feeling” of being a great nation and to have a base for improving the economy.

 

There are many ways for achieving this in a “making a deal” with Russia if a current US pro-Russian-sanction hysteria recedes.

 

Two evil forces made Holocaust possible and one is still at work


 

Two evil forces made Holocaust possible but we denounced only one – the other one is still at work. It was evident again during the latest debates at the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

 

From the news media:

 

In his new book, The Genius of Judaism, the French thinker explores the inner demon of modern anti-Zionism and contrasts it with the remarkable reality of the Jewish state.

 

The fact remains that anti-Semitism exists. Some had thought it dead, obsolete, cast aside. Wrong. It is back. Making new connections. It has even begun to strike and to kill—to growing indifference—in French cities. And, moreover, because observers of the phenomenon often seem blind to its new reality and, believing that they are confronting it, grapple only with its shadows, I see no option but to begin by describing the new guise of the oldest form of hate.

 

————–

 

Two evil forces made the Holocaust possible:

 

(1) The anti-Semitic ideology of the Nazis which was born and became murderous in the Nazis’ Germany and

 

(2) The anti-Semitic ideology of many among local populations in Germany and in all countries occupied by the Nazi Germany.

 

For the last seven decades after the end of WWII, beginning with the Nuremberg anti-Nazi Trials, the anti-Semitic Nazi ideology, and the measures of preventing this ideology from the rebirthing, had been demonstrated and validated almost everywhere and by all available political and social tools. It had been done by anti-Nazi laws developed in Europe, by Holocaust-related museums, by the spiritual leaders of Christianity, and of course by the Jews themselves.

 

The anti-Semitic ideology of many among the local population in countries occupied by the Nazi Germany was the force made the Holocaust possible. This had been conveniently forgotten by the politically-correct politicians and therefore not condemned. It should be condemned since the no-condemnation could bring future holocausts.

 

·         The local population provided the Nazis with names and locations of Jewish citizens – without this local assistance to the Nazis, the great many Jews could be saved.

 

·         The local population provided the Nazis with the local militia forces, which assisted the Nazis in bringing all Jews into ghettos for extermination (some were exterminated bypassing the ghetto phase as was in Kiiv’s Babiy Yar and many other places). Without this local assistance to the Nazis, the great many Jews could be saved.

 

·         In the former Soviet territories occupied by the Nazi Germany, the locals were the real executioners under the guidelines of the Nazi military. Without this local assistance to the Nazis, the great many Jews could be saved.

 

The reason the local population had been doing all these terrible things was that many of them were the truly spiritual anti-Semites – many among Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Latvians, Estonians, Lithuanians, Moldovans, Polish. They truly believed that the Jews were the people who were “robbing” the local population spiritually and economically, and murdering the Jews may be a good service to their countries and their communities. Now they have many contemporary descendants.

 

Therefore, the anti-Semitism among the local population as a major force in assisting the Nazis in conducting the Holocaust should be identified, emphasized, deplored and condemned. If this is not done, this force could be a foundation for future holocausts.

 

From the news media:

 

Jewish Students Condemn ‘Horrific’ Rise of Anti-Semitic Incidents at Cambridge University.

 

Student Slams Stanford U for Offering Therapy Over Trump Election While ‘Ignoring’ Anti-Semitism.

 

————–

 

The time has come not just to condemn but to begin the work on dispelling the spiritual foundation of the anti-Semitic beliefs through an honest historic fact-based conversation with those who hold anti-Semitic beliefs. It may be arranged if we treat the people whom we consider anti-Semites as open-minded people willing and even eager to challenge their own points of view. It looks like the university spiritual atmosphere is perfectly suited for this discussion.

 

“Invite a Muslim for Shabbat” – why not a Christian?


 

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld at Jewish Journal in “Invite a Muslim for Shabbat”:

 

It will be a very long time before I forget the news I heard this week of a 5-year-old Muslim child handcuffed at Dulles Airport on Saturday because he was deemed a security threat. … This past Monday night my wife came home and told me that a Muslim acquaintance of hers who she knows through work told her that his child is very scared and is crying non-stop since Saturday. We started talking about what we could do to help this child.

 

Every Friday night we host lively Shabbat dinners in which we usually entertain members of our congregation. But after hearing that story, my wife and I decided that we should invite this Muslim family for Shabbat dinner. A Shabbat dinner is a powerful opportunity to connect while breaking bread together.

 

—————-

 

I have reprinted this story not to discuss the police’s action – I assume the police may have their own legal reasons to do this. I have reprinted this story to discuss the decision of this rabbi – to invite this Muslim family to a Shabbat dinner.

