Hol HaMo'ed Sukkoth 5771
*Please go to the original YNET article, and join in the debate in the comments section!
The Jewish Democratic State
Op-ed: Israel must make a choice, as it cannot be both truly Jewish and democratic.
September 22, 2010
Roughly 60 years after the establishment of the modern State of Israel, by far the most ubiquitous term employed today to describe the political and social nature of the country is that Israel is a Jewish democratic state. Be it in the media or on the lips of politicians, the use of the term has become so widespread that most people in Israel simply accept it as a given truth without so much as a passing thought. Nonetheless, despite the extensive usage of the phrase, it should be clear to anyone with a discerning eye that the term resonates with cognitive dissonance.
The term, or more properly the confusion that led to the term, started in the early days of the state. In May 1948, the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel proclaimed the Jewish nature of the country by declaring "the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael." However, the same declaration also promised to “ensure complete equality of…. political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion….”
Thus, on the one hand Israel was to be a Jewish state while on the other hand it was declared to be a state of all its citizens regardless of religion. As a result of this ambiguity, right from the start there was a built-in contradiction of terms. Namely, was Israel to be a Jewish state that would incorporate some democratic aspects or was it to be a democratic state with a “Jewish feel?" Since these terms describe situations that are mutually exclusive, Israel could not possibly be both.
The Jewish component in the above equation was given precedence by the 1950 Law or Return, which stipulated that every Jew has the right to immigrate to Israel. However, the subsequent 1952 Nationality Law reestablished the confusion by stating, inter alia, “A person who, immediately before the establishment of the State, was a Palestinian citizen…. shall become an Israel national….” Thus citizenship, and with it the right to vote, was further anchored for the non-Jewish population.
This lack of clarity continued for decades and then in 1992 under the activist court of Justice Aharon Barak, the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom was passed in order to “establish in a Basic Law the values of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” Moreover, according to Justice Barak’s subsequent writings on the meaning of the vague phrase “Jewish democratic state,” it became apparent that his intention in the law was to define Israel as primarily a democratic state, albeit one that also encompasses a variety of Jewish aspects. Of course, Barak’s litmus test for these Jewish aspects was that they must be consistent with the values of a democracy.
Despite Barak’s true intention as to what actually took precedence, namely the democratic aspect, the neutral phrase “Jewish democratic state” has been promulgated ever since. This is a shame since the term is problematic for several reasons.
Most importantly, the term perpetuates confusion and avoids dealing with a very serious issue. Israel has a large Arab minority, the majority of which will never connect to the collective dreams and aspirations of the Jewish people and likewise will never really feel part of a Jewish state. To think otherwise is foolish. In addition, it is demeaning to the Arabs to expect differently since they naturally have pride in their own culture and a bond to the larger Arab nation.
Downplaying Jewish Component
Thus, in order not to antagonize or alienate the Arabs, as well as to avoid being condemned for making statements that are not politically correct, Israel downplays the Jewish component and promotes the democratic one. To its own Jewish residents, however, the majority of which has some connection to the land and the tradition, it sells the Jewish component under the amorphous “Jewish democratic state.” Thus, the term is very useful for placating the Jewish population, even if doing so is somewhat misleading. More importantly, by hiding behind the term “Jewish democratic state” Israel continues to shirk its responsibility in dealing with a very complex and difficult issue.
If Israel is a true democracy of “one man-one vote” then the Arab minority could hypothetically take over the country via the election process and change the nature of the state. However, since this is a scenario that most of the Jews in the country would never agree to and even fear, the phrase “Jewish democratic state” should stop being rammed down the collective mindset of the nation since it is only seeding more confusion. Moreover, should the Arabs ever get close to taking over the country, it’s a sure bet that most of the advocates of the phrase “Jewish democratic state” would be out of here in a flash, leaving the rest of us to deal with the mess.
On the diplomatic front, a Jewish state connected to its inner meaning, its heritage and its land, would never consider relinquishing part of its ancestral homeland. However, a democratic state for which the Jewish component is weak or sentimental at best has no qualms under difficult times of relinquishing land since ultimately the land has no deeper significance.
This fact is clearly understood by the Arabs as well as by all those who are pressuring us to surrender land. For this reason, the supremacy afforded the democratic component at the expense of the Jewish component has severely weakened Israel’s bargaining position vis-à-vis the Arabs. Moreover, since everyone knows that the term “Jewish democratic state” does not mean Jewish in any profound way, then constantly using the term to describe the State of Israel is only helping to facilitate its downfall.
At the end of the day, Israel must choose. Either it is a Jewish state with some democratic aspects or it is democratic state with a Jewish flavor. It cannot be both. The continued use of the term “Jewish democratic state” is simply a way to avoid making this choice. Moreover, it represents a state of denial that underlies all the confusion and weakness that abound here. For the survival of the country, the term “Jewish democratic state” must be discarded and in its place the real “Jewish state” must rise.
