Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Glucksmann on "The Jerusalem syndrome"

I just read a brief essay by Andre Glucksmann, written during last year's war in Lebanon (as opposed to this year's?). I consider it a must-read. Take a few minutes and check it out...

Andre Glucksmann: The Jerusalem syndrome - signandsight

(an excerpt:
A hypocritical geopolitics, which ordains the Mideast as a basic pillar of the world order, has become the religion of the European Union, the belief of the unbelievers and of the doubters of the west. Post-modern thinkers have no justification in proclaiming the end of all ideologies. In fact, we are swimming in an ideological illusion and have secretly exchanged our deceptive hopes for a final battle with a fearful incantation conjuring a catastrophe to end all catastrophes, that is just as absolute. While our head swarms with surrealistic ghosts, our heart perceives, in every photo from Lebanon, the death of humankind. Jerusalem is only the centre of the world because it is considered the centre of the end of the world. Our illusions feed on apocalyptic notions.

And so every Mideast conflict is like a rehearsal for the end of days. Just look at the undefinable war of cultures, if you need convincing. And anyone taking that position is resigned to a self-fulfilling prophecy. The years of bombing of Israeli cities by the rockets of the Party of God become a foretaste of the Iranian godfather's promised destruction. And so, as Clausewitz already noted with irony, it is not the aggressor who starts the war. Instead it is he who steps in to stop the aggression. So Israel is guilty. Guilty of a collectively fomented fantasy of the end of days. From surrealistic geopolitics to delusion - just one step.

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