have often noted, the most dynamic and influential religion of the past hundred
years has not been Christianity, let alone Judaism, the two religions that
created the Western world. Nor has it been Islam. It has been Leftism.
has influenced the literary, academic, media, and, therefore, the political
elite far more than any other religion has. It has taken over Western schools
from elementary through graduate.
most of that time, various incarnations of Marxism have been the dominant
expressions, and motivators, of Leftism: specifically, income redistribution,
material equality, and socialism. They are still powerful aspects of the Left,
but with the downfall of most Communist regimes, other left-wing expressions
have generated even more passion: first feminism and then environmentalism.
comes close to environmentalism in generating left-wing enthusiasm. It is the
religion of our time. For the Left, the earth has supplanted patriotism. This
was largely inevitable in Europe, given its contempt for nationalism since the
end of World War I and even more so since World War II. But it is now true for
the elites (almost all of whose members are leftists) in America as well.
was most graphically displayed by the infamous Time magazine cover of April 21, 2008, which altered the most
iconic photograph in American history — Joe Rosenthal’s picture of the Marines
planting the flag on Iwo Jima. Instead of the American flag, the Time cover
depicted the Marines planting a tree. The caption on the cover read, “How to
Win the War on Global Warming.” In other words, just as German and Japanese
Fascism was the enemy in World War II, global warming is the enemy today. And
instead of allegiance to the nation’s flag, now our allegiance must be to
the antithesis of the Judeo-Christian view of the world that has dominated
Western civilization for all of the West’s history. The Judeo-Christian
worldview is that man is at the center of the universe; nature was therefore
created for man. Nature has no intrinsic worth other than man’s appreciation
and moral use of it.
of nature was the pagan worldview, a worship that the Hebrew Bible was meant to
destroy. The messages of the Creation story in Genesis were that:
created nature. God is not in nature, and nature is not God. Nature is nothing
more than His handiwork. Therefore, it is He, not nature, that is to be
worshipped. The pagan world held nature in esteem; its gods were gods of nature
(they were not above nature).
Nature cannot be worshipped because nature is amoral, whereas God is moral.
of creation had one purpose: the final creation, the human being.
the demise of the biblical religions that have provided the American people
with their core values since the country’s inception, we are reverting to the
pagan worldview. Trees and animals are venerated, while man is simply one more
animal in the ecosystem. And he is largely a hindrance, not an asset.
February 20, a pit bull attacked a four-year-old boy, Kevin Vicente, leaving
the boy with a broken eye socket and a broken jaw. Kevin will have to undergo
months, perhaps years, of reconstructive surgeries. A Facebook page was set up
to raise funds. But it wasn’t set up for Kevin. It was set up for the dog. The
“Save Mickey” page garnered more than 70,000 “likes” and raised more than
enough money to provide legal help to prevent the dog from being euthanized.
There were even candlelight vigils and a YouTube plea for the dog.
nonprofit legal group defending Mickey is the Lexus Project. According to CBS
News, “the same group fought earlier this year for the life of a dog that
fatally mauled a toddler in Nevada.”
the trend: Nature over man.
why environmentalists oppose the Keystone pipeline: Nature over man. The
pipeline will provide work for thousands of people, and it will greatly
increase the energy independence of Canada and the United States. But to the
true believers who make up much of the environmentalist movement, none of that
matters — just as they didn’t care about the millions of Africans who died of
malaria as a result of the environmentalists’ successful efforts to ban DDT.
the fathers of environmentalism is John Lovelock, the scientist who originated
the Gaia hypothesis of the earth as a single living organism. Sunday, a writer
for The Guardianreported that
Lovelock now has a few criticisms of the movement he helped start: “Talking
about the environmental movement, Lovelock says: ‘It’s become a religion, and
religions don’t worry too much about facts.’” Some of us wonder if the latest
IPCC report doesn’t worry too much about facts.
also told the interviewer “that he had been too certain about the rate of global
warming in his past book . . . that fracking and nuclear power should power the
UK, not renewable sources such as windfarms.”
K. Chesterton prophesied over a hundred years ago: “When people stop believing
in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything.”
now clear that of the many issues on the table in Israeli-Palestinian
negotiations, the recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish
people is perhaps the most contentious one. So much so, that the Arab League
included an absolute rejection of such recognition in the closing declaration
of its annual summit last week.
it seems a theoretical issue, with no practical meaning, it could still wreck
the entire negotiating process. But why? How come acknowledging Israel’s nature
(which Secretary John Kerry has rightly pointed out was recognized by the
international community back in the Partition Plan of 1947) is so difficult for
the Arab side? Does it really have to be so difficult?
the Israeli perspective, it is a justified and legitimate request. If Israel is
expected to give up strategic territory and bring its border as close as 22
kilometers from its main metropolis, it has to be assured in return that a
peace agreement with the Palestinians puts an end to all future demands. If the
Arab side continues to dream about dismantling the Jewish state—and to act accordingly—it
makes no sense for Israel to give up territory.
undermining of the post-agreement Jewish state can be achieved either by
attempts to flood it with Palestinian refugees and their descendants, or by
fomenting unrest and demanding autonomy and later on independence for the Arab
minority inside Israel, or by sheer force.
crystal clear message from the Arab side that the conflict is over, merits
ceding territory. Such a clear message means acknowledging that Israel is the
nation-state of the Jewish people, and will remain so.
officials, however, have raised concerns. They correctly observed that such
recognition would mean accepting the Israeli narrative regarding Jewish rights
over some of the land. Indeed, a peace agreement and a process of
reconciliation would necessitate an update of the Arab narrative that views the
entire land as exclusively Arab and Muslim.
since the Jewish narrative evolved along the years, so can the Palestinian
narrative change. Back in 1919, when Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann,
laid out Zionism's claims in Versailles, the map he presented included all the
territory west of the River Jordan (and areas in today's Lebanon). Jews saw the
entire land as theirs, but as soon as 1937, the Zionist movement was ready to
accept less than that vision.
same process of Israeli accommodation can be traced in its views regarding a
Palestinian independent state, which was anathema to the Israeli leadership
until late in the 1980s. Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir even famously said
that there was no such thing as a “Palestinian people.” In the last 15 years,
however, all Israeli prime ministers have accepted, reluctantly or not, the
notion of a Palestinian sovereign state in the territories.
Palestinian argument against recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is that it
would jeopardize the status of the Arab minority in Israel. But a Palestinian
recognition would not damage nor improve their status. The Palestinian
leadership was never the custodian of the Israeli Arabs’ rights; in fact, their
rights as minority members are protected in the Israeli Declaration of
Independence, in Israeli law and in court rulings. Regardless of Palestinian
recognition, Israel sees itself as a Jewish state, which didn’t prevent it from
preserving the rights of its Arab citizens. In other words, Palestinian
recognition is needed for the bilateral relations with Israel, but will have no
effect on Israel’s domestic issues.
but not least, Palestinian officials claim that recognition would mean giving
up their demand that millions of refugees and their descendants return to
Israel. That is absolutely true: Palestinians must decide whether they want to
replace the post-agreement Israel with yet another Arab state, or to live
peacefully side by side next to Israel. If their choice is the latter, they
should have no problem resettling the refugees and their descendants elsewhere.
And in that case, they should have no problem in recognizing Israel as the
nation-state of the Jewish people. Only such recognition would mean that the
conflict is over.