Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Rabbis Who Screw Israel

December 7, 2012 10:53 am 2 comments

Congregation B'nai Jeshurun.

The New York Times has now devoted two major articles, including a page one feature, to a mostly boring story about Bnei Jeshurun on the Upper West Side of Manhattan whose Rabbis, J. Rolando Matalon, Marcelo R. Bronstein and Felicia L. Sol, sent out an email in the wake of the UN vote to upgrade the Palestinians to observer status. The email stated, “The vote at the U.N. yesterday is a great moment for us as citizens of the world. This is an opportunity to celebrate the process that allows a nation to come forward and ask for recognition.”

Now, does anyone really care about a ridiculous email that was sent to a congregation? Does this merit national attention? How could a deeply misguided communal email like this have caused such a ruckus? After all, we all agree that Rabbis are entitled to their opinions, however wrong, and should not be silenced.

But, it turns out that when Rabbis criticize Israel or are seen to join the other side, guess what. It’s news. Big news.

For the record, I like Bnei Jeshurun and I did the U.S. launch for my book Kosher Sex there in 1999, while still living in Britain. It’s a successful congregation that has fostered an affiliation with Judaism among many who might have remained on the outside.

But I learned something in Oxford as Rabbi that I’ll never forget and even coined it as a phrase. Tolerating the intolerable is the liberalism of fools.

The Palestinian Authority remains a force deeply hostile to Israel as a Jewish state and Mahmoud Abbas has been adamant that he will not recognize Israel’s uniquely Jewish character. On 27 April 2009, he said, “A Jewish state, what is that supposed to mean? You can call yourselves as you like, but I don’t accept it and I say so publicly.” Worse, the Palestinian Authority is an entity that continues to glorify terrorists who murder Jews. As Palestinian Media Watch reports, Abd Al-Baset Udeh, the murderer of 30 innocent Jews at the Passover Seder massacre, had a soccer event for teenagers named for him. His brother distributed the trophies. And who can forget Dalal Mughrabi, the terrorist who led the bloodiest attack in Israel’s history in 1978, when she and other terrorists killed 37 civilians, 12 of them children. This monster has had summer camps, schools, graduation ceremonies and sporting events named for her.

Abbas himself seems to have a problem recognizing Jewish suffering. His 1982 thesis titled “The Secret Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement” maintains that “less than one million” Jews died in the holocaust. Abbas also outrageously claimed that the Zionist leadership were collaborators with the Nazi regime to “facilitate the wide-spread destruction” of Jews.

But lest anyone say that all of this is in the past and Abbas is a new man, look at the speech that he gave at the UN for the observer status vote where he accused Israel of killing many Palestinians in the recent Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza and intentionally causing ferocious damage to Gaza infrastructure. Referring to the “Nakba-catastrophe” events of 1948, he said that Israel is a racist country committed modern ethnic cleansing. He added that Israel is guilty of colonizing Palestine and continuing its aggression.

Are these the pronouncements of a man who wants peace? Do they presage a Palestinian entity that will use its observer status to promote conciliation or one hell-bent on delegitimizing Israel?

So the question becomes, why would Rabbis endorse these words? Where is it a mitzvah to uphold the rights of one people when those rights are abused to defame, delegitimize, and destroy another?

Noone disputes that Palestinians are equal children of God to the Jews and are endowed with the same inalienable rights. What is at issue here is why the Palestinians do not have a state. And the clear answer is that every time Israel has been misguided enough to trade land for peace it has mostly led to the land being used as a launching pad for wars of annihilation against Israel. Land for peace has always resulted in dead Jews.

If there are fewer dead Jews today at the hands of murderers who infiltrate from the West Bank it is not because of any lessening of the commitment on the part of terrorists to murder them, but because Israel has built a wall to keep the killers out.

There are, thank God, more than a billion Muslims in the world. But there are only fourteen millions Jews in the world and probably not more than a few thousand Rabbis in all of America.

Surely Rabbis should be firmly on the side of Israel.

No doubt the day will one day come when Arabs will reach out to Jews truly as brothers and peace will break out across the globe, just as the prophet Isaiah foretold. But Rabbis forcing that day and pretending its already here when so many of our Palestinian brothers are sadly still committed to the Jewish state’s destruction is dangerous, naïve, and the liberalism of fools.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international best-selling author of 29 books, an award-winning TV and radio host, and is currently writing a new book on relationships entitled Kosher Lust. Next month he will publish The Fed-Up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

2 Comments

  • When one speaks about the apartheid State of Israel together with the ethnic cleansing of of Arabs from Israel,this is one hell of a complete fabrication of the truth. The truth being that today is Israel 20% of the population are Israeli Arabs citizens, Muslim as well as Christians. There are Jews in Israel whom originated from Ethiopia, Black Jews, just as there are are Black Palestinian Muslims whom also originated from black Africa, they were once the slaves of Arabs. However where there was once one million Jews throughout the Arab world, the Middle-East and North-Africa, today there are only around 6,000 left at the most, mainly in Morocco and Tunisia, with a few hundred scattered throughout Syria,Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain, that is what you call ethnic cleansing at it’s pinnacle. The Arab world is extremely successful in orating their lying propaganda to the fools in the west who soak it all up, then turn their hatred towards Israel, whereby attacks on Jews today once again is open sport. I spit upon the Europe of today, because a leopard never changes his spots.

  • Independent states who constitutionally state their worshipful essence, Ireland, Spain, Italy would include the oligarchies of the Muslim world. Lionising scoundrels for propaganda-imitation purposes is proverbial and with time satirised justifiably.

