Sunday, April 30, 2006

The End of the Jewish State?

In attempting to justify his "Convergence Plan" (which calls for the expulsion of close to 100,000 Jews from their homes in the Land of Israel), the leader of the Kadima party and Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert, argues that this plan is needed to secure the future of the State of Israel as a Jewish State. He expressed this most recently in remarks this past week that he made to the participants of the International Bible Contest for Jewish Youth that will be held on Israel's 58th Independence Day:

...Sometimes reality is complicated and another people lives in parts of our Land. Therefore, we must decide whether to lose Israel's identity as a Jewish state or to give up part of the territory so that Israel will remain a Jewish state. The decisive majority of the people prefer to maintain the Jewish identity of the State of Israel and in order to preserve its Jewish character we must compromise over territories...

How strange is it then to discover that in the coalition guidelines formulated by the Kadima party, which contain the guiding principles that will unite all members of the future government of the State of Israel, the State of Israel is no longer referred to as a Jewish State!

Shas balks at language calling for settlement evacuations

Shas had hoped to finalize details on Thursday before signing a coalition agreement with Kadima... But Shas was reportedly surprised on Friday to receive from Kadima a draft including the statement: "The government shall work to shape the permanent borders of the state as a democratic state with a Jewish majority [...] Israel's territories, whose border will be determined by the government, will require reducing Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria."

It seems that if the incoming Kadima government, led by Ehud Olmert, has its way, the State of Israel will no longer be a Jewish State, rather, it will simply be a "democratic state with a Jewish majority".

Ehud Olmert’s desire to minimize the Jewish character of the State of Israel should come as no surprise - as I highlighted in a post 3 and a half months ago - that less then two weeks into his tenure as acting Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert had already fired the opening shots in his war against the Jewish State.

The implication of such efforts are profound. The Jewish People did not hope, dream, yearn, pray, fight and die over the 2,000 year long Exile in order to return to the Land of Israel merely to be "the only democracy in the Middle East". In spite of how uncomfortable the idea of a Jewish State might make the powers that be in the State of Israel, the foundation of the right of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel is based on the Torah (both Written and Oral), and it is from there that the collective mission and destiny of the Jewish People are set forth. Any effort to undermine Israel as a Jewish State would be to undermine the very right of the Jewish People to a state in the Land of Israel altogether.

We must, as a nation, ask ourselves, "who we are?" and "why we are?". 1st, are we Jews or are we Israelis? 2nd, Should the State of Israel be a Jewish State - that places the mission and interests of the Jewish People above all else, or a state like all others - based on foreign values and culture?

As I mentioned in a recent post, we have before us two destinies and two peoples, only one of which that has a future in this land.

Difficult questions. Difficult answers. Difficult times.


no future....

By Blogger maharal, at Sun Apr 30, 11:01:00 PM GMT+3  

It has been my personal conviction for over a decade that the real issue isn't security but the Jewishness of the State of Israel (see Yoram Chazony's "The Struggle for Israel's Soul"). What we need IMHO is a grassroots "Orange Revolution" that will force a restructuring of Israel's political and judicial systems to be truly democractic. That is something the secular Jews can live with and I firmly believe the "Jewishness" of the majority would be reflected in such a system.

The question is how much must we suffer before the "masses" wake up and realize what is happening?

Yoel Ben-Avraham
Shilo, Benyamin

By Blogger Yoel.Ben-Avraham, at Sun Apr 30, 11:38:00 PM GMT+3  

Once again Ze'ev, your lack of consistent logic lets down your stirling rhetoric. By assuming that Kadima's use of a particular term to describe the State of Israel excludes another definition you have effectively claimed that if we don't mention that Israel is a Jewish state every time we say the term Israel, then we are denying the fact that it is a Jewish state. This is crazy!!!!!

I could just as easily claim that when members of UTJ, Shas, NRP or NU call for a "Torah State" that they are actually calling for the end of a Jewish state. Because you didn't say a "Torah Jewish State". Your logic is similar to saying that if I were to claim that 10 is the sum of 5+5, I am denying that it is also the sum of 2x5.

Really Ze'ev.

Could do better.


By Anonymous H, at Sun May 07, 11:08:00 AM GMT+3  

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