 

Should we invite the non-Jews and possibly anti-Semitic non-Jews to our Jewish Shabbats? I believe it depends on the reason for invitation and the way of celebrating Shabbat.

 

If we celebrate Shabbat as a commemoration of God’s creation of the humans as equals in His likeness and image and therefore we invite the non-Jews to validate our belief in it before the invitees, such invitation is a spiritually noble one and a way of dispelling the anti-Semitic feelings toward the Jews.

 

If we celebrate Shabbat as a commemoration of our freedom from slavery in Egypt and as our spiritual duty as the Chosen to help everybody else to obtain the freedom from any oppressive force such as dictatorship, racism, slavery, anti-Semitism, etc., such invitation is a spiritually noble one and a way of dispelling the anti-Semitic feelings toward the Jews.

 

However, if we celebrate Shabbat just with an expensive family dinner and traditional Shabbat rituals (when we equate the commemorative discussions in the above to the work prohibited on Shabbat), the invitation of non-Jews to this Shabbat may enhance their anti-Semitic feelings about the Jews having luxury lives at the expense of the others.

 

From the news media:

 

The Kushners hosted Shabbat dinner for Trump Cabinet members. The gathering is the first indication of how the Kushner-Trump power couple will combine their White House roles with the demands of Shabbat.

 

—————

 

The Trump Cabinet members are mostly Christians, and this Kushners’ Shabbat with Christian invitees I believe should be imitated by other Jewish families who celebrate Shabbat. “Invite a Christian for Shabbat” may be much better to fight anti-Semitism than to “Invite a Muslim for Shabbat”.

 

Why?

 

There is no spiritual way to change the principle Islamic division of the world in two parts – the already Islamic one and the “to become Islamic” one. Of course, there are good Muslims who do not believe in this division of the world but they are a small minority unable to change the fundamental traditional spirituality of the entire Muslim world. There is no equal Jewish and Christian citizens in the perfect Islamic world. Therefore, “Invite a Muslim for Shabbat” may be a “good-feeling” initiative unable to find the common spiritual roots in Judaism and Islam and to dispel anti-Semitic beliefs in the Islamic world.

 

The majority in the Christian world has no spiritual objections against other religions and it acknowledges the Jewish fundamental roots in Christianity. Therefore, “Invite a Christian for Shabbat” may be a truly spiritual move able to strengthen Judeo-Christian foundation of the US and of the Western countries in general and dispel the anti-Semitic beliefs.  

 

 

 

For Trump, the government is business, not politics, and that is what we need


 

Indeed, for Trump, the government is business, not politics – and this is what we had missed for a long time.

 

In the politics, the elected government leaders are governing the country by finding the consensus of the governed. The consensus is at the core of any democracy, and until recent times it worked nicely.

 

President Bill Clinton on immigration:

 

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4351026/clinton-1995-immigration-sotu

 

In this video-presentation, President Bill Clinton underscored the failed immigration policies and related dangers for the country – the bipartisan consensus in the Congress on the topic was evident. Twenty years later, Donald Trump underscores the same problem and suggested solutions – no consensus at all.

 

————-

 

Nowadays the consensus is impossible to find – not only on the immigration but also on almost everything. The latest pro-Trump and anti-Trump manifestations, proclamations, accusations, marches and legislative battles are clear indication of that — in the demands of both sides there is nothing that could constitute a common ground. That is a clear indication that the US are in the state of a (cold) civil war as I described in one of my recent posts.

 

If that is the case, the only way to govern is to treat the government as a business, and Donald Trump is perfectly suited to do this. He was elected not to find a consensus in the nation but rather to “make America great again” as the majority that elected him envisions it, with the hope that the rest of population may appreciate the new social arrangements in the country. How the majority that elected him may find out that we are on the way of making America great again?

 

That is not that difficult – just recall what made America a great country at the beginning when she was truly great.

 

Below is a reminder of the social arrangements at the times of American greatness.

 

·         Judeo-Christian Bible-guided morality was directing the legislative work of the government with no religious authorities at the helm – this morality has to be restored and has to replace the human-made morality of “social justice and human rights”. The Judeo Christian Bible-guided morality is in essence the morality of the Ten Commandments in their American Judeo-Christian interpretation – to strengthen spiritually the nation and let the others follow if they are willing.

 

·         A small government consuming a minimal part of GDP without critical interference into the free-market economy through government imposed regulations – for example, to reduce the size of the government from the existing about 2/3 to 1/3 of GDP.

 

·         Helping the disadvantaged mostly through non-governmental charities with the government involved only on as-needed basis.  

