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Israel, like Judaism, is for the tribe

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One thing that struck me about Judaism on my brief visit to Jerusalem is that it’s a tribal religion. The god that it posits — the ineffable YHWH — is the god of a particular people, his Chosen People, in opposition to other gods of other peoples. That’s the way it originated in biblical times, when YHWH had to compete with Ba’al and other disreputable types, and that’s the way it still seems today. Christianity, ...

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bsmaven
April 3, 2012
12:37 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I'm jewish and have seen too many of my "tribe" throw accusations of anti-semitism when someone criticizes Israel and judaism. Its a lazy person's response to a well written column. My problem is that what good is Carl's analysis for the mid-east reality. If Israel were to cease being a state that favors one tribe , the Jews, and became part of a larger "democratic" palestine what would happen? You think there would be a more tolerant government or society? Israeli jews live in a tribal world and the other tribes outnumber them and would be happy to kill many more of their adults and children, its just that they are not as effective at it as the Israelis. Yes the tribal mentality and view of the world is not what I believe a nation should be built on, but as they say, what is the alternative in that situation? The other tribes living there didn't start hating the jews when Israel declared independence or after the jews defeated them in war. Unfortunately the tribal hatred and killing has gone on for too long and is whipped up by much of arab society and government. Maybe if tribal and religious identity goes away Israel can become part of a true US style "open for anyone" democracy. How we get to that point is the question, but Carl don't just ask for the jews to change.

Woodrow
April 3, 2012
3:02 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

I am not a Jew, nor have I ever travelled to Israel. But I can't help but marvel at how the state of Israel has survived all these years. "Oh.", Carl might say, "The U.S. provides $$millions in aid, of course Israel survives."

That aid helps, of course, but there's more to Israel, to that tiny state that thrives while surrounded by nations devoted to its annihilation than cash and weapons from the west. Sad that Israel must maintain a police-state, but that is one of the necessities to protect that tiny oasis in the mideast.

capdisgeo
April 3, 2012
4:11 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Carl Strock deserves a Pulitzer for these reports. For years when I travelled in other countries and read their newspaper accounts of the Apartheid going on in Israel, that our tax dollars support, I would feel ashamed to be an American. Our politicans have been bought and sold by U.S. based Pro-Israel political donations. Our newspapers, until now, have never reported the truth of whats going on over there out of fear of being labelled "anti-semitic". If all Americans understood that we bought the bullets that killed those 1000+ children, our sickening aid to this ruthless regime would end tomorrow. But thanks to youtube.com and many brave groups, some of which are actually Jewish, the atrocities committed on the Palestinian people by Israeli Army are finally coming to light. Bravo to you, Carl Strock! Be careful. The Israeli Army shot and killed British reporters in 2007, as was documented on HBO.

hodgkinst
April 3, 2012
4:45 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

http://nkusa.org/

Neturei-Karta is a group of orthodox Jews that oppose the State of Israel. I first ran into them outside of the Memorial Chapel at Union College when Ehud Olmert gave a speech there in 2010. They were chanting 'Nazi Olmert' as he was leaving out the back door. It took me a second to understand them through their thick Yiddish accents, but their message was clear. They also understood the historical ironies expressed by Strock.

From their website:

Neturei Karta oppose the so-called "State of Israel" not because it operates secularly, but because the entire concept of a sovereign Jewish state is contrary to Jewish Law.

All the great rabbis who in accordance with Jewish Law opposed Zionism at its inception did not do so merely due to consideration of the secular lifestyles of the then Zionist leaders or even for their opposition to Torah heritage and rejection of its values and practices, but due to the fact that the entire concept of a Jewish state is in direct conflict with a number of Judaism's fundamentals.