*This is my talkback which YNET has yet to publish,...and probably will not.
Meltzer is essentially correct. You can't have your cake and eat it, too.
The Israeli government is hardly Jewish, and hardly a democracy. It can't be a democracy without true freedom of speech, which we absolutely do NOT have. It is a crime to call goverment officials a name, so called racist incitement is a crime. Asking to vote for whether Jews should leave Gaza or hostile Arabs should leave instead is a crime.
Yet leftists protesting at the so-called security fence get away with violence toward Israeli law enforcement.
Clearly the famous line at the end of George Orwell's Animal Farm applies here:
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
However, the eventual goal of the Jewish People is too have a Jewish government in the Jewish Homeland.
What is a Jewish government? ...one based on Torah with a king or a nassi and a Sanhedrin, the hachamim making the decisions which the masses should not have anything to do with.
See “Governance Of A Jewish State” for more information on this.
In the mean time, perhaps we could have a temporary democracy, yet those claiming the need for a constitution are mistaken. We already have one,...the Torah.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Hol HaMo'ed Sukkoth 5771
Sunday, September 19, 2010
12 Of The Seventh Month 5771
With the catastrophic expulsion of Jews from Azza (Gaza/Gush Qatif) in 5765 (2005), I have since often wondered how the Israeli government will attempt to implement the next expulsion of Jews, this time from Yehudah, Shomron, and even Jerusalem (May God forbid!).
Using Jewish towns in these areas as laboratories to see which sick plan for removing Jews from their homes and land will be the most efficient, the Israeli government appeared to have only a few options:
1. Pay Jews to move out, and help them to relocate else in Israel. These Jews may or may not get rewarded for their “initiative,” but probably not. (Not enough Jews will want to leave, and the Jews who would not mind leaving will not fall for this one,...again.)
2. Remove them forcibly, as the the powers that be did in Azza, then let them sit around in temporary housing indefinitely until the outrage in the Israeli news media dies down, and then just forget about them. (Too expensive.)
3. Bring in the bulldozers in overnight without warning. Then go to option 2. (Not enough bulldozers.)
Then I saw this. This fourth option did not surprise me in the least. After all the posters depicting Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu, removing his Ariel Sharon mask, can already be found in Jerusalem.
What did surprise me was the lack of coverage of this brilliant, but evil plan in the Israeli news media.
World Net Daily: Shock Plan: Palestinians Scheduled To Govern JewsSuch a plan is brilliant! Evil,...but truly brilliant. Why? The Israeli government will be able to achieve the following at little to no cost to it:
Aaron Klein, September 6, 2010
Netanyahu secretly proposed new plot in talks with Obama
JERUSALEM – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly has proposed a new plan whereby Jews living in the West Bank will remain in their communities after the territory becomes part of a Palestinian state, WND has learned.
Officials in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have confirmed the plan to this reporter, marking the first time an Israeli leader has ever put on the table in a serious way a proposal involving Jewish West Bank residents remaining in a Palestinian state.
Conventional negotiations always has assumed an Israeli evacuation of its communities inside any territory taken over by the PA.
Middle East officials said the plan is being considered seriously by the Obama administration, while the PA has been less than enthusiastic. PA sources said they held a meeting last week over the plan.
The full details of the plan, such as specific security guarantees for the remaining Jews, were not disclosed. (Read more…)
1. The Israeli government will not be inconvenienced by calling up the army or police. No post-expulsion trauma, no criticism from the settlers (...Maybe from YeSh"A Council, but who cares about them anyway?).
2. No worries about collecting settlers' weapons. Let them kill off a few Arabs in their pointless struggles. What does the Israeli government care? It gets to get rid of a few Arabs, and then blames those crazy settlers for it!
3. Those Jews who regret their decision to stay won't receive a dime! After all THEY decided to stay there in the first place, and must take responsibility for THEIR decision. Maybe a token few will receive money, and be raised up as "heroes for peace." It would be good PR.
4. The government will finally be rid of those pesky settlers. Sure, they may get massacred, like the Arabs tried to do in Hevron in 1994, and succeeded in doing in 1929 (May God forbid!), but that will only server to gain sympathy with the goyim! (Doubt it.)
(WND cont.) Debriefing his cabinet on his trip last week to Washington, Netanyahu stated, "What is required is creative, novel thinking in order to resolve these complex issues."Creative? Novel?
I'll give you creative and novel, Mr. Prime Minister: Let's throw you out of office!
