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Politics' Dark Energy

By Assaf Sagiv



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Zig Ziglar, the famous marketing guru and motivational speaker, once said that an optimist is a person who goes after Moby Dick in a rowboat and takes the tartar sauce with him. On June 4, 2009, still riding the wave of messianic optimism that carried him into the White House, President Barack Obama set himself a no less presumptuous task: He was going to conquer the Muslim world—armed only with his rhetorical skills and plenty of goodwill.
Infused with a sense of historic mission, Obama mounted the stage at Cairo University that day to deliver an inspiring speech. After years of tension and hostility, fed by his predecessor’s hawkish policies, Obama sought to mend his country’s relations with the many millions of Muslims who had come to view America as the “Great Satan.” His words were not without criticism, but the overall tone was sympathetic—to put it mildly. “I have come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition,” Obama declared, proceeding to heap praise on Islam and its myriad contributions to humanity. After outlining his plan for dialogue and cooperation, he finished with a summons:
I know there are many—Muslim and non-Muslim—who question whether we can forge this new beginning. Some are eager to stoke the flames of division, and to stand in the way of progress. Some suggest that it isn’t worth the effort—that we are fated to disagree, and civilizations are doomed to clash. Many more are simply skeptical that real change can occur. There’s so much fear, so much mistrust that has built up over the years. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward. And I want to particularly say this to young people of every faith, in every country—you, more than anyone, have the ability to reimagine this world, to remake this world.
All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort—a sustained effort—to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.1
More than a year later, it is clear that those “eager to stoke the flames of division” have gained the upper hand. The overtures of the kinder, gentler America were roundly rebuffed; indeed, its standing in the Middle Eastern arena has only deteriorated since that dramatic speech. Turkey, until recently a key ally of both the United States and Israel, is gradually shedding its Western garments in favor of Iran’s embrace; Tehran is marching brazenly toward nuclear armament; Lebanon is held hostage by Hezbollah; Syria seems to enjoy its membership in the “axis of evil” after all; the Palestinians show little enthusiasm for productive political negotiations with the Jewish state; Hamas, firmly entrenched in Gaza, is rearming for another, deadlier clash with the IDF; and Iraq hovers on the precipice of total collapse—all this, while the bloody campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan looks more hopeless by the day. If Obama’s Cairo speech was meant to pave the way to a new, more stable and secure Middle East (for the Americans, at least), we’d have to conclude it was a miserable failure.
The president’s critics, both at home and abroad, were quick to point out the basic flaw in his approach: the belief that mere declarations—grand and genuine though they may be—have the power to heal wounds inflicted decades, even centuries ago. The ability to stir a crowd, they said, may get a politician elected, but it won’t make him a successful statesman—and they’re right. The truth, however, is that these critics only scratched the surface of the problem. After all, Obama was preceded by a long line of visionary leaders, each of whom sought to spread the gospel of brotherhood and love, and to put an end to bloody conflict. Some even backed up their pronouncements with far-reaching actions. Alas, these efforts all too often ended in bitter disappointment. It is therefore worth asking once more: Why does appeasement fail time and again? Why do peace-seeking people, the American president foremost among them, have such trouble getting through to the ultranationalists and fundamentalists of the world?
The answer—even a partial one—will not be found in the pragmatic, rational world of international diplomacy. Instead, we will need to search a deeper and darker realm of the human psyche, in which consciousnesses are born and identities formed; a place, that is, in which passion and violence, and not understanding and agreement, rule.
 
To be sure, Barack Obama did everything in his power to distance himself from what cosmology would call that “dark energy”: the mysterious force driving galaxies apart at an accelerated rate. Indeed, his appearance in Cairo was a masterpiece of positive communication. Based first and foremost on the assumption that the most important step in furthering dialogue between nations and cultures in conflict is recognition, Obama couldn’t seem to recognize enough. He made mention, among other things, of the debt humanity owes to Islam; of the proud tradition of tolerance in Muslim societies; of Islam’s being an inseparable part of the American story; of the continued suffering of the Palestinian people, and the broad support Hamas enjoys among that troubled nation; and even of the right of Iran to access nuclear power, so long as it is used for “peaceful” purposes. If what Obama’s addressees desired was recognition, they need hardly have looked farther.
