News Israel and Israel and Jerusalem and Judaism

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slugcountry

I would like to briefly share an opinion as a non-practicing russian jew and united states citizen living in california.

I feel like many jews I know (including a good friend of mine - an argument I just had with her led me to start this thread) are making a fatal conceptual error in regards to Israel.

Israel is a country. Israel is a government.

Israel the government has nothing to do with Israel the location, otherwise known as the (and this applies to many religions) holy land of Jerusalem. In other words Israel the government has nothing to do with Judaism.

As a Jew (if one were devout), one should not feel obligated to support Israel simply because it is supposedly a "jewish" state. Israel is a country and governments act only in the interest of the nation - religion is of secondary concern in this respect.

In the United States we (supposedly...) have a separation of church and state.

These things seem very clear to me - however it feels like as a Jew I am very much in a minority on my opinion in this matter.
 
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hello sluga otechestva, as not Jew I can't comment on Israel. this topic just caught my eye since I've been in Israel twice. I can comment that in my country I feel just the same, government is not equal to location. Then, in Israel I have been under impression that some arabs just can't calm down, after everybody else did. I mean, there are plenty of arabs who accepted Israel government and have no problem living there, so why can't others do the same? It does not matter who rules; as long as it is not me, I would't really care if the president is jew or arab. Their war just does not make any sense.
 
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(oh wait I was tricked by "russian" in your post. I didn't realized "slug" was meaningful english word)
 

slugcountry

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(israeli)
israel after all was founded not by religious people, and not for religious reasons.
it was founded as a shelter for jews to immigrant to when they must.
the government was never religious(though there are some annoying rules).
also, more and more people walk astray from religion, many people do perform jewish rituals, but most people just celebrate pesah, and hanuka...

but i have no doubt that israel will be a shelter for jews as long as it exists.

i myself, dont feel much about anything like tradition or love for the motherland, it might change if i will be off israel for a few months or years, but right now, i pretty much care only about my family and some friends...

btw, im atheist, though i still attend to the kidush(and all other holidays) with my family every week, some of us see it as tradition and a family dinner, and for some (including me) its a family dinner. i did use to attend also to the synagogue when i was young, heh, ive been there fot 9 hours in yom kipur..
 
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In an interview I heard from one of the refusniks a while back on the radio (Democracy Now), the problem he saw with jews in this country is that they pray to israel and not to God.

I find this to be true from most Jews I've come across (American Jews).
 
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I urge you to try and get a copy of http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0411/is_n1_v46/ai_19353455"".
Leibowitz's understanding of Jewish philosophy is acute, and he brings it to bear on current issues. He argues that the Law, Halakhah, is essential to Judaism, and shows how, at present, separation of religion from state would serve the interest of halakhic observance and foster esteem for religion. Leibowitz calls the religious justification of national issues "idolatry" and finds this phenomenon at the root of many of the annexationist moves made by the state of Israel. Long one of the most outspoken critics of Israeli occupation in the conquered territories, he gives eloquent voice to his ongoing concern over the debilitating moral effects of its policies and practices on Israel itself. This translation will bring to an English-speaking audience a much-needed, lucid perspective on the present and future state of Jewish culture.
The state he claimed was "essentially secular," and in the specific case of the state of Israel it "should be an arena in which the struggle for Judaism takes place . . . a struggle between the value of the world of Torah and the Mitzvoth and the value of the declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen." He personally was disappointed by the outcome of that struggle, but he did not blame the state for it.

Secondly, he claimed that historically only Judaism as constituted by halakhic praxis has determined Jewish identity and despite the fact that many, perhaps most, Jews today wish to be Jews without Judaism, Leibowitz believed that no plausible and honest account of how that is possible would be forthcoming. Thirdly, he was persistently concerned both to expose and to warn against the tendency to avodah zarah, to idolatry, amongst both his religious and non-religious fellow citizens.

Ever since the beginning of the Zionist movement there has been a debate over the place of religion in the constitution of Jewish identity and the relationship between Judaism and the Jewish State. This debate within Israel has at times been so bitter that many have expressed the fear that it could lead to a civil war. Leibowitz was never really a participant in that debate. For him, all states, even the Jewish state of Israel, are "essentially secular." This was not his struggle. His struggle was against many on either side in that debate. Thus most of the vociferous religious sects taking part in that debate are in his judgment, idolaters: They "have deified the nation, adopted patriotism as their faith and made the state their religion. Their concern is not with the Jewish people as (potentially or in actuality) the People of the Torah, but with the Torah as serving the interests of the nation and the state."