Sunday, September 05, 2010
26 of the Sixth month 5770
יום ג' ו' תשרי תשע"א
Tuesday evening, September 14, 2010
7:00 - 10:30 PM
(Jerusalem Convention Center)
Speakers to include:
Rabbi Simcha Kook
Rav of Rehovoth
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner
(co-) Rav of Beth-El
Rabbi Tzafanyah Drori
Rav of Qiriyath Shemonah
Rabbi Yehudah Deri
Rav of Be'er Sheva
Rabbi Shalom Dov Lifshitz
A video about missionary activity will also be shown.
Anniversary of the Second of Creation
Some saw me with it; some did not. But that did not help me pin down where I might have forgotten it.
I came back another day, and posted signs with my phone number, and pasted them where I knew I sat down, or stood waiting. No calls.
A few days I was passing by my post office, and decided that it might be a good idea to check my P. O. box. I do not check it very often. Why bother? All I mostly ever get are bills.
Well, sure enough, there was a letter from the police. Great! What could THEY want now?! Chasing after me for my unpaid J-walking tickets? (I'll get to those one of these days, I am sure.) Interrogation for yet another boo-boo incurred by a leftist not receiving enough attention?
Nope. The poh-lice found my tefillin, or at least someone turned them into them. The only thing I was worried about was that I had only 10 days to claim them after the date for the letter, which was dated August 1. The threat was that after 10 days ownership is not considered to be established, and the police does not have to keep it. Uh-oh.
What do you know? It wasn't even a trap. They really did find them. But how did they know they were mine? I did not recall leaving any identifying information in them. And if I had, why didn't someone just call me? I have lost several items before this, and someone was nice enough to call and arrange to get them to me.
I walked into the Lost & Found Office (אבידות ומציאות בארץ) at Yaffo Street 107, and received my tefillin quickly. The whole 10 day thing was just an "encouraging" way to get people there to pick of their lost stuff. i can't tell you how many key chains and bags I say, not to mention whatever was in the back room, from where my tefillin was procured.
So, now, I can give back the pair of tefillin which was loaned to me.
So, it seems the police is good for a lot more than harassing settlers, above and beyond their top notch detectives who catch rapists and murderers, and deal with organized crime.
They have a Lost & Found Department
26 of the Sixth Month 5770
This week's edition of the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival is up at What War Zone???
It's The After Dark Party Edition.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
22 of the Sixth Month 5770
Upon reading this article, I left the talkback found below....
Another Reason To Reject The "Two-State" Solution
Ted Belman, August 31, 2010
(Israpundit) In any imagined deal, except for Israel possibly accepting a token amount of “refugees”, everyone assumes they will resettle in the new Palestine. This may seem doable but in reality it would prevent a peaceful two-state solution from emerging.
Israel now has about 6.0 million Jews including those living east of the greenline and 1.5 million Arabs. Gaza and the West Bank have about have about 1.4 and 1.6 million Arabs respectively. In total there are 4.2 million Arabs in the combined territory. The total number of Arab refugees including their descendants exceed 4.2 million located as follows; 400,000 Lebanon, 400,000 in Syria, 2 million in Jordan some of whom have been given citizenship and the rest in Gaza and elsewhere. (Read more...)
The ONLY relevant reason to reject the so-called "two state" solution, is that it is forbidden according to Torah Law,...the only law relevant to Jews in Israel.
Ted, why does this reasoning always seem to elude you?
Then a Christian wrote in being all "supportive." Then commenter Shy Guy exposed the site this Christian posted to be messianic/missionary. So, then I added...
Ted, you may want to change to comment moderation,...hopefully to keep out the Christian and psuedo-Jewish liars off, and not those kosher Jews who are occasionally critical of you.
Court Jews at Clinton Wedding
Moshe Phillips, 16 Ellul 5770/August 26, 2010
(Israel National News) The rabbi who co-conducted the Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding was Rabbi James Ponet, a Reform rabbi with deep connections to some of the most radical elements of the American Jewish community. Know your rabbis.
The media coverage of the marriage ceremony of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky took several weeks to abate. The rabbi who co-conducted the Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding was Rabbi James Ponet, a Reform rabbi with deep connections to some of the most radical elements of the American Jewish community and that fact went completely unreported in both the American Jewish and general media. (Read more...)
I have said this a million times, and I will say it again, people like Ponet are not rabbis. He is more likely than not pasul even to mashlim a minyan.
Some of these "rabbis," who distort, when they do not reject, Torah sheb'al peh are not even Jewish. They are kofrim at worst, or tinoq shenishba or amei ha'aretz at best.
INN's response to this criticism was that the use of the word was for clarity.
I do not accept this.
Please at least put the word rabbi in parentheses ( ). Some of your contributors already do this. I believe that Steven Plaut is one.
Use of the title rabbi for those like Ponet is a denigration of those who truly deserve it.