Recognition, in its various iterations, holds a special place in the diplomatic lexicon. For some time, however, the term has also stood at the center of a vigorous discussion in philosophy and the social sciences. The starting point was the famous analysis of the master-slave dialectic that first appeared in Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s monumental work of 1807, Phenomenology of Spirit.2 Presented as a type of parable or myth, the dialectic takes the form of a drama in which two figures interact with each other. In describing this encounter, Hegel asserts a necessary stage in the formation of self-consciousness and the creation of social relationships.
The story begins with the attempts of the consciousness, early on in its development, to achieve validity for its absolute independence in the world. It understands that the affirmation it seeks is possible only by means of others’ recognition—that is, other living consciousnesses outside of and apart from it. Yet the presence of these other consciousnesses, which demand similar independence for themselves, threatens the sovereignty of the self; to prevail, the consciousness must engage in a “life-and-death struggle” against them. In this sort of struggle, the consciousness that proves fearless, and is willing to risk even death to obtain the desired recognition, wins. However, this same need for recognition also prevents it from destroying its enemy completely. Thus does the struggle end with the establishment of an asymmetrical relationship between two figures: the “master,” who won in battle on account of its willingness for self-sacrifice; and the “slave,” who preferred to surrender rather than lose its life.
Ostensibly, the master enjoys total dominance. But the recognition he receives from his underling is insufficient, as the slave is, to the master’s mind, an inferior creature, more an object than a subject. The master believes that he is free, but in truth he exploits his authority only to realize his base animal desires; as such, his dependence on those who are subject to him deepens even further. The slave, for his part, has been demoralized and debased, but his situation is not hopeless. For the more he struggles, through his work, to satisfy the desires of the master, the more he discovers not only his finitude and his limitations, but also his productive abilities, and his status as an active power in the world. Ironically, he develops a higher level of self-awareness than that enjoyed by his master. This trend leads, in time, to a new formulation of their relationship, one based on mutual recognition. Put simply, the consciousness comes to perceive itself as autonomous on account of the approval it receives from other consciousnesses, equal to it in status, and to approve their autonomy in kind.
Over the course of the past two hundred years, the master-slave dialectic has been discussed again and again in the writings of prominent intellectuals and theoreticians, from the young Karl Marx through Alexander Kojטve and Jacques Lacan, and even Francis Fukuyama. True, certain streams of postmodern thought present Hegel as the very embodiment of the destructive aspiration to totality in the Western tradition. But philosophy has never really managed to step out of his giant shadow. In fact, the Hegelian analysis of recognition has recently returned to the forefront of political discourse, mediated by thinkers such as Germany’s Axel Honneth and Canada’s Charles Taylor.
Honneth, a prominent representative of the third generation of the Frankfurt School, views recognition as an act with moral significance. It is, he believes, the opposite of reification, which reduces people’s worth to the level of an object or “thing.” In his essay “Recognition as Ideology,” published in 2004, he explains:
To recognize someone is to perceive in his or her person a value quality that motivates us intrinsically to no longer behave egocentrically, but rather in accordance with the intentions, desires, and needs of that person. This makes clear that recognitional behavior must represent a moral act, because it lets itself be determined by the value of other persons. When we take up the stance of recognition, the evaluative qualities of the other, and not one’s own intentions, are what guide our behavior.3
Taylor shifts the discussion to the public sphere, in which oppressed and excluded groups struggle for the recognition of their collective identities. In an influential essay written in 1992, Taylor points to the injustice done to different groups in society when they are prevented from satisfying this “vital human need.” “Our identity is partly shaped by recognition or its absence, often by the misrecognition of others,” he determines, “and so a person or group of people can suffer real damage, real distortion, if the people or society around them mirror back a confining or demeaning or contemptible picture of themselves.”4 Following Hegel, Taylor concludes that the only way to right this wrong is to establish “a regime of reciprocal recognition among equals.”5
Honneth and Taylor’s claim that recognition is the basis of all healthy human relationships corresponds to the agenda advanced by “identity politics” since the 1970s. The demand for recognition has been raised by a myriad of groups: movements fighting for political independence or regional autonomy; activists committed to protecting the rights of the oppressed; organizations seeking to further multicultural policies. Recognition of difference has become the bon ton of the enlightened camp, a bulwark against the drive toward homogeneity embedded at the heart of the old, hegemonic order.