Condemnation of and segregation from anything connected to or affiliated with the so-called modern day "State of Israel" is based on the Talmud, the key fundamental doctrine of the Oral Tradition handed down by G-d to Moses on Mt. Sinai. The Talmud in Tractate Kesubos (p. 111a), teaches that Jews shall not use human force to bring about the establishment of a Jewish state before the coming of the universally accepted Moshiach (Messiah from the House of David). Furthermore it states that we are forbidden to rebel against the nations and that we should remain loyal citizens and we shall not attempt to leave the exile which G-d sent us into, ahead of time.

Jews are not allowed to dominate, kill, harm or demean another people and are not allowed to have anything to do with the Zionist enterprise, their political meddling and their wars.

Neturei Karta forbid any participation with the so-called "State of Israel" or any of its subsidiaries. Neturei Karta followers do not participate in "Israeli" elections nor do they accept any aid from "Bituach Le'Umi" (Social Security), and the educational institutions of the Neturei Karta reject any form of financial support from the so-called "Va'ad HaYeshivos" (equiv. to Department of Education).

The Zionist state employs a set of chief rabbis and uses religious parties to ornament their state with a clerical image. They study the Torah with commentaries altered to clothe the words with nationalistic nuances. Our rabbis have countless times proclaimed that it matters little which individuals or parties govern in the Zionist state because the very establishment and existence of the state itself is to be condemned and to be deplored.

Woodrow
April 3, 2012
5:10 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

capdisgeo - Tossing around words like, "Apartheid" is careless, don't you think? Well over 20% of the citizens of Israel are Arabs, mostly Palestinians, who have all the same rights as all other citizens.

Interesting how you, and Carl, like to leave out the regular diet of terrorism and missiles that Israel is forced to continually endure. Please remind yourself that Israel is surrounded by nations devoted to her non-existence.

I don't think you're anti-semitic, just misguided and knee-jerk in your thinking.

capdisgeo
April 3, 2012
6:54 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

"Careless"? lol You are loyal, I'll give you that. Informed you're not though. The State of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians has been compared by United Nations investigators, numerous human rights groups and the European Union to South Africa's treatment of non-whites during its apartheid era. Israel has also been accused of committing the crime of apartheid by the European Union, saying that "a system of control" in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, including Jewish-only settlements, separate roads, military checkpoints, discriminatory marriage law, the West Bank barrier, use of Palestinians as cheap labor, Palestinian West Bank enclaves, inequities in infrastructure, legal rights, and access to land and resources between Palestinians and Israeli residents in the Israeli-occupied territories resembles aspects of the South African apartheid regime, and that elements of Israel's occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law. The World Court in the Hague extended the analogy in 2007, to include Arab citizens of Israel, describing their citizenship status as second-class.

Woodrow
April 3, 2012
7:44 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

capdisgeo - I gave you the benefit of the doubt, but you may be an anti-semite after all; a very commited one at that.I bet you think Arafat was worthy of his Nobel prize.

capdisgeo
April 3, 2012
11:20 p.m.

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There you go, using the ONLY defense a Pro-Israel supporter has left when confronted with the truth..."you're an anti-semite" lol. Those were not my words genius. Those were quotes directly from published announcements from the United Nations and the European Union. So I guess they are all anti-semites too? Arafat is probably rotting in hell right now. But so will the Israeli soldiers who shoot children.

Woodrow
April 4, 2012
9:31 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

capdisgeo - You're right. It's a weak and careless defense. At least give me credit for saying you "appear to be an anti-semite", and not that you are definitely an anti-semite. I don't think you are. Since we've only conversed in a casual forum very briefly, it's unfair to label one another. All I can fairly say is that from what you've wrote, you are pro-Palestinian, and clearly unwilling to acknowledge anything good about Israel.

If you're willing to look at other views, read the letter to the the editor in today's gazette. I can't recall the name right now who wrote it. Be prepared, though, I think this person disagrees with your sentiments that Carl deserves a Pulitzer.

CharlesGeorge
April 6, 2012
10:32 a.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Wonderful...
It takes real courage to write as you do..

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