Monday, May 27, 2013

I wrote this newspaper column regarding the boy scouts before the vote was taken. My friends and former congregants from Sacramento may remember the events surrounding the formation of the Scouting Sabbath program and decision by the leadership to cancel it once the Union of Reform Judaism issued a statement condemning the Boy Scouts for their policy.
Thanks for taking the time read the piece and as always your opinions are always welcome.


williambilek said...

Sadly, Rabbi, to those with some knowledge of "the truth" of the situation, and of the Arab-Israeli conflict, this column makes little sense.

There are those who know the truth, but, infected with the age old virus of hatred for the Jewish People, knowingly twist that truth, with the goal of ending the brief re-birth of Jewish nationalism, and with it the ability of the Jewish People, after 2000 years of subjugation and persecution, to defend themselves, determine their own lives and future, in the land which defines and identifies them, and with which they identify. That goal, so clearly stated by Arab, including Palestinian leadership, has been clearly and repeatedly exposed in word and deed, and is no different than the goals of the Romans, the Spanish Inquisition, Nazi ideology, etc.

There are those who know the truth, but for some inexplicable reason believe that if they obfuscate it, perhaps they will "fit in better" with the "majority". After all, there are over 7 BILLION people in the world today, over 1.2 BILLION of those are Muslims. There is merely a speck of (maybe, hardly, perhaps)13 million Jews worldwide. Sadly, again, there are some, even among those 13 million, who, intentionally or not, work to undermine the existence of the re-established Jewish State from within - journalists, false "scholars", artists - and from without - including even the leadership of your own religious movement. What is the majority to think, after all, if even such Jewish-sounding icons as the 92nd Street Y, or Yeshiva University, fawn over, honor and lionize those who work tirelessly towards ending Israel's existence?

And for that overwhelming majority that does not know "the truth", columns such as this one may actually serve to add, if not to the ignorance, then to the confusion, and eventually the perception, which then becomes reality.

williambilek said...

"The overwhelming majority of Americans and Congress itself support and respect Israel." Why? No mention is made of "Israeli technologies, shared with the US industry, have enhanced the US employment, research & development and exports."

"What is the truth about injustice for the Palestinian Arabs or Israeli victims of terrorist bombs from Gaza?" How can one even suggest that there is a moral equivalence between those who perpetrate terror, and their victims?

"the occupation of the West Bank must end."
How and why did "the occupation" come to be? Inquiring minds should want to know. Furthermore, there are strongly-based legal opinions that, by definition, no "occupation" exists. And what, exactly, is the justification of the continued use of the term "West Bank"? That disputed land has correctly been called Judea and Samaria for over 3000 years before 1967, including in UNGA Resolution 181 in 1947, and for the 45 years since 1967. It is only during the 19 years of Jordanian control, from 1948-1967, a true "occupation" that that term was applied to the land.

"giving the Palestinians a legitimate state to pursue their own destiny."
Why no mention of the "truth", the fact that the Palestinians had been offered exactly that, repeatedly, in 1947, 1949, 2000, 2008, 2009, today, and they have repeatedly refused it, if and because it also meant the continued secure existence of the Jewish state?

"Many Arabs live in poor conditions"
Many Jews do, as well.

"the indignities of a military system"

The "truth" is that those "indignities" were forced by the murders of thousands of Israeli which began with the 1st intifada. From 1967-1988 there were no roadblocks, checkpoints, limitations to travel. Indeed, the Arabs of the administered territories were free to travel the length and breadth of Israel; there was commerce, tourism, an intermingling of people and cultures.

Rabbi, we, much more than others, cannot close our eyes to "the truth". Storm clouds are ominously gathering and menacing once more. For a brief, enlightened period after the genocide of over one third of world Jewry, it seemed that Judeophobia had, at last, been discredited. No so! It had merely been temporarily transformed into "ant-Zionism" - making Israel the "Jew among the nations". Now, overt, blatant Judeophobia is once again rampant - throughout Europe - and now spreading through Africa, and even in our own country. Those who deny it, or seek to dull the painful edge of that truth, will live to regret it - if not themselves, then their children or grandchildren.