To be sure, identity politics’ shortcomings have not escaped radical theorists. The bulk of their criticism is aimed at these politics’ neglect of claims for redistributive social justice—the traditional goal of the left—in favor of a focus on purely symbolic gestures.6 Some, such as Nancy Fraser, have noted additional problems. Warning of the narcissistic potential embedded in the politics of identity, Fraser writes:
Paradoxically, moreover, the identity model tends to deny its own Hegelian premises. Having begun by assuming that identity is dialogical, constructed via interaction with another subject, it ends by valorizing monologism—supposing that misrecognized people can and should construct their identity on their own. It supposes, further, that a group has the right to be understood solely in its own terms—that no one is ever justified in viewing another subject from an external perspective or in dissenting from another’s self-interpretation. But again, this runs counter to the dialogical view, making cultural identity an auto-generated auto-description, which one presents to others as an obiter dictum. Seeking to exempt “authentic” collective self-representations from all possible challenges in the public sphere, this sort of identity politics scarcely fosters social interaction across differences: on the contrary, it encourages separatism and group enclaves.7
Fraser may be right; the identity model, based on the expectation of recognition, may indeed encourage “separatism and group enclaves.” But it is doubtful if this model can be blamed for the calamities generated by extreme forms of hatred toward the other. These forms, which have been with humanity since antiquity, are so resistant to the idea of dialogue, and to any outside perspective, that there is no escaping the conclusion that perhaps those individuals who embody them have a lesser need—or no need at all—for recognition. Perhaps whatever drives them will be satisfied not by “the affirmation of positive qualities of human subjects or groups,”8 in Honneth’s words, but rather by confrontation itself—that is, by a relentless war against an irredeemable enemy.
 
In truth, Hegel’s description of the struggle for recognition is problematic because it fails to take into account the truly destructive potential of human conflict. According to the model he describes, neither side in the struggle seeks the total elimination of the other: The longed- and fought-for goal is recognition, not annihilation. But Hegel’s point of reference was the limited European warfare of his time—warfare that was, as the Prussian theoretician Carl von Clausewitz wrote, “the continuation of policy by other means.”9 The twentieth century, by contrast, was characterized by a different, and incomparably deadly, type of conflict: “Total war.” This kind of engagement, which is driven by extreme (national, messianic-utopian, racist, or religious) worldviews, takes as its goal nothing less than the absolute defeat, if not physical extermination, of the opposing side.
The horrors of World War II—foremost among them the Holocaust of European Jewry—and the scourge of Islamic terror, along with a host of attempted genocides and ethnic and ideological “cleansings” that together have taken the lives of tens of millions of victims, all attest to the fact that certain identities simply are not grounded in the dialogical, inter-subjective foundation Hegel described. They are, rather, based on a wholly different, dichotomous scheme, one that pits the collective self against an absolute enemy. Yet this enemy is no “mere” adversary. Rather, it embodies the demonic “Other,” the very opposite of what is good and worthy in the world. Its presence constitutes a moral outrage, an insult to God, a corruption of creation. To compromise with it is conscionable only as a tactical step, a lull in an ongoing campaign whose end is victory—or oblivion.
