Skip to comments.Let go of the 'One Ring' (ORC Alert!)
Posted on 10/26/2004 12:00:50 PM PDT by Alouette
"One ring to rule them all" Those are the words that echo in my head as I watch the Israeli opposition to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's proposal to leave Gaza and portions of the West Bank.
As an American Jew who has visited Israel over a dozen times, I have a natural enthusiasm and empathy for the Zionist project. However, like many, I believe that Israel's current geopolitical course is unsustainable.
As I watch the attempt of settlers to hold onto settlements scattered through Gaza and parts of the West Bank, I am forced to conclude that a segment of Israeli society, no matter how well-intentioned or idealistic, is falling into a body-and-soul-destroying trap.
That was the trap that Gollum, Tolkien's anti-hero, fell into. Tolkien's characters, to be sure, were warned: The Ring bore the inscription "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."
And just as Gollum fell in love with the One Ring beautiful, corrupting, destroying so today some Israelis are enraptured by visions of a reborn Davidic monarchy.
But that vision belongs solely in liturgical texts. It is a nostalgia that, if politically pursued, stands to have the same success and consequences as the Tower of Babel and the Golden Calf.
In the novels, two Hobbits, Frodo and Sam, recognize the dangers posed by the One Ring and struggle to rid themselves of it in the only way possible, by returning it to the place of its creation, Mount Doom. They succeed, but only with enormous sacrifice.
And Gollum, who is portrayed as a tragic and vaguely sympathetic villain, is destroyed.
Israel has its own One Ring. That would be Gaza and the portions of the West Bank, lodged amid the Palestinian populace.
Israel should take a lesson from Tolkien, rid itself of its "One Ring" and dismantle the settlements in Gaza and the West Bank's isolated settlements and outposts.
Practically speaking, parting with Gaza would mean an end to governing one million Arabs. Giving up Gaza would also make it easier for Israel to remain a viable Jewish democracy.
For years, the Arab and Muslim nations have sought to destroy Israel by any means necessary. Thankfully, they have failed. But recently, a new and subtler form of destruction has loomed.
Voices from Teheran to the European Union to The New York Times op-ed pages have called, not for the military annihilation of Israel but for the creation of a single, binational state.
Although folly, it is an idea that will gain currency for as long as Israel holds onto Gaza and swaths of the West Bank.
Moreover, retaining Israeli settlements in Gaza and expanding them in the West Bank will continue to corrupt religion in Israel in the same manner as the sale of the hereditary priesthood corrupted Judaism during the Second Temple.
SETTLEMENT of the West Bank was not solely the idea of Israel's Orthodox population. Settlement along the Jordan Valley was a strategic decision made by a secular Labor government back in the late '60s. Yet in the decades since, an unrealistic strategic vision has become an even more unrealistic religious vision.
In the Ring trilogy, the head of the order of wizards, Saruman, becomes enamored with possessing the One Ring. Because of his quest for earthly power Sauramon is corrupted and ultimately destroyed.
In our own history, the Bible records the rebellion of Korach, a man who brazenly challenges Moses and Aaron in an unsuccessful attempt to seize the positions of ruler and priest.
The One Ring has already left its disfiguring mark on Israel, as zealotry has infected the country's politics. We see that in the hilltop youth young zealots who, eschewing intellectualism and chancing martyrdom, garner their religious validation by menacing Arab villagers and destroying Arab crops.
Indeed, some religious settlers and their supporters claim that Palestinians are the incarnation of the Amalekites.
Now, according to recent reports in The Jerusalem Post, a number of extremist Israelis performed a "holy water" libation ceremony which they hoped would "lay the foundation for instituting a Jewish king, a Jewish court and the Third Temple."
A participant explained: "We want a Jewish monarchy in Israel, and not a secular government with secular political parties. The decisions made by the majority are not decisions since the majority is stupid."
Let's not expect rational or survivable statecraft from those who invoke God's name as a cudgel. What we can hope for is that a rational democracy will come to its senses and take steps to remain a viable and defensible state.
Israel should leave Gaza for its own sake. Otherwise a Gollum-like fate awaits as it pursues a Ring of Land that may well cast that light-unto-nations into a final darkness.
The writer served as a political appointee in the administration of former President George H. W. Bush.
As someone who is very familiar with the Tolkien Trilogy, I very kindly suggest that Lloyd Green go back and reread every single one of the books and view the motion picture a few more times.
