Sunday, 15 March 2009

The future for Israel-Palestine

At a meeting on February 23rd for Hesder yeshiva students about to enter the Israeli Army. Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior delivered a fiery and overtly political speech, calling for Israeli sovereignty over the whole of the Land of Israel and criticizing what he described as weak-minded IDF strategies in the face of Israel's enemies.

Citing the Torah, Lior noted that "200,000 Israelites and 10,000 Judahites fought Amalek. Why are the Judahites counted separately from the others? Because the Israelite army pitied Amalek. Today this is called being humanitarian.... Only the tribe of Judah did not pity Amalek, and destroyed it... The sons of Torah are taught not to pity their enemies.... We need ethics from the Torah, not the Christian world, which teaches to turn the other cheek. This hypocrisy is against human nature."

(Jerusalem Post 25.2.2009).

It is sad to hear such a travesty of Judaism from a rabbi. He forgets that Jesus was a Jew and that when he said "Love your neighbour as you love yourself." he was quoting the Torah. Ruthless warfare against people of another religion is more characteristic of those who launched the Crusades and the pogroms against Muslims and Jews. It was not part of Jewish history for two and a half thousand years - until it was revived by Israel.

Information has emerged that the CIA has prepared a confidential report, now no longer confidential, forecasting that the attempt to maintain Israel as a colonial state will collapse within 20 years, giving way to a one-state solution, giving equal rights and freedom of movement to citizens of all religions and of none, and accepting the return of the Palestinian refugees. It is suggested that up to two million Israelis will prefer to emigrate, mostly to the USA.

A democratic, secular, highly devolved and demilitarized state would presumably cease to be attractive to those who are 'Jewish' only by 'racial' criteria and would instead be a magnet to those who define themselves by their Jewish religion.

One may hope that the 'racial/national' definition of Jewishness will then disappear and people will be happy to forget what religion someone's ancestors followed. However there is now an Israeli nation of people who were born in Israel and who speak Hebrew as their first language. Justice and equality requires that they be allowed to continue to live in the country of their birth. Any attempt to expel them or to force them to abandon their language would be as heinous as the attempt to deprive Palestinians of their rights.

No comments:

Post a Comment