Kingdom of Priests

Can the case be made in purely secular terms that Israel’s continuing existence should urgently matter to the United States? Because if not, Israel is in serious trouble. The Jewish state can’t rely exclusively on Evangelical Christians and, secondarily, Jews to ensure America’s continuing friendship. 

George Gilder’s fantastic book, The Israel Test, is out today and it makes that case. An excerpt from my Jerusalem Post review is here:

Some people see wealth-creation as a zero-sum game, where your enriching yourself means that you are taking something away from me. Others see wealth as almost miraculous. Material value is created from nothing — ex nihilo. That is, from nothing material — but from an idea, from creativity, from genius. In this view, your enrichment takes nothing from me. In fact, it creates opportunities for your neighbors to enrich themselves by doing business with you. Israel’s Palestinian neighbors, with their pitiful economy, have failed spectacularly to perceive this.

Elementally, there are two different personality types here. Where you come down reveals a lot not just about your politics — though political views flow from it — but about the orientation of your soul.

Zero-sum personalities often resent the rich and the gifted and may succumb to a temptation to punish them. Anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiments are a frequent consequence. Ex-nihilo personalities have no reason to resent Jews or Israel.

A nation populated by ex-nihilo types would see Israel as the embodiment of virtues its own citizens deem crucial to their happiness and prosperity. For America, abandoning Israel would mean rejecting values that have been key to our identity as a powerhouse of creative and commercial leadership. In simple terms, it’s bad for business.

That is the Israel test, in which Americans have a greater stake in choosing rightly than we do in any calculus based on the questionable premise that the United States must have a democratic ally precisely in the space between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

Read the rest at the JPost.
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