His analogies are so false and distorted that he makes an argument in favor of handing over "The One Ring" to Sauron, because he is the true owner, having forged it in the first place.
Does Lloyd Green recognize these words:
"These are the terms," said the Messenger, and smiled as he eyed them one by one. "The rabble of the Zionist Entity and its deluded allies shall withdraw at once to the 1949 Armistice lines, first taking oaths never again to assail any nation of the Arab League in arms, open or secret. All lands East of the Jordan Valley, called by the Zionists 'Shomron' and 'Judea' shall be Muslim forever, solely. West of the Jordan Valley as far as the Mediterranean and the port of Eilat and the town of Sderot shall be tributary to the Palestinians, and Jews and Christians there shall bear no weapons, but shall have leave to govern their own affairs after paying the jizya that is due to the Muslims from all infidels. But they shall help to rebuild Ramallah which they have wantonly destroyed, and that shall be Al Qaeda's, and there his lieutenant shall dwell; not Arafat, but one more worthy of his trust."
Looking in the Messenger's eyes they read his thought. He was to be that lieutenant, and gathered all that remained of Israel under his sway; he would be their tyrant and they his slaves.
These are the words spoken by the Mouth of Sauron in Chapter 10 of Return of the King. It also sounds very suspiciously like Lloyd Green's "peace plan" but if he actually understood the author of the trilogy and the message it was intended to convey, he insists on giving the One Ring to Sauron and allow only orcs to dwell in Gondor and Ithilien.
Lloyd Green has made it clear in his essay that he considers The Bible to be the equivalent of the "Ring of Power" and that Jews must throw away their religion and give away their G-D-promised land to enemies who have sworn to destroy them utterly.
J.R.R. Tolkien, a devout Christian and an admirer of the Jewish people, would not have been pleased with Lloyd Green's distorted and twisted analogy of his work.
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Your son stays in my prayers, Alouette!
I remember when settlers were encoured to make those areas their homes. Now Israel is telling them......whoops, sorry, we changed our mind.
These people were exploited for gain and now are being discarded. I understand their fury.
This is a Warrior of Gondor:
Anyone wishing to be added to or removed from the Ring-Ping list, please don't hesitate to let me know.
Every time I read over the Mouth of Sauron's "terms for peace" it sounds like so many real-world surrenders.
From the post: "the Third Temple "
One of the seven signs
I think when leaders listen to too many voices - some being the ones who would destory them - the trouble starts and continues to grow -
Outsiders are outsiders - when you start treating them as one of the many - and give weight to their voice - destruction can't be far behind - No matter which "nation" is involved -
in my opinion -
The "one ring" represents "sin". It is disgusting that this writer equates "one Israel" with the "one ring". Filth!
The LORD rebuke him.
One way or another, Israel will be destroyed. This is the goal.
Your answer was spot-on, and brilliantly composed! Please put me on your ping list.
That demonstrates the exiguousness of his mental powers.
No thanks -
His terms mean tyranny and theft. Excellent analysis, Alouette. Reading what he proposed gave me shudders.
I am glad to learn this. From his enthusiasm for pre-chr*stian, pagan mythology (mostly Nordic) and his assertion in the appendices to The Return of the King that there was no language similar to Hebrew in Middle Earth I suspected him of being one of those "civilizationist" types who seem to carry a virus against `Am Yisra'el deep down in their system. Plus, I once had a RP game based on The Lord of the Rings (which I never played, since it was so complicated) whose description of Gollum struck me as being exactly that of the Jewish people given my anti-Semites. At any rate, I rejoice at a rightwing Catholic who admired the Jewish People. Would there were more! (Though I must express puzzlement as to why Tolkien and Lewis get free passes for their fantasies while that genre falls under a general condemnation by religious conservatives.)
Okay, I've confessed my "sinful thoughts" and repented, so please no piling on my by Tolkien fanatics. I've read the books too (even the Silmarillion).
PS: The Torah is to reality what Tolkien's mythology is to "middle earth."
Actually he didn't say that. What he did say was that there were no "hobbit names" derived from Hebrew. He uses the "im" plural form very frequently in his various languages.
Much of Lord of the Rings is derived from the same sources that Wagner used to compose his opera cycle Das Ring Der Nibelungen. Howard Shore's movie score, while not at all Wagnerian, makes use of the leitmotif theme for each character, a signature of Wagner.
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