Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Should Jews not living in Israel have the right to express their opnion on affairs concerning the Jewish State?

I have always been conflicted as to whether Jews not living in Israel should have a say in the decision making process within the Jewish State of Israel.

On the one hand, I believe that as The Home(land) of the Jewish People, the Jewish State of Israel has an obligation to place the overall interests of the Jewish People above all else. As such, it is essetnial for the Jewish State to have an open ear towards their considerations, as nearly every decision that is made in some way effects the greater Jewish People.

That being said, I do have trouble accepting the idea that Jews who do not live in Israel (whatever their reason may be) should have a meaningful say in determining the policies of the Jewish State, and an Op-Ed by the very successful and influential Rabbi Marc Schneier (who also just happens to be the President of Kadima USA) in today's Jerusalem Post makes it clear why that is the case.

As Prime Minister Ehud Olmert makes his first state visit to the United States, it is time for Jews around the world to firmly support his efforts to set defensible borders for the State of Israel...

I have embraced the convergence policy of Kadima for two reasons: terrorism and the preservation of the Jewish majority in the Jewish state...

We hope that Hamas will sincerely denounce its terrorist proclivities and recognize the right of both Israel and Palestine to exist and flourish in the Middle East. Yet we must always retain a Jewish majority in the Jewish state. This is the promise left to us by our ancestors, and the legacy we in turn will leave for our children.

What bothers me most about this article is not Rabbi Schneier's support for Ehud Olmert's expulsion plan, but his reasoning for supporting it.

Yet we must always retain a Jewish majority in the Jewish state. This is the promise left to us by our ancestors, and the legacy we in turn will leave for our children.

I really do hate to be cynical, but Rabbi Schneier, by choosing for himself the "good life" of America over living in the Jewish State has made it perfectly clear that his driving concern is not ensuring a Jewish majority within the State of Israel, because if that was truly what concerned him, he would be actively encouraging American Aliyah, and would be packing his own bags, as well.

No, for Rabbi Schneier, the key to securing a Jewish majority in Israel is not through Aliyah (or other measures), but through the expulsion of tens of thousands of Jews from their homes, which of course, he will watch from the comfort of his own home, in either the Hamptons or New York City.

For better or worse, Rabbi Schneier is entitled to express his opinions as they relate to the Jewish State, but that does not give him the right, in stressing the imperative of securing a Jewish majority within the State of Israel, to pay empty lip service to "the promise left to us by our ancestors", or to speak of ensuring the "legacy" of a Jewish majority within the State of Israel "for our children", when in his words and actions he makes a mockery of both.


Good catch there.

By Blogger Joe Settler, at Wed May 24, 12:44:00 AM GMT+3  

Well Ze'ev,

You managed to completely fail to actually address his concerns, but simply said - because he doesn't want to live here, he is a hypocrite if he says that the idea of retaining a Jewish majority is good. Ok. I live here, and I think that the idea of retaining a Jewish Majority is good too. So what are you actually going to say about the issue, as opposed to just saying he doesn't have the right to speak. Because I live in Jerusalem and do have the right to speak, and I use it to say that your party's policy of racist incitement and irresponsible encouragement of violent resistance to the will of the Israeli people is endangering my life.

And given that you seem to have finally decided that people outside of Israel should not have a say about Israeli policy (as long as their say disagrees with your opinion), I assume you will also be writing a piece denigrating the american traitor Jonathon Pollard who has recently released a letter attacking the Israeli government, even though he never saw fit to make aliyah.


By Anonymous H, at Wed May 24, 11:26:00 AM GMT+3  

So I think i can sum up your opinion.
Jews living in America should speak about Israeli affairs if they agree with you, but shouldn't if they disagree with you.
Sounds nice

By Anonymous Noam, at Wed May 24, 04:57:00 PM GMT+3  

Haim & Noam, I think you both are trying to find things in my post that just are not there.

I made it clear i nthe post that my issue with Rabbi Schneier was NOT the fact that he chooses to support Olmert's expulsion plan, but the reasoning he gave for doing so.

