Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Israel Perspectives: Quick Takes - I Have a Dream

So much to write about, so little time.

Let's begin.

1) PA Foreign Minister: ‘No Place’ for Israel on Middle East Map

"I dream of hanging a huge map of the world on the wall at my Gaza home which does not show Israel on it...I hope to have our independent state on all historic Palestine (including Israel)," he said.

And I dream of hanging a huge map of the world on the wall at my Ma'aleh Adumim home which does not have Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, Gaza and Jerusalem cut out of the borders of the Jewish State of Israel.

I also dream of the day when the Jewish State will be led by Jews who will be proud enough to make such declarations and who will work to bring about their realization.

2) Aid organizations in Gaza paralyzed fearing ties with Hamas-led government

Israel will keep the Karni crossing closed on Tuesday, despite the warnings of United Nations aid organizations that the Gaza Strip is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster due to a lack of money and food.

I will re-ask my initial question when I first posted on this issue:

Why is this Israel's problem?

Let the "Palestinians" get all the aid they need from Egypt via the Rafah crossing. The "Palestinians" elected their own government - let them deal with this issue.

3) Forbes Reinforces Claim That Kadima Tool of Oligarchs

Forbes Israel reported Sunday that twelve business groups control Israel's economy - making it among the most concentrated on the globe. The report echoes warnings by journalist Ari Shavit... The report explains that the groups have an inordinate amount of control over Israel's economy, political leaders and media.

Could it be that it really isn't the fault of the Jews of Judea, Samaria (and formerly Aza) for the economic ills that are plaguing Israeli society?

Guess what? You'll never hear that from the Israeli media because they're owned by the "18 Families".

4) Rabbinical Court allows Kohein to marry daughter of non-Jew

In an unusual decision which came on the heels of intervention by the Prime Minister's Office, the High Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem recently ruled that a member of the priestly Kohein caste may marry the daughter of a non-Jew...

The case began in the summer of 2004, when... the court rejected Cohen and Plotnikov on the basis that a member of the priestly Kohein caste, of which Cohen is said to be descended, cannot marry a woman whose father is not Jewish...

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar, who is also president of the High Rabbinical Court, said that the court's decision was based not on PMO intervention, but on the opinion of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

I am no expert when it comes to matters of Jewish Law, particularly in this area, but what troubles me is that this is not the first instance where doubt has arisen as to what role political pressure plays on the decisions issued by Israel's Chief Rabbinate, an office beholden to the government.

If the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is to respected as a true authority on matters of Jewish Law and practice, then it must become an independent body, removed from political influence and considerations.

5) Almost cigar - Qassam almost hit cache of inflammable materials, could have caused disaster

Five Qassam rockets were fired Tuesday from the northern Gaza Strip at southern Ashkelon... One of the rockets that landed in the area of Zikim fell near an army base. The rocket that landed in the Ashkelon industrial zone could have caused heavy damages, according to employees at the place.

"A great disaster was prevented today," a source at the industrial area stated. "The rocket landed near a stockpile of highly inflammable materials. One flare could have caused grave damages to the entire vicinity," he added...

When, not if, a Qassam rocket successfully strikes one of these strategic installations and causes a major disaster, both in terms of casualties as well as in other areas, the responsibility will lay solely at the feet of willfully negligent government of Israel who for 4 years has done absolutely nothing to stop the daily rocket fire into the Jewish State.

Any blood spilled will be on their already stained hands.


Am i right in thinking that were calling for a separation of religion and state there Ze'ev? Good call!

I agree - the supposed Chief Rabbinate should have nothing to do with the law of the land or with government. Well done. Good call!

By Anonymous H, at Wed Apr 05, 12:34:00 PM GMT+3  

Haim, welcome back. We missed you.

I figured you would have hadsomething to say about #2.

As for your comment - not hardly. It just happens to be that the way the Office of the Chief Rabbinate is run is a disgrace to Judaism and to the State of Israel.