...

In the consciousness of a people, the tie binding it to its country is unconditioned and not defensible on legal grounds. By the same token it is equally impossible to justify on such grounds. For the people in question it is part of their reality. As such it is far more living and poignant than any legal bond or "right." The country we live in was in ancient times the land of the people of Israel. Even when, in the wake of destruction and exile, the people were physically severed from their country the nation continued to exist with its national consciousness. Jews whose national consciousness is still alive consider this country the "Land of Israel" even without regard to claims of right. No counterclaim can deprive them of this feeling. It is the same for the Arab inhabitants.

Leibowitz believed that only "one way out of this historically created impasse is feasible . . . even if neither side recognizes it as justified or finds it really acceptable: partition of the country between the two peoples." Leibowitz consistently claimed from the first day following the Six Day War till the day he died that Israel should unilaterally offer to withdraw from the occupied territories. This he claimed is a precondition for peace, but he was never under any illusion that it would immediately lead to a state of peace: peace, he said, is a "vision for the distant future." His main reason for calling for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the territories was to end the corruption of Jewish life in Israel caused by the evils of occupation.
 
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kyleb

hello sluga otechestva, as not Jew I can't comment on Israel. this topic just caught my eye since I've been in Israel twice. I can comment that in my country I feel just the same, government is not equal to location. Then, in Israel I have been under impression that some arabs just can't calm down, after everybody else did. I mean, there are plenty of arabs who accepted Israel government and have no problem living there, so why can't others do the same? It does not matter who rules; as long as it is not me, I would't really care if the president is jew or arab. Their war just does not make any sense.
How would you expect them to do anything but resist colonization? Natives of areas like Australia and the Americas certainly resisted the foreigners settling those lands, what sense does it make to expect anything different from Arabs?
 
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hello sluga otechestva, as not Jew I can't comment on Israel. this topic just caught my eye since I've been in Israel twice. I can comment that in my country I feel just the same, government is not equal to location. Then, in Israel I have been under impression that some arabs just can't calm down, after everybody else did. I mean, there are plenty of arabs who accepted Israel government and have no problem living there, so why can't others do the same? It does not matter who rules; as long as it is not me, I would't really care if the president is jew or arab. Their war just does not make any sense.
The key word here is occupation. In my opinion, the state of Israel is the biggest outrage/injustice of our time. I'm so disappointed in the western civ.
 
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Frankly I think the card has been played, Yes the victim of abuse gets a little leeway while settling down, but when you settle by mandate on otherwise owned property and then the settlers become expansionist, while developing nukes, then complain that others might have the same, and are upset that there is resistance, and so forth and so on, meanwhile you have US foreign policy strongly divided between loyalty to the have nots in Israel (oil wise), and those that have oil, but no political tread in the US, well what would be the best solution?.

From US foreign policy perspective. Give lots of support to Israel while fomenting dissent between any would be allies among the Arabs.

It has worked so far. ?????
 
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The key word here is occupation. In my opinion, the state of Israel is the biggest outrage/injustice of our time. I'm so disappointed in the western civ.
not only this comment has nothing to do with this thread, it also has nothing to do with reality. which led me to a very big "wtf" after reading your comment.
also some other comments has nothing to do with this thread since it is about the jew nation not being very jewish.
 
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slugcountry

also some other comments has nothing to do with this thread since it is about the jew nation not being very jewish.
No the point of this thread is that there is not, and should not, be a "jew" nation - or for that matter any religious nation.

Religion and nationality are entirely separate entities - any time they become intertwined religion becomes a tool for the state.

The Vatican is another poor example of this sad state of affairs - however the entire catholic religion seems to be centered more about following the word of the pope than any true deity worship.

Judaism however has never been a figurehead religion - yet somehow for american jews the prime minister of israel is the jewish pope.
 
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No the point of this thread is that there is not, and should not, be a "jew" nation - or for that matter any religious nation.

Religion and nationality are entirely separate entities - any time they become intertwined religion becomes a tool for the state.

The Vatican is another poor example of this sad state of affairs - however the entire catholic religion seems to be centered more about following the word of the pope than any true deity worship.

Judaism however has never been a figurehead religion - yet somehow for american jews the prime minister of israel is the jewish pope.
thats extremely odd! why would they see our leaders as popes? we ourself cant stand them! seriously, how does that happen?
 

slugcountry

good question - but here in the states (at least in the California Bay Area) it is not uncommon for jewish youth groups to attend for example, pro-israel rallies.

