Archive for the ‘Precepts’ Category

Precept 1: The Endgame for Israel

March 29, 2011 Comments off
David Ben-Gurion (First Prime Minister of Isra...

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“If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up somewhere else” – The Great Yogi

In analyzing and developing policies, an obvious prerequisite is defining and understanding your desired outcome:  The Endgame.  One of the problems that often occurs when people are talking about Israel, Palestine and the rest of the Middle East, is that they talk past each other.  They almost immediately get caught up arguing facts (or myths), history, speculation, generalization, demonization, almost any damn “-ation” you can name.  But often they never bother to try to understand the framework of their arguments.  What is the outcome that they are looking for?  How can one determine if they are right or wrong unless they know what goal they are trying to achieve.

It seems that the endgame for Israel was defined at its very birth.  It goes back to the original Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel which David Ben-Gurion read aloud in the sweltering heat of the former Dizengoff home, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art on 5 Iyar 5708 (May 14, 1948).  The very essence of what the country stands for is contained in the 13th paragraph:

THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

I don’t think there can be a clearer, more succinct ideal that any of us who love the State of Israel could set for her.  And it follows from that that this should be the standard which the people of Israel and their institutions (government, the military, economic, and religious) should be measuring themselves against.  And fellow Jews everywhere should be  supporting Israel in reaching for that ideal. 

So, in summary, when analyzing policy decisions, using this definition, the endgame is the sustenance of Israel as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people.


March 29, 2011 Comments off
Pyle Precepts for print

precept [ˈpriːsɛpt]

n 1. a rule or principle for action

2. a guide or rule for morals; maxim

Over the next several months, I am going to write a series of short essays – I call Precepts – explaining the framework that I use in thinking about issues – particularly when it involves war and peace.  The United States is currently involved in overt military activity (“kinetic” seems to be the descriptive adjective de jour to apply here) in three different areas of the world.  We see images of bombs, fire fights, burned out tanks, and wounded and killed civilians – lots of wounded and killed civilians – wherever we look – in the newspaper, on TV, on the web, on our mobile phones.  And yet, we have little understanding of what, why and how we are doing what we are doing.  Our leaders seem caught up in endless partisan infighting, spewing political rhetoric like odoriferous spring fertilizer.  They cannot explain what our interests are (our Endgame).  Instead of being forthright in explaining the importance of energy, raw materials, shipping lanes, stable governments, etc., we get all kinds of wars.  Not just military warfare, but Wars on Drugs, Wars on Terror, Wars on Obesity.  The term War is used so often that it has lost its true meaning.  We are constantly at war – so war no longer seems to be such a terrible thing.  (Obviously the best treatise on the concept of constant war was written by George Orwell.  I commend you to re-read 1984.  I dare say that our current global relationships bear some resemblance to that of Oceania.  If you read carefully, although the visions are sometimes a bit more stark and excessive, you will see that much of the framework is recognizable.  Telescreens spying on our every move?  Between police cameras, security cameras and cellphone cameras, they say that you should act like everything you do is being recorded…)

All of that being said, my hope is to put together some little thought pieces that will pique your interests.  Each will likely start out very short, but I reserve the right to update, revise and expand each essay until it turns into a coherent worthy statement.

The first one follows this post.  It is a short note about the importance of defining one’s Endgame.

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