    Holocaust denial, the “Nakba catastrophe”, allegations of racism, ethnic cleansing and colonisation are throw away terms usually dismissed by the averagely intelligent person. But here Rabbi Teach is on more factual ground, a great distance from mythology, ideology and superstition encouraged by powerful men if only to protect their control.

    Religious preoccupation with morality is selective. And Rabbi Teach is a recognised authority. What I believe he fails to address is “Palestine” and the Palestinians are an issue politicised beyond rational discussion. Favouring wholly the refugees in Gaza and the West Bank is folly, perhaps the liberalism of fools. Perhaps also is the opposite?

    The divided Jewish religious world is concerned with the dangerous, naive and the freedom of partiality. Today ancient Judaeophobia is the new antisemitism. That is the realpolitik of Jews for millennia. And they have survived.

    Israel and the Jews should not be two separate issues, one political, one religious. Possibly, omitting his self promotion of Kosher Sex, that is what the Rabbi is trying to say?

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Personalities Sports Book Pitches World War II as Lasting Part of Hank Greenberg’s Legacy

    Book Pitches World War II as Lasting Part of Hank Greenberg’s Legacy

    JNS.org – Baseball fans might most vividly remember Hank Greenberg for his chase of Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record in 1938 and his other impressive exploits on the field. The smaller universe of Jewish baseball fans may remember him for sitting out a crucial game on Yom Kippur decades before Sandy Koufax would do the same. But author John Klima wants readers of any background to know the unsung story of Greenberg’s World War II service. As indicated by its […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Can ‘Islamic Reformation’ Work? (REVIEW)

    Can ‘Islamic Reformation’ Work? (REVIEW)

    It is cocktail hour on an April afternoon in 2004. The sun is hot on Amsterdam’s canals, and I am sitting at Café den Leeuw on the Herengracht with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Hirsi Ali is still a member of the Dutch Parliament, and we talk about Islam. Specifically, we talk about the concept of “moderate Islam,” or what she calls “liberal Islam.” And she has one word for it. “It’s absurd,” she says. “It’s complete nonsense. There is no ‘liberal […]

    Read more →
  • Food Jewish Identity A Look at the Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook (REVIEW)

    A Look at the Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook (REVIEW)

    Everybody knows that cooking varies from country to country. There are Italian restaurants, Chinese restaurants, etc. We associate different styles of cuisine with different languages. Do we also think of the association of different cuisines with different dialects? We should, because cooking also varies from region to region. Litvaks and Galitsyaners have their own traditions of preparing gefilte fish. Marvin I. Herzog, in his book The Yiddish Language in Northern Poland: Its Geography and History (Indiana University, Bloomington, and Mouton & Co., The […]

    Read more →
  • Relationships US & Canada Analysis: Jewish Women Less Likely Than Catholics to Take Husband’s Name

    Analysis: Jewish Women Less Likely Than Catholics to Take Husband’s Name

    An analysis of New York Times wedding announcements showed that women married in Jewish ceremonies were less likely to take their husband’s last names than those married in Roman Catholic ceremonies, the Times reported on Saturday. The largest gap between the two groups was in 1995 when 66 percent of Catholic women took their husband’s names and 33 percent of Jewish women did the same. Nearly half of the women featured in the publication’s wedding pages since 1985 took their husband’s name after marriage, while about […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Jerry Lewis, Legendary Jewish Comic and Humanitarian, Stays Relevant at 89

    Jerry Lewis, Legendary Jewish Comic and Humanitarian, Stays Relevant at 89

    JNS.org – Through appreciation of both his comedy and humanitarian work, legendary Jewish entertainer Jerry Lewis is staying relevant at age 89. The only comic to ever be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Lewis added another award to his trophy case in April, when he received the 2015 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Gordon Smith, NAB’s president and CEO, said the organization was “honored to recognize not only [Lewis’s] comedic innovation, but also his remarkable […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Israeli Gymnasts Win Bronze, Silver Medals at 2015 European Games in Baku

    Israeli Gymnasts Win Bronze, Silver Medals at 2015 European Games in Baku

    Israeli athletes marked a successful day on Sunday, as gymnasts won multiple bronze and silver medals in the 2015 European Games in Baku. The Gymnastics team won two silver medals and one bronze in group events, while Neta Rivkin, an Israeli Olympic gymnast, won bronze for the Solo Hoops event. Sunday’s gymnastics wins follow Sergey Richter’s bronze on June 16 for the Men’s 10 meter air-rifle, and Ilana Kratysh’s silver for women’s freestyle wrestling. The 2015 European Games in Baku are […]

    Read more →
  • Theater Report Highlights Success of Russian-Jewish-American Ballroom Dancers

    Report Highlights Success of Russian-Jewish-American Ballroom Dancers

    Russian-American Jews are some of the most successful ballroom dancing competitors in the U.S., South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SDPB) Radio reported on Thursday. Jonathan Sarna, a professor of Jewish history at Brandeis University, said their success can be traced back to Jewish discrimination in the former Soviet Union. Because of the prejudice they faced, Russian Jews had to perform better than their peers in every field, including dancing, in order to have a chance of getting ahead. “They knew that if they […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Dancer With Shofar, Prayer Shawl Wows ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges (VIDEO)

    Israeli Dancer With Shofar, Prayer Shawl Wows ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Judges (VIDEO)

    An Israeli dancer made use of Jewish props in an extraordinary routine that left judges amazed when he auditioned for season 12 of TV dance competition So You Think You Can Dance on Monday. At first, the panel of judges appeared confused when Asaf Goren, 23, began his audition in Los Angeles with a tallit (prayer shawl) over his head and the blowing of a shofar, which he explained “opens the sky” for people’s prayers. However, as soon as he started his “Hebrew breaking” performance, […]

    Read more →