Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gilder on Israel -- a review

Cliff May reviews George Gilder's book, The Israel Test

At this juncture, it is probably not just useful but necessary to note that George Gilder is not Jewish. In other words, the case he makes for Israel has no basis in religious or ethnic affiliation. At the same time, not being tethered to Israel or to Jews allows him to be blunt in a way few of Israel's Jewish defenders dare.

For example, he says that people "who obsessively denounce Jews have a name; they are Nazis." He does not hesitate to apply the term to Arab and Iranian leaders who exhibit such behavior. He contends, as well, that the "most dangerous form of Holocaust denial is not rejection of the voluminous evidence of long-ago Nazi crimes but incredulity toward the voluminous evidence of the new Holocaust being planned by Israel's current enemies. Two Iranian presidents have resolved to acquire nuclear weapons for the specific purpose of 'wiping Israel off the map.' "
Gilder has much more to say - more challenging arguments and perplexing questions than I can summarize in a brief column. But his underlying thesis is straightforward: The future of freedom, democracy, capitalism, America, the West and the tiny state of Israel are all tied together in a single knot. Israel is "not only a major source of Western technological supremacy and economic leadership - it is also the most vulnerable source of Western power and intelligence."

Israel is, Gilder contends, "not only the canary in the coal mine - it is also a crucial part of the mine." If Americans will not defend Israel, they will "prove unable to defend anything else. The Israel test is finally our own test of survival as a free nation."

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