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.


  • 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. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Features Opinion Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Late Friday night, on November 13, I was headed for bed when an ominous news bulletin flashed across my computer screen – something about a shooting in Paris. It wasn’t long before the “small number” of shootings and casualties began to double and triple and quadruple. The locations of attacks seemed crazily disorganized, and the tweets and videos became more and more horrifying. It was a long night for many stunned observers. We tried to understand what was happening, and […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Theater BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    In an interview with the Israeli site nrg on Wednesday, Belgian-Jewish stage actress Noemi Schlosser recounted immigrating to Israel after her career in Europe was destroyed by BDS. Schlosser said she had enjoyed success in Belgium and international acclaim until she was targeted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for her pro-Israel stance during Operation Protective Edge — last summer’s war against Hamas in Gaza. She described watching the theaters where she performed go from packed to nearly empty over a short period of […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    The manager of the Chelsea Football Club said on Monday that he is looking forward to playing in Israel this week against Maccabi Tel Aviv, in spite of the security situation, Israeli news site nrg reported. Jose Murinho, who is already in Israel with his team to compete against Maccabi in the Champions League soccer match, was  asked whether he was worried about the current wave of Palestinian violence sweeping the country. “I have no worries at all regarding the security situation, and neither do […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    Blaming the West has become the most pervasive method of teaching for many Middle East studies departments, which are becoming the heart of pop-culture academia. Efraim Karsh, a distinguished professor of Middle Eastern studies at Bar-Ilan University and professor emeritus at King’s College London, in his latest book The Tail Wags the Dog: International Politics and the Middle East, dispels this myth. “Britain’s ‘original sin,’ if such was indeed committed, lay not in the breaking up of Middle Eastern unity but […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About

    With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About – The Mensch on a Bench is so much happier now than he was a year ago. Look carefully and you will notice that, whereas the previous Mensch had a decidedly worried look, this latest version of the popular Hanukkah toy is flashing an exuberant grin. Is the erstwhile Mensch smiling because he expects to be in some 100,000 homes by year’s end? In truth, the change in visage was suggested last year by the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Actor Adam Sandler unveiled a new version of his famous “Chanukah Song” on Saturday, adding a slew of Jewish celebrities to the ditty’s updated lyrics. The comedian — who released the original song about being Jewish during Christmas in 1996 — performed the latest version of the comedic track during the New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and “the two guys who founded Google” are among the famous Jewish celebrities now in the line up. Sandler also included lyrics about Star Wars‘ Princess […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom – Famed Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman will be among the 17 recipients of America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom next week. He is the fourth Israeli to receive the highest civilian honor in the US. “A native of Israel, he came to the United States at a young age and was introduced to Americans broadly when he appeared on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1958. Mr. Perlman made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963 when he was 18,” a White House […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots

    Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots – While Israel is a common destination for cultural and religious pilgrimages, travelers seeking the best hotels, fine dining, and upscale relaxation less often find themselves in the Holy Land. Yet in recent years, the country’s burgeoning tech scene has attracted a business crowd accustomed to ritzy accommodation. Besides, the permanent summer of Tel Aviv and Eilat makes them prime destinations for European vacationers. Israel’s populace managed to tame the swamps and irrigate the desert — so going luxury should […]

    Read more →