by Richard L. Rubenstein (August 2009)
Delivered to the New English Review Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee on May 30th, 2009.
In August 1999, I participated in an international Conference of Jewish and Muslim Scholars held in the city of Cordoba, Spain.  That was before Bill Clinton’s failed attempt at the end of his presidency to get Yasser Arafat to sign “the best peace deal he was ever going to get,” the Second Intifada, and 9/11. The atmosphere was relaxed and those who were willing to dialogue were more relaxed than they were likely to be thereafter. more>>>
Dr. Rubenstein's lecture at the New English Review seminar in Nashville several months ago was a superb and shattering indictment of modern Western culture's inability to recognize friends from foes, and good from evil. Our total lack of a moral center and our reluctance to condemn and fight evil when it attacks us is the foundation of the failure of all our efforts. If we do not re-find our moral compass, and set it to true north, we are all done.
I was privileged to hear Rabbi Rubenstein's talk at the Nashville symposium. The other participanats and I were all tired after a long day and the hour was late but the Rabbi kept us glued to our seats. His words need to be disseminated across this country to alll those who earnestly wish to understand the nature of the conflict Israel and Jews everywhere face in both its religious and secular dimensions. There is nowhere a better answer to four questions - What does Israel mean to the Jews? Why the conflict continues due to the failure of Arabs to internalize their defeats in 48, 56, 67, 73 and why Israel's supporters include so many evangelicals and why there is no need to be ashamed of this support as Leftist critics argue.