Nowhere in the post do I distinguish between some opinions of Jews living outside of Israel being ok, and others not. I believe that all Jews who live outside of Israel have to accept that in choosingto not call Israel home, they limit the amount of influence they can have on the Jewish State's policies.

That holds true for those on the left and the reight, religious and secular.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Wed May 24, 08:27:00 PM GMT+3  

Definitely not associating myself with that Haim guy, but just so Im clear on your position...
You feel it is not ok for an American Jew to comment on a situation that can be rectified by making Aliya.
So then you would be more comfortable with his viewpoint if he simply felt that this is Israels best chance for peace and not neccesarily Israel's best chance for maintaining a Jewish Majority.

By Anonymous noam, at Wed May 24, 08:45:00 PM GMT+3  

Of course all of you (IMHO ;-) are talking "politics" (small 'p') but the real troubling thing about his remarks were the absolute ignorance of them, or the willingness to swallow the Left's deliberate willingness to use language to hide the real issue.

The REAL demographic ISSUE, again as I understand it, is not the Arabs living on the EAST side of tyhe Security Fence but the 1.5 million Arabs living on the WEST side of that fence! They endanger the future of a Jewish democratic Israel more than the 250,000 Jews living on the EAST side of the fence!

Why does no one deal with the facts?

By Blogger Yoel.Ben-Avraham, at Thu May 25, 06:26:00 AM GMT+3  

Noam, thanks again for commenting. Just to clarify. I do believe that Jews anywhere in the world are entitled to their opinions about the challenges efecting and concerning the Jewish People, particularly those concerning the Jewish State.

That being said, by choosing ot live outside of Israel, they must accept that their opinions on these matters carry significantly less weight when it comes to setting the policies of the Jewish State.

My particular issue with Rabbi Schneier was not his left wing politics, or his talk of the need to preserve a Jewish majority, but his talk of staying true to the promise of our ancestors and ensuring the legacy for our children (that there be a Jewish majority),when by choosing to live in America, he makes a mockery of both.

If he would say I believe in Olmert's plan b/c it will, like you mentioned, provide security or whatever, without any talk of being true to the promise, and legacy... I still would disagree wit hhim, but I would not have found his remarks so offensive.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Thu May 25, 07:31:00 AM GMT+3  

Yoel, I agree with you 100%, and that is a subject which I have devoted a significant # of my posts to, just ask Haim...

It just happens that that was not hte theme of this particular post, which is why I didn't go into the reasons of why Olmert's expulsion plan in problematic, just why I was bothered by Rabbi Schneir's remarks.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Thu May 25, 07:33:00 AM GMT+3  

Just to be fair, I guess I should say that I really don't want to associate myself with that Noam Guy (do you even know who I am?).

Ze'ev - you did not answer the point about the American Traitor, Pollard. As a non-Israeli, presumably he should be quiet about issues concerning Israel's relationship with the US, which may be damaged if we push them on releasing security prisoners, which would then make our global security position much weaker. Are you going to write an anti-Pollard piece?

As for Yoel. The issue of demographics is less the 250,000 criminal settlers, and more the 3,000,000 starving, unemployed, hopeless Palestinians whom we are responsible for. Unlike the Religio-fascists of NU-NRP, most Israelis have a problem with Apartheid and the idea of us indefinitely denying the palestinians statehood and ruling over them without rights is abhorent to the majority of Israelis and opposes their sense of Justice and Jewish values.

Ze'ev, I still don't buy the fact that the only reason you posted about Shneider is because he talks about something which could directly be helped by Aliyah, even though he hasn't made it. If that were the case, how do you explain your castigation of Orthodox American Jewry for giving 10 times more to Hurricane Katrina than to help the anti-disengagement movement? Surely you should actually disapprove of American Jewry giving money to stop the disengagement, because if they really cared, they would live there - and like you, would have journeyed down there to put their physical bodies on the line.

You can fool some of the people some of the time .....

And come to think of it, if that were the case, shouldn't you be attacking the head of ZOA or whoever for arguing against further hitkansut/disengagement while not actually being here. Is that not just as offensive? If not more so?

Ze'ev, it is one thing to have an opinion, it is another to pretend your opinion is not as hypocritical as it clearly is.

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