To me that's pretty much the story of the "evangelical" movement in support of the United States government - ah.... I can't even find the words to express my frustration.
 
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good question - but here in the states (at least in the California Bay Area) it is not uncommon for jewish youth groups to attend for example, pro-israel rallies.

To me that's pretty much the story of the "evangelical" movement in support of the United States government - ah.... I can't even find the words to express my frustration.
Why wouldn't they attend pro-Israel rallies? Israel is the home of the Jewish people. It has helped and continues to support Jews around the globe who are not as fortunate as those living in the United States, it is only natural that Jews will attend rallies in its support.
How familiar are you with the history of your ancestors in the USSR?
 
If you ask me the US is so far in Israel's corner that it can't even see Palestine, doesn't bode well for diplomatic relations IMO, in fact it just makes things worse.

The US badly needs to stop playing favourites, and start playing mediator again, or at the very least to stop vetoing every act the UN makes against Israel, 37 now I believe? How many have they vetoed against Palestine? 0, slightly one sided :rolleyes: Partisan diplomacy will get you one thing, a partisan response.
 

slugcountry

Why wouldn't they attend pro-Israel rallies? Israel is the home of the Jewish people. It has helped and continues to support Jews around the globe who are not as fortunate as those living in the United States, it is only natural that Jews will attend rallies in its support.
How familiar are you with the history of your ancestors in the USSR?
Congratulations on completely missing the point of this thread.

Pro-Israel rallies are supportive of the Israeli administration - if you can't separate that from Judaism this thread is about you.

My point is that Jews should neither support nor attack the Israeli government under the flag of Judaism! To do so is simple religious nationalism - which in the past has been responsible for - oh, the crusades for one ...
 
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Congratulations on completely missing the point of this thread.

Pro-Israel rallies are supportive of the Israeli administration - if you can't separate that from Judaism this thread is about you.

My point is that Jews should neither support nor attack the Israeli government under the flag of Judaism! To do so is simple religious nationalism - which in the past has been responsible for - oh, the crusades for one ...
well, actually its not about judaism, its about jews. about everyone immigrated here since they had to run away, not because of religion. if jews somewhere in the globe will need a place to run to, israel will welcome them.
israel still is the shelter it was meant to be...
 

slugcountry

yeah thats fine thats why I was trying to distinguish israel the place from israel the government :uhh:
 
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I agree that it's necessary to differentiate between Israel the government and Israel the place.

But where the Israeli government has no jurisdiction, will Jews be able to find refuge in the land? (I hate to open this particular can of worms, but when Israel the government relinquished jurisdiction over Aza, Jews found that they could no longer live in that part of Israel the place.
 
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I'm not sure my post here is sufficiently related to the topic under discussion. Nevertheless...

I just read an article (http://news.monstersandcritics.com/middleeast/news/article_1265211.php) [Broken], and it just got me to thinking about how incredibly muddy my ideas regarding the foundations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are, so I posted a message on that webpage (under the name Wu Ming) in order to try to get some clarification. Here, I've reposted my comments from that page for the same purpose.

My comments from the above cited webpage:

This might very well be a stupid question as I'm not an avid reader about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but here it is anyway. What EXACTLY does "recognize Israel's right to exist" mean? Does it simply refer to the recognition of the Israeli people's right to have their own sovereign nation, or does it refer to the recognition of the Israeli people's right to have their own sovereign nation located in regions the Israeli people now occupy? (Or does it refer to something else entirely?) The first requirement seems reasonable enough; I can't grasp why any Palestinian group would refuse to comply. If the second requirement is the one for which the US and Israel would like to obtain compliance, I think it's fairly obvious that compliance will never be obtained. For the Palestinians to acknowledge Israel's right to establish its nation on land the Palestinians view as having been stolen from them runs counter to the Palestinian people's entire beef with Israel. It would amount to a refutation of the Palestinians' main claim: that the land was theirs before Israel occupied it and, thus, still should be theirs. Surely the US and Israel know that asking the Palestinian people to do this is likely a deal-breaker. I can't imagine that the US and Israel would issue a requirement so obviously doomed for failure if their goals are to end the violence; it's just too stupid. So, I assume some of my premises must be incorrect. My definition of "recognition of Israel's right to exist," my current view that the Palestinian people did indeed inhabit some of the land now occupied by Israel prior to the occupation, or some other of my beliefs regarding the foundations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be wrong. Someone please set me straight these matters, especially the precise meaning of "recognition of Israel's right to exist."
 
