This will be an exceedingly short post. We go into Yom Kippur late afternoon Friday, and I will have no chance to write tomorrow. And so I do it now.
Wishing all those observing Yom Kippur a G’mar Chatima Tova. Maybe we be sealed for a good year, and may the Almighty watch over us.
Yesterday I expressed considerable unease about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statements voicing his on-going support for a “two state solution.”
Today I am happy to offer praise for a forthright stand he has taken on behalf of Israel. It all happened later in the day yesterday, after the two leaders met. But with the time difference (seven hours later here), I didn’t pick up full information until this morning.
In December 2012, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee had formally announced that it was going to launch a construction project at Givat Hamtos in eastern Jerusalem. (It encompasses an area of 170 dunams; bordered by Talpiot in the north, Gilo in the south, and Beit Safafa in the west.)
Last week, before Rosh Hashana, final announcement of plans to build came from the municipality – this was largely a technicality, as the formal decision to do this was already in place. Roughly 2,500 units are planned, half for Jews, and – please note – half for Arabs.
Yesterday, Peace Now, ever seeking to stir up matters, announced on its Facebook page that this building was going to take place. The timing of the announcement made it seem as if Netanyahu had suddenly approved a project that would undercut his declared intentions regarding that “two state solution.”
The White House, shall we say, was a tad distressed. The action that Israel is planning was “condemned.” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said:
”This step is contrary to Israel’s stated goal of negotiating a permanent status agreement with the Palestinians.
“This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from even its closest allies, poison the atmosphere, not only with the Palestinians but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations.”
But Netanyahu did not back down one iota, nor was his tone remotely apologetic.
He told reporters he didn’t understand why there was criticism: “Arabs in Jerusalem freely buy apartments, and nobody says that is forbidden. I will also not say that Jews cannot buy property in Jerusalem. There cannot be discrimination between Jews and Arabs.”
No one “stole” the houses in Jerusalem or took them over by force, he said. “This is a normal process, and I see no reason to discriminate.”
He minced no words about Peace Now, either. Without mentioning the group by name, he said it was exhibiting a “lack of national responsibility” by publicizing this in order to “harm the meeting.” It was not a “coincidence” that they published this information on the morning he was to meet with the president – the intention was to sabotage the meeting. The action taken last week, he indicated, was merely a “technical step” predicated on a decision that had been made much earlier, and there was no need to publicize it.
Netanyahu was absolutely on the mark, and seemed to me more forthright and candid than usual – projecting a strong sense of the rightness of Israel’s actions.
Interviewed on NBC by Andrea Mitchell, he was asked about the new settlements to be built in Jerusalem. His response:
“I think they [the Obama administration] should be acquainted with the facts first. You know? First of all, these are not settlements. These are neighborhoods of Jerusalem. We have Arab neighborhoods and we have Jewish neighborhoods.”
Yea, we know.
By: Arlen Willaims
But have libertarians learned something new, missing in America’s founding and history, something ignored by our founders, or for that matter those original Republicans who met in that little white schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854? If you see what those truths are, please tell me. All ears, as Perot would say.
There’s no doubt that Republican politicos and bosses must reorient or be retired from participation with Democrats in the massive assaults upon American liberty that have accumulated since our inception, since the Woodrow Wilson days, and now crescendoing into the 21st Century. But liberty requires sovereignty — and our mutual sovereignty requires mutual accountability. That’s what government is all about.
True freedom doesn’t come via the path of simply allowing raw human nature to take its course, but by getting out of the way of morally responsible human nature, Lincoln’s “better angels.” Perhaps Lincoln was making reference to the most famous passage of the most noted of the Federalist Papers, credited to James Madison. As Madison spoke of the separation of powers, he also referred to the necessity of adequately controlled government in the first place:
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.
— Federalist Paper #51 excerpt
There is such a thing as “good government” and while that is minimal by nature, government is an art of weighing by scales, not of leveraging reality to move it into ideals seated only in imaginations, whether to the “left” or the “right.”
In The Heartland Institute’s Donald Kendal does a fine job of calling for Republicans to pay attention to Libertarians Partiers, Ron Paul supporters, and their political allies:
Does the GOP Need to Start Listening to Millennials?
His article in turn, features this very laudable discussion between Mike Huckabee and millennials, to make the point of the need for elders to learn from younger adults:
My reply to Mr. Kendal and highly prized allies at Heartland:
Thank you. It becomes very apparent that patriots need to remedially train both Republicans and Libertarians, of all ages. Perhaps even Democrats if they will listen.
Americans need to re-learn and be re-taught authentic America, with The People as popular sovereigns under God, in charge of our servants in government, jealously maintaining state and national sovereignty to guard this, as charged us in the Declaration. We hope to do our part in The Sovereignty Campaign (http://SovCam.org).
Whatever the various deviations from this, including the libertarianism previously attempted in the tragic days of Rousseau, Voltaire (and Robespierre) the end result is always despotism and tyranny. The same will be true of standardless, unaccountable, and borderless Libertarianism, if left cloistered to its own more extreme ideology.