Those who fill the positions are there not because of their particular merit but through political mechanations (that is not to say that they aren't worthy in their own right, but that is not why they are in the position)...

Secondly, the current Chief Rabbinate has been involved in too many scandals (whether true or not) that have tarnished the reputation of the office.

Lastly, the Chief Rabbinate, if it is to truly be respected, can't have its purse strings attached to government coffers - b/c in that case, as we see from this case, as well as its rulings during the expulsion, that its hard to remain objective when your job is on the line.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Wed Apr 05, 12:53:00 PM GMT+3  

It would really be for the best if both the Chief Rabbinate and the Knesset were abolished and replaced with the New Sanhedrin.

By Anonymous kahaneloyalist, at Wed Apr 05, 05:17:00 PM GMT+3  

Haim happens to be right...the only way to distnace the Rabbanut from the treasury is to separate religion from state affairs. However, this case should not be viewed as such a scandal since there are good Halakhic reasons why this was allowed.

There is no reason to replace either the rabbanut or the knesset with the Sanhedrin. There is a role for all of them. If ther was no rabbanut, the 71 members of the sanhedrin would be running around marrying, burying and Kashering all week long. Perhaps the Head of the Sanhedrin should take the position of Chief Rabbi, but the infrastructure is important. Even more so is the civil legislative body of the Knesset. Even under the rule of a Melekh Mashiach, there is no reason that the Sanhedrin should have to find funding and authorize the building of a new exit ramp on Highway Six, or decide how health-basket services should be apportioned.
"Ein Bein Olam HaZeh V'Ymot HaMashiach ela Shib'ud Malkhuyiot Bilvad."

As I promised, I commented on your blog, now its your turn. Here's to further coopoeration :-)

By Blogger Danny Hershtal, at Wed Apr 05, 08:26:00 PM GMT+3  

danny, good point in theory. Mt point is that a true jewish Government consists of a Melech and Sanhedrin not a Knesset. The Rambam also brings a psak that it is completely issur for a Goy to have any part in a Jewish government the fact that the Knesset is elected by anyone including Arabs and doubly so that Arabs may sit in the Knesset precludes the Knesset's keeping power.

Perphaps a compromise would be to have the Sanhedrin and a second house other then the Knesset the second house running more mundane tasks

By Anonymous kahaneloyalist, at Wed Apr 05, 09:06:00 PM GMT+3  

Re #4 -- there is one solution -- eliminating the chief rabbinate. The politicization of religion is bad for both politics and religion. It's bad for Medinat Yisrael and bad for Judaism (as Yeshiyahu Liebovitz argued).

Now, the question becomes, how do you maintain Israel as a Jewish state and how do you have personal status governed by a (non-political?) halakha? I don't have these answers but I think the questions are worth asking.

By Blogger amechad, at Wed Apr 05, 10:56:00 PM GMT+3  

Come and check out my collection of Rachel Corrie jokes.

By Blogger Why Palestinians Usually Get It Wrong, at Thu Apr 06, 01:40:00 AM GMT+3  

amechad, there is a common misconception among Jews that Judaism shouldnt mix with politics. This is in fact a Christian ideal which has been (tragically) adopted by many Jews. The true purpose of Jewish government is to enforce Torah Mitzvot and perform certain Mitzvot which only a government can perform. So rather then remove Judaism from politics we must remove all secularism from politics since the very idea of Secular government is a Western anti-Jewish one.

By Anonymous kahaneloyalist, at Thu Apr 06, 04:41:00 AM GMT+3  

Am Echad, all of Sefer Devarim is about how Judaism and politics should form an ideal synthesis. The fact that it isn't working today is not a reason to say that the Torah was wrong, but to look closer at our own actions.

The Torah is very clear about how a government, judicial system, army... should run...

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By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Apr 17, 01:06:00 AM GMT+3  

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