Thursday, August 25, 2005

To the Nations of the World, I Raise My Eyes in Hope of Salvation...



Have we no shame?

Two editorials in today's Jerusalem Post sum up the sickness afflicting many of my Jewish brothers and sisters both in Israel and abroad.

Larry Derfner, in an article entitled: "Friends, give us a break" states:
There's a lot of well-intentioned sentiment, mainly from overseas, for Israel to "strike while the iron's hot." The idea is to build on the momentum of the last two weeks and move as soon as possible into Stage 2 of disengagement – evacuating the 60,000 to 70,000 settlers on the far side of the West Bank security barrier, and thereby end the occupation completely.

While I agree with the goal, I don't think now is the time to reach for it... So to all of Israel's well-intentioned friends abroad – talk to us next August. January 2007 at the latest. We should have our strength back by then.

Gershon Baskin, in an article entitled: "No longer a pariah state" states:
I am writing from Sweden, where I am attending an international conference on water... The impact of the withdrawal for the Israeli participants is obvious. No longer the pariah in international settings, Israeli participants are more than welcome...

There is great admiration for Israel's democracy, even from the Arab participants. In the past, when I attended international conferences with Lebanese and Syrian participants, I was boycotted by them, together with the other Israeli participants. Today I was approached by the Lebanese and Syrian participants to engage in discussion – and not in secret, but right in front of everyone else. Israel's international reputation has reached new heights.

It is time for Israel to come to terms with the reality that there is no chance for it to continue to colonize the West Bank. What we have begun in Gaza must now continue in the West Bank.

Three things are clear from this articles: 1st, that the world (including the Arabs) will love us so long as we are willing to throw Jews out of their homes and destroy Jewish communities in Israel. 2nd, that if we want this love fest to continue, we had better be prepared to keep the expulsion machine well oiled with Jewish pain and suffering. 3rd, that both authors are more than willing to pay the price - anything to earn the "respect and admiration" of the nations of the world, and in particular of our Arab "neighbors".

Rabbi Berel Wein, in another Jerusalem Post article offers a possible cure to this Jewish malady:
The collapse of traditional Zionism and of land and building leaves a void. And this is where the opportunity for the religious community arises.

The Orthodox community should state that it wishes to build a fair and just society, infused with Torah values. It cannot insist on coercing religious observance of the mitzvot – a counterproductive policy if there ever was one – but it can offer a vision of a more equitable and just society based upon the traditional values and heritage of Judaism...

None of the recently proposed reforms for the Israeli school system will have any lasting value so long as Jewish values and Jewish knowledge are not an essential part of the curriculum... The religious political parties and establishment have been woefully silent about this "vision thing"...

Orthodox Jews here in Israel, in spite of our various shadings and internal divisions, nevertheless now have the opportunity to fill the void in the Israeli soul.

The mission for the Religious Zionist camp must follow the teaching of the Prophet Isaiah (62:1):
"For Zion's Sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out brightly and her salvation like a blazing torch"

Let us hope and pray that we are able to find the right words that will enter the hearts of our Jewish brothers and sisters and teach them that for the Jewish People salvation does not lie with the nations of the world, that the Jewish People have a unique destiny, and that together we can truly perfect the world.


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