David Klinghoffer, a frequent contributor to National Review, often uses selective readings from rabbinical tradition to push neocon doctrine. Here, he has 12th c thinker Moses Maimonides arguing for National Greatness:
In an “optional” war, the king needs the approval of his legislative branch, the Sanhedrin of 71 expert sages. But with this approval secured, he may go to war to enlarge the nation’s borders, or to pursue “greatness” and “reputation.” Such a “reputation” is a defensive strategy. When other countries cease to regard your nation with awe, for instance if it tolerates violence against its citizens, this invites disrespect, which invites physical attack.
How about genocide?
[I]t will shock modern sensibilities that he is unconstrained by our familiar imperative to distinguish between civilians and soldiers. Women and children are to be saved, but: “If [the enemy] does not accept peace…, one makes war on them [even to the point of] killing all the adult males.” This is a distressing idea; but as recent events demonstrate — with Saddamite guerrilla operatives in civilian dress ambushing U.S. forces — a man out of uniform is no less capable of mayhem than his uniformed counterpart.
Klinghoffer himself is a convert to Judaism. (As a child, he was adopted by a secular Jewish couple.) [url=http://www.killingthebuddha.com/critical_devotion/wwad.htm]This review[/url] of his book [i]The Discovery of God: Abraham and the Birth of Monotheism[/i] makes some interesting points about the convert’s zeal, including this:
[i]Klinghoffer divides the Jewish people into “Natives” and “Converts.” The Native, complacent in the unexamined acceptance of the faith he or she is born into, “is incomplete as the model of godly life.” The Convert, meanwhile, supplies the zealous passion necessary “periodically to revive [the] community.” Desperate to fit in, the Convert looks at the contemporary world and obsessively asks, What would Abraham do? W.W.A.D.[/i]
Notice the implicit contempt for ethnic Jews? Klinghoffer is quite fond of “born-again Zionists,” too, who often blend political support for Israel with [url=http://www.ajcongress.org/pages/RELS1999/JAN99REL/jan99_05.htm]personal anti-Semitism[/url]. Israeli citizens ought to take another look at their American allies– with friends like these. . .