Mitt Romney and the Moral Clarity of the Israeli/Arab Conflict

There are a few issues where the difference between right and wrong — good and evil — are so stark that the wrong answer reveals not merely error but a fundamental defect in moral reasoning — in the very ability to discern truth.  Domestically, abortion is the cardinal example.  That some Christians believe women should have a legal right to hire a doctor to dismember her child in the womb is nothing short of mind-boggling.  It’s a symptom of a deep moral decay and frequently spills over into a potpourri of other issues — where self-indulgence and personal autonomy trump all other values.

In the realm of foreign policy — of war and peace — the Israeli/Arab conflict represents another example of a stark divide between good and evil.  That some Americans (and perhaps most Europeans) side with the virulently racist, openly genocidal culture of the modern Arab Middle East over a vibrant, pluralistic democracy is — again — nothing short of mind-boggling.  Israel has faced attempted genocide again and again — in 1948, in 1967, and in 1973 armies mobilized for the express purpose of destroying the Jewish state.  Iranian officials openly threaten a nuclear holocaust, and stadiums full of “Arab Spring” Egyptians act more like young Nazis in a Nuremberg rally than they do like the Facebooking hipsters of popular legend:

It is against this backdrop that Mitt Romney’s Jerusalem speech was so clarifying. I agree with Daniel Pipes, it was significant that Mitt emphasized the moral bonds between America and Israel.  By doing so, he reminds us that American foreign policy — indeed, American national purpose — is about more than naked self-interest.  He reminds us that not all international conflicts are about mere shades of gray.

In the West we seem to be plagued by the faux sophistication of post-colonial, post-modern, post-Christian relativism — to the point where Israel’s occasional excesses in self-defense place it on the same (or inferior) moral plane to those who wish to end its very existence.  Barack Obama seems to view the state of Israel as a geopolitical annoyance.  Mitt Romney sees it as a modern miracle.

Like Dr. Pipes, I was moved by Mitt’s closing line: “May God bless America, and may He bless and protect the Nation of Israel.”

We need that kind of clarity in the oval office.

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  • Evan Maughan

    Mitt believes, as a matter of faith, that the United States was a nation created with divine aid. The founders were inspired of God and the revolution divinely aided. He also believes that Israel was a nation that has been reestablished with divine aid. It was great to hear him acknowledge this connection and add clarity and voice to those who support Israel.

    Let the critics gnash their teeth and throw there barbs, Mitt made me proud to be one of his supporters as I listened to that speech. Too many voices in the world are against Israel (too many calling good evil and evil good), president Romney will be a strong counter against those that fight against a nation founded by God.

  • TimShawSr

    Gov. Romney’s constant reference to the ancient and modern history of Israel, along with his discussion of the moral standards which binds America and Israel together, makes it clear that he looks at the issues facing Israel, America, Iran, and good vs evil, has been playing out since Adam and Eve were in the Garden. It pleases me to hear Gov Romney, as does Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, understands this as a struggle between good and evil.

    When I played that video above, with the Iranians calling for a “New Holocaust” I didn’t even have to know the words they were speaking, I could just sense in my spirit evil.

    Liberals mock this notion of there being “evil” in the world. They have long ago thrown out the idea of standards being absolutes. To them everything is relative. While conservatives still believe that there is this constant battle between good and evil, or righteousness and evil. And, it made me very assured that Gov. Romney spoke in those terms when facing down Iran, the great source of so much evil, hatred and bloodshed.

    This relativism is one reason conservatives find it so difficult to be governed by liberals, especially those of the extreme left. As David said, what sort of relative moral thinking could lead anyone to think ripping your babies limbs, one by one, out of the womb was okay? Relative moral thinking can take you almost anywhere. But conservatives are routinely mocked for even thinking there are cornerstones of reference for good and evil.

    So, this trip to Israel was very reassuring for this Romney supporter to hear him speak in these absolute terms in that part of the world where politicians often get waffley on this topic. And especially to ask the Lord’s blessings be upon the state of Israel. I am hoping for similar talk in Poland.

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  • Josh Brewer

    You wrote of the “virulently racist, openly genocidal culture of the”…but then you didn’t write “Zionists”? Strange inversion, that.

  • Brantley Gasaway

    “Moral clarity”? David, I’ve come to regard you as a thoughtful conservative whose ideas I respect. And I come to your blog to be challenged. But I am astounded by this post. I’m not sure that we have the time or space to have a productive conversation on this issue, for I would argue that to suggest moral clarity on this issue–and to equate it with abortion–reflects a willful ignorance of the historical background here and the ongoing Israeli oppression of Palestinians.

    Yes, by all means let us condemn any and all acts and attitudes of violence directed toward Israelis. But to ignore the legitimate grievances and the suffering of Palestinians is irresponsible. Close friends of mine are working with Palestinian Christians right now at Bethlehem Bible college, and I shudder to think how they would respond to your simplistic support for Israel. Again, I absolutely agree that this does not mean that we should overlook the evil of those who call for the destruction of Israel. But such calls should not blind us as Christians to the injustices perpetuated by Israel and, yes, our own country.

    May God bless and protect Israel–but may God equally bless and protect Palestinians (indeed, ALL people) as well.

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  • Darin Scott

    Amen to that!

  • Phillip Hall

    The first paragraph of this article is chicken soup.

  • Evan Maughan

    Magnifying the wrongs of one group (Israel) and minimizing the wrongs of the other (Palestinians) does not equate to moral equivalence between the two groups. Were there Zionist who were terrorist yes (ironically its the Brits that suffered the most), are there Palestinians today who do not support terrorism, yes. Are the Palestinians at the same level of moral equivalence as Israel – not even close.

    Babylon – the world hates Israel and continues the great lie that Israel is to blame for all the problems in the Mid East. Let’s put this in secular terms. Politicians and tyrants of the failed states in the middle east love to us Israel as a scape goat – life is horrible, blame the Jews. The rest of the world will play along to some extent because they love the oil, play nice with the totally screwed up disfunctional arab states lest they not sell you the black gold.

    Careful with your sources about the arab- Israeli conflict because they’re are many who wish to vilify the Jews: the Left, Arab leaders, European nations kissing up to the Arabs, the Russians who have never liked Israel, the Chinese who need the oil and like to play against the U.S. and the people who only hear one side of the story and have a strong sense of victimization (because their life is harsh and none wish to look in the mirror for blame).

  • Brandon from NJ

    The real issue here is realizing the nature and tangled web involved with the whole conflict, as you mentioned. Not only are there Palestinians who don’t like the violence, there are Palestinians who live under the Israeli government, under their laws. Israel is tolerant toward many religions, and while no nation has ever been perfect, Israel is a very decent place for plenty of people seeking refuge from the instability and turmoil that is quite rampant in the Middle East. However, there’s a vast misinformation and terror campaign from various political interests against the idea that one should try living under the Israeli system. If plenty of leaders in the Middle East were more honest about how Israel really is, there would be almost no need for conflict.

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