The lips of the wise are the doors of a cabinet; no sooner are they opened, but the treasures are poured out before you.  Like unto trees of gold arranged in beds of silver, are wise sentences uttered in due season.

Khemetic Saying

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Yesterday’s presentation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was a significant moment in American history.  “Why?” you might ask.

His words did four things.  One, he correctly identified Iran as an aggressive and expansionist nation that is hostile to us and whose conduct destabilizes the Middle East.  Two, he pointed out the serious flaws in the content of our ill-conceived negotiations with Iran regarding their development of nuclear capabilities.  Three, he identified Iran as a state that employs terrorism to reach its objectives.  Four, he reminded us that a fundamental objective of Iran as it is presently constituted is the eradication of Israel and the Jewish people.

Yet, at that he even did more – he put before the American people and the West this implicit and correct critique: we in the West have moved a great distance away from who we have been historically and who were most decidedly in the immediate years after World War II – that is, the pillar of freedom, security and civilization in a conflicted world.

The Prime Minister’s words prompt us to ask ourselves: Have we not strayed from who we are and have been?

In listening to Mr. Netanyahu, I kept thinking of the German-Russian Non-Aggression Pact of August 1939.  I pondered that neither the U.S. nor England conceived of entering an agreement with either of these hostile and expansionist entities.  We had better sense than to expect such a treaty was a workable option with either nation.

Of course, within eight days of the treaty Germany invaded Poland and in short order Russia began annexing countries to their west.  By June of 1941, Nazi Germany invaded Communist Russia.

Where did our good sense come from in 1939?

Well, the evidence of Germany’s hostile intent was visible and we heeded it. Likewise, Lenin and Stalin had shown us how Communist Russia was governed.

From 1925 to 1933, the Germans showed their hostility to Jews, Catholics and others.  They nibbled at the acquisition of land to their west.  They re-armed and were openly militant.  Their public language was hostile and aggressive, their actions dampened freedom. From 1933 to 1939 their intent to exterminate Jews was established by their actions.

Mr. Netanyahu has brought us back to that time and makes us ask: Who are we? Do we now engage in agreements with those whose actions and interests are hostile to us, our friends, and Western Civilization?  Do we act to advance the malevolent intentions of others?

Guided by faith, we can avoid mistakes and in our honesty and leadership present the opportunity to diffuse aggression in the hopes of future friendship. Less than that and we fuel conflict.  Less than that and we are less than we have been and must be.

Shalom.

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