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While Judaism, Jewishness, and Zionism combine in the interest of Hebrew ethnolinguistic cultural and spiritual survival, the religion probably should not be confused with the practical motivation for related ethnic survival. For anti-Semites only, it’s all the same — Jews, Jewish faith, Israel, Zionism — but attacking Zionism in the age of tolerance becomes the more sustainable ploy.

In contemporary animus and conflicts targeting Jewish life, there are four themes:

1. Absolute Power — political power consolidated in one ruler;
2. Capricious Law — because the ruler is the law;
3. Idolatry – the ruler lays claim to divine right or historic inevitability for his legitimacy in power, and progressively conflates his image with God or the State, and expects followers to respond appropriately — or else!
4. Sadism — with confusion as to what is God and what is human, the permit to exercise a singular will to make others suffer with impunity comes into play.

However any may care to think about any number of political and religious figures in history, I feel the above describe the character of tyrants, small or large, or men or women on the way to becoming tyrants.

The Jewish program embedded in Christianity and Islam — attractive in Rome and useful in consolidating the Arab world — unfailingly promotes (from the git-go in Genesis) human consciousness, self-consciousness or self-awareness, and, most important of all, the possession of a human conscience. Moses later becomes the lawgiver who would oppose Pharaoh in the exercise of his contention that he himself was as if a god.

Game over.

The defense and transfer of concept over thousands of years has been apparently painful. The Jews, we Jews, are a mixed lot, including the atheist portion, but common to all has been mutual good regard, from Adam to Netanyahu, and the development of a conversation through time about divinity, ethics, and morality. We know discipline and order too, but Torah-derived or induced argument (regarding Isaac, should Abraham have talked back to God?) has led to a compendium of law sufficient for living, working, and trading in peace worldwide.

As an ethnolinguistic cohort, the Hebrews could grow only so much in numbers as Hebrews, but the uptake in Christianity and Islam fills in the story.

The “Abrahamic Faiths” should get off the bloody medieval and tribal merry-go-rounds and revisit their “operating instructions” line by line and in the context set by time — BCE, CE, feudal, medieval, mercantile, possibly “post-modern” — and eject the absurdity of global competition based on being born with a few labels in place.

As time is spacious and timeless, what other work than that of fostering ethnolinguistic cultural survival and co-evolution by producing a global political atmosphere in which mutual good regard matters.

Reference Off to the Side

Oppenheim, Lassa.  “International Law: A Treatise.”  London, New York: Longmans, Green, and Co, 1905.

While “The West” draws its shape also from Greek and Roman civilizations, the “Judeo-Christian” contributions in thought and in woefully bloody history serve to have produced so far deeply desired and survivable codes of conduct and of law.  Whether we’ll be able to enlarge the familiar term to “Judeo-Christian-Muslim” contributions remains to be seen, for as implied by way of the awesome conversation, what Baghdadi has put on demonstration smacks of absolute power, capricious law, idolatry, and sadism, all of which greater portions of Islam seem to be rejecting as I type.

American Islamic Forum for Democracy.  “Declaration of the Muslim Reform Movement / Signed by AIFD (December 4, 2015).

Berman, Ilan.  “Morocco’s Islamic Exports: The Counterterrorism Strategy Behind the Mohammed VI Institute for the Training of Imams.”  Foreign Affairs, May 12, 2016.

Varagur, Krithika.  “World’s Largest Islamic Organization Tells ISIS to Get Lost.”  The World Post / Huffington Post, December 3, 2015.

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