Episode 1: The Shameful Truth
This week (March 24) on Shabbat Night Live, the Yom Kippur War saw thousands of Israelis lose their lives. But it didn’t have to be that way.
Through first-hand experience in the NSA, Bruce Brill reveals the shameful truth that members of American intelligence agencies knew what was happening yet deliberately misled the Israeli government.
Watch the episode — included on this blog post.
While you watch, consider the questions below. The timeline for each discussion topic in the video is noted on each question. Post your answers in the comments section and let’s get some discussion going!
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 16:00) How does the sequence of events leading to the meeting between Brill and Michael Rood described here exemplify the providential ethos of life in Israel for those foreign visitors whose spiritual life becomes redefined in this democratic oasis within a desert of authoritarian hostility? How does the power of YeHoVaH to enlist unwitting servants manifest itself when individuals arrive in Israel only to receive a new apostolic agenda?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 20:00) Similarly, how do the heated debates described here regarding the integrity of a genuine biblical calendar dramatize the imperative of accuracy in our recognition of YeHoVaH’s manifestations through his creation? How do the attempts in this case portray the uncompromising desire for correctness as an inextricable element of obedience in the observation and protocols of those who would seek salvation?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 24:00) How does the sometimes irreconcilable factionalism within Israel – invariably viewed by many U.S. citizens as sectarianism – dramatize both the resilience of this nation and its ostensible fragility? How has the alarming scale of the recent protests against the current Netanyahu government led to premature charges in the Western press against ungovernability, despite its illustration of the democratic vigor of this controversial sovereign state?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 29:00) How has the war in Vietnam become an enduring paradigm for the troubled dynamic between conscientious citizens who believe in defense of freedom, loyalty to one’s home country, and adherence to Judeo-Christian morality? Is this controversial and divisive example of foreign policy likely to continue as a bellwether for those who would fight and others who would refuse involvement, all for the same range of principles?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 32:00) Similarly, how has this conflict and its aftermath given rise to the recurrent notion of compulsory national service, either in a military or civilian capacity? Despite the familiar image of individuals opting for feckless bureaucratic positions at taxpayer expense instead of being in harm’s way, how might such an option encourage those believers who would desire a means for charitable work as their choice for “fighting the good fight”?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 36:00) How has the rediscovery of Arabic by Western learners as a Semitic language family served to demonstrate the arrogance of wealthy nations during the peace and prosperity of the post-Cold War world? How did the sudden demand among agencies like the State Department and the military for speakers of this and other Middle Eastern linguae francae reveal a cultivated ignorance toward the looming threat of Islamic terrorism?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 40:00) Why has the so-called Yom Kippur War of 1973 become a virtually forgotten conflict in the study and teaching of postwar history? How can this event – which nearly resulted in the destruction of Israel as a nation – be viewed as a disturbing reminder to anti-Semites among the cultural Left of Jewish resilience in the face of persecution and of Israel’s formidability as a major player on the world stage?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 44:00) How does the ostensible failure of intelligence that led to the opening salvos of this war constitute a grim foreshadowing of the events of September 11, 2001? How do the withering documents that surfaced after the terrorist attack provide an example of the reluctance to engage in defense of ourselves or our allies in the presence of short-term political interests or longstanding economic alliances?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 48:00) How does the disingenuous conduct of the IDF and the Pentagon regarding vital intelligence of Arab forces mobilizing on Israel’s borders demonstrate a level of complexity and unsettling cynicism? How does this exemplify Orwell’s contention that such acts “can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of political parties”?
- (VIDEO TIMELINE: 52:00) Similarly, how does this development suggest the weakening of the American concept of independent agencies and an incremental growth of collusion between NGO’s, intelligence organizations, and the federal government? How does the foreshadow the obstructive midlevel buffers between tradecraft and unelected, appointed groups that were fictionalized by John Le Carre or Graham Greene?
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