For people who evince this Manichaean worldview, external recognition is of marginal importance at best. Their political, cultural, and religious consciousness solidifies, and hardens, on account of the antagonism that defines their existence. What lends them a sense of purpose is the very struggle in which they are engaged; their perception of the sworn enemy as an entirely evil force is precisely what enables their collective identity to cohere, to form an ideal self-image that is devoid of all defect. It is this self-image to which they loyally cleave, and which they will protect with deadly fervor. Yet the driving impulse behind their actions is generally not the positive impression of themselves that they cultivate, but rather the enmity they feel toward their “significant other.” Political scientist Daniele Conversi coined the term “antagonistic identity” in this context. “Such an identity,” he writes, “is one constructed essentially through the opposition of the ingroup to one or more outgroups. All identities are in some way based on opposition, but an antagonistic identity focuses more on the need to define one’s own group by negative comparison to others, and by exclusion.”10
Unfortunately, the Middle East has proved fertile ground for antagonistic identities. Radical Islam, of the sort found in Iran, South Lebanon, Gaza, Afghanistan, and Sudan, is a clear example. Though its campaign against the West and its allies has gained momentum only recently, it draws inspiration from an age-old jihadist tradition. As the Orientalist Emmanuel Sivan explains:
Perhaps the primary contribution of jihad lies in the dichotomy it creates between Muslims and all external, heretical groups, which are fundamentally evil; there are no degrees in this matter (aside from idolaters, who are considered the most evil of all heretics). “All heretics make up one group,” says a hadith (oral tradition). Thus coexistence over time is certainly not a plausible political option. If August Nitschke’s claim that “groups can be most clearly understood when we ask: how does the group look at its enemy?” is true, then we have in our hands a key to understanding a central element of the Islamic worldview.11
Of course, the jihadist worldview is only one of the factors that turned the Middle East into a battleground. The Arab world’s grudge against the West feeds from a whole trough of grievances, in particular the frustration born of its confrontation with modernity. It is telling, however, that the primary target of its hostility is Israel. Indeed, it is hard to overstate the intensity of this hatred, or the scope of its impact; it spans generations, unites religious and secular, nationalist and leftist, intellectual and fellah (peasant) alike. In the words of Fouad Ajami, respected scholar of the Middle East, the animosity toward the “Zionist enemy” is “the one truth that could not be bartered or betrayed, the one sure way to back the old fidelities… [it is] the inner space and sanctum, which would remain inviolable and intact.”12 Iraqi-German journalist Najem Wali, who visited Israel in 2007, emphasizes that “Palestine is the main issue in Arabic-speaking societies, a topic that has become a type of fairy tale, the essence of the lost Arab dream.” He recalls slogans to which he was exposed in his youth, such as “there is no life without Palestine and no peace unless every inch of it is returned… peace will not dwell [there] until the Dome of the Rock is liberated from the ‘Zionist scum,’ no matter how many people must be sacrificed; even if the number of people uprooted by the Israeli army from the villages in which they lived for generations grows, the important thing is, in the end, to fulfill the dream.”13 Wali goes on to describe the extent of the Arab obsession with Israel:
This rhetoric presumes to be revolutionary, and attempts to convince the masses that there is no solution to the conflict over Palestine apart from use of force. Many of us recognize it from childhood, even from Arabic language and writing lessons: When the teacher asked his students to write something about summer vacation, it was clear that you were to write about Palestine. For instance, “When I sat in the coffee shop with my grandfather I suddenly saw a beggar coming in with her daughter. I asked my grandfather why the woman was begging for money, and he answered: Because she is a Palestinian refugee that the Zionist enemies uprooted from her land.” Or a student who began speaking with: “And as for Palestine….” Everything leads to Palestine. A despot who rules for his entire life, detains people, and has them killed does it in the name of Palestine; an officer who abuses a soldier in his unit and degrades him does it in the name of Palestine; a dictator who instigates wars, does it in the name of Palestine… this obsession pervades the media, especially newspapers and journals. An educated person who opposes suicide missions and calls for peace is accused of capitulation. An educated person who visits Israel is accused of collaboration with the enemy.14
This fixation, which calls to mind Cato the Elder’s famous saying, Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed), makes plain that the persistent opposition to a sovereign Jewish presence in the Land of Israel is not just a byproduct of Arab identity. Rather, it is carved into that identity’s very foundations. Indeed, it has proven itself a powerful catalyst for the growth of both Arabic (primarily Palestinian15) nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism. Regrettably, it thrives even in countries such as Egypt and Jordan, which signed peace treaties with Israel. All of the Jewish state’s efforts at reconciliation over the years could not dispel the deep-seated Arab aversion to its very existence—a sentiment that is often accompanied by outbursts of vitriolic, violent antisemitism.