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What EXACTLY does "recognize Israel's right to exist" mean? Does it simply refer to the recognition of the Israeli people's right to have their own sovereign nation, or does it refer to the recognition of the Israeli people's right to have their own sovereign nation located in regions the Israeli people now occupy? (Or does it refer to something else entirely?)
This is what I found on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_exist" [Broken].
Right to exist is a phrase referring to the question of whether the Jewish people, acting through the modern government of Israel, have a right to maintain a homeland for the Jews in the Land of Israel.
Basically, Hamas' acceptance of Israel's right to exist would mean changes to its charter which currently calls for its destruction and deems all of its land Palestinian.

The land was never the Palestinians': before the formation of Israel it was under British mandate, when the mandate ended, Israel declared independence in accordance with the 1947 partition plan and the neighbouring Arab nations declared war against it, capturing the land that was meant for a Palestinian State.
The goal is to end the violence, but not at the price of annihilation of the State of Israel.
 
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There's a lot of history behind the reasoning of Hamas, and the Palestinians in the more hard line cases. It's not simply some arbitrary racism.

For the last near on 2 millenia or so it had been in their hands, but because of course they had no need or wish to declare themselves a state: it was not nor under UN law is it a state(US keeps vetoing it's rights as a state, despite there being an overwhelming majority in favour of it) now the majority of countries of the world recognise it so including the UK, about 122 at last count anyway I digress

After Ottoman rule the area fell into the hands of the British. The British left after some terrorist actions by Zionists and under increasing pressure from diplomats, leaving the area in the hands of the UN and it's new partition plan.

By some pretty lame rhetoric: Palestine has never had a state or owned the lands? Just because they haven't set up an official diplomatic corps and proclaimed the land there's in writing or whatever. do you think this gives anyone the right to kick the majority population out and hand it over with no say whatsoever? If the Massai were kicked of their lands in Tanzania and Kenya? Do you think they would have no rights to them? Would you be a little appalled at the technicality that they are not a state?

Not to mention the fact that pre Zionist movement of the late 19th century the Jewish population in the area was about 1%, which rose after the Jews began to move back in, and particularly escalated during and after the war, despite the British agreement with the Palestinians to seal the borders(they came in by boat anyway)

Thereafter with the flood of refugees the population rose to pre partition levels of about 33%, Most of the Jews living on land bought from the Palestinians, and in diverse settlements communities and amongst the Palestinians.

Truman under increasing pressure from Zionists eventually caved in and was fundamental in imposing the new plan on the Middle East, knowing full well it would lead to war, but seeing no other option- he agreed to the partition plan along side the UN and was instrumental in getting it accepted. As it turned out this was a terrible plan which had no agreement from the Palestinians or any other of the Arab nations. Forcing a majority population to vacate lands their ancestors had used for thousands of years, because of a supposed prior claim by Israel's Zionists.

This p'ed off a lot of Palestinians eventually leading to the 6 days war. where pre-emptively Israel stole some more of the Palestinian lands, which to this day it refuses to give up in their entirety and return to the UN's pre 1967 partition plan borders.

The more militant tendencies of Sharon amongst other factors probably lead to the voting in of Hamas, placing hard line against hard line; a series of rather brutal methods when he was in control of Israel's armies that lead to him being titled the Butcher by certain European media outlets. After this some countries wanted him tried for war crimes, but this was never likely to happen.

http://www.rense.com/general8/butcher.htm

Hamas are a very hard line organisation who unlike Fatah(who would agree to recognise Israel) Want to see Israel gone from the area.

Currently it's impossible to broker a deal because of Hamas's hard line stance, but Fatah and Hamas have recently put aside there differences and agreed to work side by side in the government, so who knows what may come?

Essentially though the Palestinians claim they have been hard done by, and to be frank only the most biased individual IMO would see the partition plan as even remotely fair. A two party state would of likely been better, couldn't of been much worse, but then I supose it's easier to judge the issue in hindsight.
 
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i have a Jewish-Israeli friend that has vowed never to step foot in Israel again after what happened in the summer of 2006 between Israel and Leabanon. He says the actions of Israel are against Judaism, since in Judiasm it says you should be close to Israel spiritually. and i've also heard that people that are not Jewish do not get rights in Israel...is this true?
 

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