Tuesday, October 26, 2004

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What, Exactly, is the Conflict?

A Time to Choose by Yaakov Nathan

There are those who would describe this as a battle of Democracy versus demagoguery, freedom versus oppression, free-market versus feudalism. The other side describes it as a battle against the global purveyors of immorality and G-dlessness: between believers and infidel non-believers. Among those nations that support terrorism, the conviction of the rightness of their cause is firm and unshakeable. No matter how horrific the acts of terrorism become, no sense of moral stock-taking seems to occur. In the West, by contrast, self-doubt reigns and a tense inner struggle is occurring; but this inner struggle is no less important than the larger external struggle.

The culture of the West has two distinct roots: on the one hand, it is deeply rooted in Pagan indulgence and self-gratification; on the other hand it is connected to the Torah of Israel and its clear definitions of right and wrong and its call to pursue Justice. This mix of oil and water has been maintained for close to two thousand years, but has never and can never be reconciled. The current conflict is bringing these divergent roots to the fore, each one struggling to establish its primacy and to rid itself of the burden of other. The illusion of a marriage between them is disappearing, and within the West each individual is finding that he is being forced to choose whether he is "with us or against us." Increasingly, we are coming to realize that the grey area, the fence sitting, the trying to have it both ways, is no longer a viable option.

Read the whole article.

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