Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton once said that the American State Department is dominated by “moral equivalency” which applies especially to State’s morally neutral policy toward Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This means that State, consistent with the academic doctrine of cultural relativism, makes no significant distinction between good and evil regimes. American foreign policy thus tends to be morally neutral or value-free.
Carry the logic a step further. The State Department’s foreign policy requires its envoys or diplomats to be morally neutral or value-free. But to be morally neutral or value–free is to be shameless! This is the logically inescapable implication of the State Department’s mind-set. Hence, it’s reasonable to assume that this is the mind-set of Martin Indyk, former U.S. envoy who was chosen by the Obama Administration to mediate negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the basis of Moral Equivalency!
Four years ago I wrote a review of Martin Indyk. Indyk was born in England 1951 but grew up and was educated in Australia. He graduated from the University of Sydney in 1972 and received a PhD in international relations from the Australian National University in 1977. He immigrated to the United States and later gained American citizenship in 1993.
Indyk has taught at the Middle East Institute at Columbia University and at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. He served two stints as U.S. Ambassador to Israel, from April 1995 to September 1997 and from January 2000 to July 2001.
On April 19, 2010, Indyk wrote an op ed. item in the New York Times blaming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the rift with the Obama administration. He went so far as to say “Israel has to adjust its policy to the interests of the United States.”
Like his Washington handlers, and consistent with the moral equivalency that permeated his university education, Indyk has long advocated a Palestinian state. He should have no problem on that issue with Mr. Netanyahu who in effect manifested the same moral equivalency on June 14, 2009 when he endorsed the “two state solution” to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
One does not require military expertise to arrive at a former U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff conclusion that a Palestinian a state would endanger Israel’s existence. This is why Netanyahu insists that a Palestinian state must be demilitarized and barred from forming alliances with any Arab regime—a non-sequitur in international law.
Be that as it may, since no Palestinian leader would survive a day if he accepted such limitations, and since Bibi has the flexible spine required by the American State Department’s policy of moral equivalency, we should expect Bibi to flex his spine more than his muscles vis-à-vis Martin Indyk.
We certainly can’t expect Indyk to be holier than the Pope. After all, Bibi, like the American State Department, behaves as if ignorant of, or indifferent to, the murderous and mendacious character of Arab-Islamic culture. It matters neither to him nor to State that Egyptian-born scholar, the intrepid Bat Ye’or, has called Islam a “culture of hate.” Likewise, it matters neither to him nor State that another intrepid woman, Syrian-born psychiatrist Wafa Sultan, is so contemptuous of Islam that, unlike Bibi, she doesn’t deem Islam worthy of being called a “civilization.”
So what is to be expected of a diplomat like Martin Indyk whose university education has imbued him—as it has the American State Department as a whole—with the shameless doctrine of moral equivalency?
By the way, the intellectual and moral level of Indyk’s academic credentials and diplomatic posts reminds me of George Orwell’s assessment of British academics of the 1930s who held diplomatic posts in the Chamberlain government. Orwell saw that Britain’s intelligentsia was steeped in moral relativism, and that this pernicious doctrine had enfeebled Chamberlain’s foreign policy.
The same decadence is evident in the moral equivalency that Ambassador Bolton (with dismay) saw in the America State Department. No wonder: State has more PhDs than any other department of American government. Let me spell this out in the clearest terms, which requires a candid but unpublicized view of higher education in the democratic world, the education of the university graduates that shape the foreign policies of the secular democratic state.
Inasmuch these graduates, who have been virtually indoctrinated in moral equivalency and cultural relativism, are now pursuing a career in the cynical domain of international politics where power and economic interests predominate, do not expect them to take evil seriously. This means that the State Department diplomats referred to by John Bolton tend to behave like children who take civilization for granted!
Thanks to their morally neutral education, they are abysmally ignorant of what is required to preserve civilization. Smug and steeped in the moral equivalency, which they do not even recognize as shameless, they are oblivious of how much hard work and stamina, how much self-sacrifice and heroism, are required in each generation to defend civilization against its enemies. Think of how much it cost in blood and treasure for America to save Europe from barbarism in the last century—the barbarism threatening Israel today by Arabs animated by the genocidal charter of the Palestinian Authority.
But what does this matter to Martin Indyk and Benjamin Netanyahu, neither of whom has the spine of intrepid women like Bat Ye’or and Wafa Sultan?
Prof. Paul Eidelberg (Ph.D. University of Chicago), former officer U.S. Air Force, is the founder and president of the Israel-America Renaissance Institute (I-ARI), www.i-ari.org, with offices in Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He has written several books on American and on Jewish Statesmanship. His magnum opus The Judeo-Scientific Foundations of American Exceptionalism: Today’s Choice for the “Almost Chosen People" is in process of publication. Prof. Eidelberg lives in Jerusalem.
Prof. Paul Eidelberg is a political scientist, author and lecturer; Founder and President, Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, a Jerusalem-based think tank for improving Israel's system of governance. He is a valued contributor to Right Truth.
His books are available at Lightcatcher Books. His most recent book is: Toward a Renaissance of Israel and America. His recent books are: A Jewish Philosophy of History and The Myth of Israeli Democracy: Toward a Truly Jewish Israel. His previous book, Jewish Statesmanship: Lest Israel Fall, provides the philosophical and institutional foundations for reconstructing the State of Israel. It has been translated into Hebrew and Russian. He is the author of Toward a Renaissance of Israel and America (Lightcatcher Books, 2009).
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