 

·         An immigration policy that promotes the immigration of those who are eager to follow the Judeo-Christian morality of the country – not to weaken it by introducing rival moralities.

 

·         America was respected because of her moral, economic and military strength – not because of numerous free goodies provided to the others.

 

Is there a danger of a government, which is managed as a non-consensus business, of becoming a dictatorship? Of course, yes, and the citizens have to be vigilant. However, now that is the only way to “made America great again”.

 

From the news media:

 

“We congratulate President-elect Trump on his election victory and welcome his clear commitment to be a president for all Americans and to “bind the wounds of division” after a long and bruising campaign,” said Stephen M. Greenberg, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman & CEO, of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

 

“We look forward to working with President-elect Trump and his advisors in the transition before his inauguration and in the years to come during his presidency on the issues facing our country, as well as of specific concern to the American Jewish community including strengthening the special U.S.-Israel relationship, the rise of anti-Semitism and the security of the Jewish people at home and abroad,” added Greenberg and Hoenlein.

 

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder, and Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper praised Trump’s stated policy on Jerusalem. “We are buoyed by Donald Trump’s unambiguous commitment to a strong and safe democratic Israel and his recognition of Jerusalem as its eternal and undivided capital,” they said.

 

————–

 

Unfortunately, not all Jewish organizations appreciate the Donald Trump promise of restoring Judeo-Christian morality in America. Liberal Jewish organizations believe the weakening of Judeo-Christian foundation of America is beneficial to America, Israel and the Jews – and they are wrong!

 

It is serious – it is an American (cold) civil war


 

If somebody states we are in the state of a civil war, two questions must be answered – (1) what are the two fighting parties and (2) how to distinguish between the state of a civil war and the state of political disagreements.

 

(1)

 

The two US fighting parties are not what the mainstream news media and political pundits are presenting to us such as conservatives vs. liberals, democrats vs. republicans, rich vs. poor, men vs. women or blacks vs. whites.

 

One of the two fighting parties consists of the people of the traditional American Judeo-Christian morality who might be religious or secular. The people of traditional American Judeo-Christian morality are judging what is good and is bad in the nation by the Torah/Bible guidance (obtained genetically and by traditional education). The unquestionable leader of this party is the just inaugurated US President Donald Trump.

 

The other fighting party consists of the people of the establishment hegemony, who again may be religious or secular and who are judging what is good and what is bad in the nation by what strengthens their own power. In this fighting party, we find the government (all three branches at federal and state levels), the mainstream news media, various mighty social and political organizations, and even some private enterprises, which are thriving on taxpayers’ money. It looks like there are three leaders of this party – Former US President Barak Obama, Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders.

 

(2)

 

The state of political disagreements exists when there is a certain common set of national moral values and traditions, which the fighting parties are trying to reach using different political and social means. If that is the case, a compromise on how to proceed can be reached between the two parties – one, which has won the election and the other one, which has lost. Both parties are participating in governing. That was in the past of our country – it is not anymore.

 

The case of (cold) civil war exists when there is no more national unity on the set of national moral values and traditions and both fighting parties are trying to implement their own vision of governing the country by morally vilifying the adversary (the state of the cold war) or killing the enemy (the state of the hot war).

 

Here is what we have now in our political battles.

 

There is no common constitutional ground in the Supreme Court – the decisions are being made on strictly liberal vs. conservative interpretation of the Constitution. There is no common ground in the mainstream media – the news are presented on strictly pro-Trump and anti-Trump positions. There is no common legislative ground in the Congress – the laws are being made on a strictly partisan voting. There is no common social cohesiveness among the population – the massive rallies of pro-Tramp and anti-Tramp crowds are equally impressive with no attempts to find a compromise. After numerous legislative actions to find a common ground with African American community, we are losing the small pieces of commonality we have found in the past. There is no common ground on the foreign affairs. There is no common ground on the welfare assistance. There is no common ground on the “women issues”. Etc.

 

From the news media:

 

Outgoing President Obama refused to condemn the disruptive demonstrations erupting across the country against President-Elect Donald Trump and the violent attacks on his supporters.

 

With calls for an #InaugurationFast, liberal American rabbis navigate political and spiritual waters to lead their flocks in protest of the incoming administration.

 

Altering prayer to exclude Trump, rabbi taps into history of liturgical dissent.

 

The civil rights leader John Lewis: I do not consider Donald Trump a legitimate president.

 

 

 

So what to do? The history provides the guidance on how to become a victor in a civil war: the winning party suppresses and defeats the other party by the legislative means (if we are in the state of a cold civil war as it is now) while trying to look for a legislative compromise without compromising the traditional American Judeo-Christian morality.

 

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