Of course, the Jewish tradition has its own objects of hate. And while the intensity of its acrimony has waned somewhat over the years, it has not disappeared entirely. A prime example is that of Amalek, Israel’s mythical enemy from its days of wandering in the desert. The biblical commandment to erase the memory of Amalek16—to wipe out not just the men, but also the women, children, and even property of this tribe—is perceived by many as a precedential command for methodical genocide (to be sure, antiquity knew no small number of mass murders, but usually they were absent a noticeable ideological motivation). The struggle against Amalek is not just another banal geopolitical conflict between two ethnic groups; rather, it is a metaphysical struggle between the sons of light and the sons of darkness. Midrash Tanhuma emphasizes, with regard to the phrase “the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation,”17 that this conflict is an inseparable part of the historical existence of the Jewish people, and will go on until the very end of days:
The Holy One said, “From generation to generation”: I am last for generations and generations.… R. Eliezer says from the generation of Moses until the generation of Samuel. And R. Yehoshua says from the generation of Samuel until the generation of Mordechai and Esther. And R. Yossi says from the generation of Mordechai and Esther until the King Messiah.18
Ironically, it is the Jewish tradition itself that has preserved the memory of Amalek long after any traces of this obscure collective have disappeared from the pages of history. The term “Amalek” has been transformed from the name of a specific people into a fairly flexible indicator, which can be tailored to fit various enemies in various times and places. “The notion of ‘the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation’ is not confined to a certain race, but includes a necessary attack against any nation or group infused with mad hatred that directs its enmity against the community of Israel,” Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik explained. “When a nation emblazons on its standard, ‘Come, let us cut them off from being a nation so that the name of Israel shall no longer be in remembrance,’ it becomes, thereby, Amalek.”19 As generations passed, the name has been attached to a long line of nations that persecuted the Jews: Romans, Russians, Germans, Arabs, and even Armenians.20 Today, it occasionally rears its head in radical right circles, in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it can hardly be said to take center stage in Israeli public discourse. For most Israelis, “Amalek” is simply an expression, taken from a bygone lexicon that is ill-suited to a modern, enlightened, tolerant society which yearns for peace with its neighbors.
Obviously, none of the abovementioned identities—Islamic, Arab, or Jewish—rest on one single, constitutive principle of enmity. All are characterized by rich cultural and moral content, and a good number of their bearers hold relatively moderate and open views. It cannot be denied, however, that the antagonistic component is an integral part of their psychic infrastructure, and is today only gaining in strength. Radical ideologies, which reject any and all possibility of compromise with the West and its allies, are spreading like wildfire in the Middle East and beyond. Clearly, no amount of rhetorical posturing will dampen these flames.
 
“Note how much hatred, clandestinely, aims and hits the mark,” writes French philosopher André Glucksmann, “how it intelligently recruits the masses, very, very far from the miserable complaints and the personal grudges. Questions: Why does hatred not stop when it reaches the barriers of rage stemming from character? Why is it revealed as contagious and able to kindle the surroundings? A hypothesis as an answer: because it touches, under its disinterested appearance, the most fundamental challenges of the human condition.”21
It sounds strange to talk about a “prejudice” against hate. After all, hatred itself is responsible for the lion’s share of prejudices. And yet, sworn optimists treat this powerful emotion with no small amount of derision. Just as Plato’s followers believed that evil was devoid of essence, and in truth nothing more than the absence of good, so the indefatigable supporters of appeasement are of the opinion that extremism and aggression are residues of misunderstanding and ignorance—and as such, they can be extinguished through productive dialogue and progressive education. Unfortunately—and unavoidably—their adherents come crashing down to reality every time. People want to hang on to their hatred, just as they want to hang on to their identities. The two, it turns out, are at times inextricably bound together.
How to deal with such a pernicious, persistent phenomenon? History holds the answer, although it is a difficult and merciless one: Nations or cultures that raise war against the “enemy” to the level of a national ethos or a divine command leave the battlefield only after an especially painful blow. Not, that is, merely a humiliating defeat, which arouses in the vanquished a passion for vengeance, and the hope of one day restoring his stolen honor. Rather, a traumatic blow of the sort that leaves an indelible mark on the collective consciousness. Christian Europe chose the route of religious tolerance only after it had been ground down by a series of deadly clashes between Catholics and Protestants in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Germany and Japan, two nations that had basked in their militarism, renounced war only after their cities were razed in World War II. And the Jewish nation, an obstinate people if ever there were one, overwhelmingly abandoned the path of fanaticism and violence—if not the deeply rooted grudge that accompanied it—only after the terrible destruction inflicted upon it in the course of three unsuccessful rebellions against the Roman Empire.
The democratic world of the early twenty-first century is a far cry from the Roman Empire of the first century C.E. Indeed, it can hardly stomach the actions of its defenders in World War II, a mere six decades ago. The State of Israel, established on the ruins of hundreds of Arab villages, cannot today occupy even a single neighborhood in a Palestinian refugee camp without incurring the wrath of global public opinion. In these limiting, even impossible conditions, it is doubtful that the battle against Islamic terrorism and the dark tyrannies of our time will reach a definitive outcome in the foreseeable future. We can only hope that the leaders entrusted with our safety do not repeat the mistakes of their predecessors, imagining that they can overcome deep-seated hatreds with naïve gestures of appeasement. To defeat the primeval monsters haunting our soul, we will need a harpoon—not tartar sauce.

Assaf Sagiv
November 2010
 
 
Notes
1. For the full text of the speech, see www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-cairo-university-6-04-09.
2. See Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A.V. Miller (Oxford: Oxford, 1977), pp. 111-119.
3. Axel Honneth, “Recognition as Ideology,” in Bert van den Brink and David Owen, eds., Recognition and Power: Axel Honneth and the Tradition of Critical Social Theory (New York: Cambridge, 2007), p. 337.
4. Charles Taylor, “The Politics of Recognition,” in Amy Gutmann, ed., Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition (Princeton: Princeton, 1994), p. 25.
5. Taylor, “Politics of Recognition,” p. 50.
6. See Grant Farred, “Endgame Identity? Mapping the New Left Roots of Identity Politics,” New Literary History 31:4 (Autumn 2000), pp. 627-648.
7. Nancy Fraser, “Rethinking Recognition,” New Left Review 3 (May-June 2000), pp. 112-113.
8. Honneth, “Recognition as Ideology,” p. 329.
9. Carl von Clausewitz, On War, trans. Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton: Princeton, 1976), p. 87.
10. Daniele Conversi, The Basques, the Catalans and Spain: Alternative Routes to Nationalist Mobilisation (Reno: University of Nevada, 1997), p. 5.
11. Emmanuel Sivan, The Clash Within Islam (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2005), p. 47 [Hebrew].
12. Fouad Ajami, The Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generation’s Odyssey (New York: Pantheon, 1998), pp. 309-310.
13. Najem Wali, Journey into the Heart of the Enemy (Tel Aviv: Sifriat Poalim, 2009), pp. 18-19 [Hebrew].
14. Wali, Journey, pp. 19-20.
15. See, for example, the observation of historian Yehoshua Porath:
The sanctity of Jerusalem in Islam and in Christianity, the setting up of the administrative unit of Filastin by the Arab conquerors, the survival of this unit in various forms during the course of Muslim rule, and the rise in the status of the district of Jerusalem after the first half of the twentieth century—all these factors contributed at the start of the twentieth century to the development of Filastin as a concept having geographical and religious significance. This nonpolitical concept began to take on political significance as a result of pressure from an external, foreign element, namely Zionism. Even before the First World War, but in the main after it, Zionism was seen by the Arabs of Palestine as a phenomenon which set out to change the national and religious status quo of the country. They responded at first with suspicion which was in many ways a product of the difference in lifestyles and social habit but which gradually turned into enmity. It was the desire to prevent Zionism from being realized that motivated the Arabs of Palestine to organize themselves politically and to formulate the main points of their stand, which negated Zionism and claimed the country for its indigenous inhabitants.
Yehoshua Porath, The Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, 1918-1929 (London: Frank Cass, 1974), p. 304. Similar statements were made by historian Benny Morris: “But, of course, the chief recruiting agent for Palestinian Arab nationalism was Zionism itself. Above all, the fear of and antagonism toward the Zionist enterprise fueled national awareness and passions in the salons, coffee shops, and streets of Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Haifa.” Benny Morris, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War (New Haven: Yale, 2008), p. 12.
16. Deuteronomy 25:19.
17. Exodus 17:16.
18. Tanhuma, Ki Tetze, 11.
19. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Listen, My Beloved Knocks, ed. Jeffrey R. Woolf, trans. David Z. Gordon (New York: Yeshiva University, 2006), p. 79. Soloveitchik is quoting Psalms 83:5.
20. See Elliott Horowitz, “From the Generation of Moses to the Generation of the Messiah: The Jews Confront ‘Amalek’ and His Incarnations,” Zion 64:4 (1999), pp. 425-454 [Hebrew].
21. André Glucksmann, The Discourse of Hate (Paris: Plon, 2005), p. 73 [French].
 
 

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