Saturday, January 21, 2012

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

First Mitt Romney, said that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East should be, "to do whatever our ally Israel asks to to do." Then Rick Santorum said that there is no Israeli occupation: that the West Bank belongs to Israel just like Texas and New Mexico belong to the U.S.A. Then Newt Gingrich said that the Palestinians are an "invented people," and added that if they wanted a state anyway, they should find it in Jordan. Now the Republican National Committee has passed the resolution below. I don't know whether to be more aghast at the conclusion (a one state solution?) or at the fundamentalist logic that got them there, or at the cluelessness about what they are actually advocating for or the facts on the ground.

And this doesn't even begin to speak to how they would F up American domestic policy.

These guys have at least 50-50 chance of winning the 2012 Presidential elections.

* * *


WHEREAS, Israel has been granted her lands under and through the oldest recorded deed as reported in the Old Testament, a tome of scripture held sacred and reverenced by Jew and Christian, alike, as the acts and words of God; and

WHEREAS, as the Grantor of said lands, God stated to the Jewish people in the Old Testament; in Leviticus, Chapter 20, Verse 24: “Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey”; and

WHEREAS, God has never rescinded his grant of said lands; and

WHEREAS, along with the grant of said lands to the Jewish people, God provided for the non-Jewish residents of the land in commanding that governance must be in one law for all without drawing distinction between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens, as contained in Leviticus 24:22, and

WHEREAS, the Nation of Israel declared its independent control and governance of said lands on May 14, 1948, with the goal of re-establishing their God-given lands as a homeland for the Jewish people; and

WHEREAS, the United States of America, having been the first country to recognize Israel as an independent nation and as Israel’s principal Mideast ally, has enjoyed a close and mutually beneficial relationship with Israel and her people; and

WHEREAS, indeed, Israel is the United States of America’s greatest friend in the Mideast; and

WHEREAS, the roots of Israel and the roots of the United States of America are so intertwined that it is difficult to separate one from the other under the word and protection of almighty God; and

WHEREAS, there are those in the Middle East who have sought to destroy Israel from its inception as a nation; and

WHEREAS, those same enemies of Israel also seek to destroy the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, the United States of America and the nation of Israel have enjoyed cordial and mutually beneficial relations since 1948, a friendship that should continues to strengthen with each passing year.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Republican Nation Committee that the committee by this resolution commends the nation of Israel for its relations with the United States of America.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the members of this body support Israel in their natural and God-given right of self-governance and self-defense upon their own lands, recognizing that Israel is neither an attacking force nor an occupier of the lands of others; and that peace can be afforded the region only through a united Israel governed under one law for all people.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate Leadership and each of the legislatures of the states within the United States of America with the request and recommendation of this body that a similar resolution to that stated herein be proposed within their respective bodies.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Judaism is the Answer"

The long time slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood has been "Islam is the answer." Israel (and Judaism) is now faced with its own "Jewish Brotherhood" which is getting stronger and bolder by the day.

In an recent interview, Benny Katzover, a long time leader of the settlement movement made this explicit.
"the main role of Israeli democracy now is to disappear. Israeli democracy has finished its role, and it must disassemble and give way to Judaism. All leads toward recognition that there is no other way but to place Judaism at the center, above all else, and this is the answer to every situation."
This should not surprise us. It is completely in keeping with the underlying theory espoused by the "guru" of religious Zionism, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. Writing in the 1920s, he posited that secular liberal (or even socialist) Zionism was actually God's (mysterious) way of fulfilling the religious messianic vision of a renewed Jewish "Kingdom of God" in the land of Israel. Of course the secular Zionists did not understand this themselves: that they were but a stepping stone to the Kingdom of God. But religious Zionists should, and that is why they should cooperate with the seculars. Katzover is merely pointing out that the seculars have now fulfilled their mission and its is time for them (and their corrupt values, like Democracy and Peace) to fade away and hand over power to God's agents on earth - i.e Katzover and the Rabbis. This is the basic thesis of most religious Zionism. This is the world view is taught in the "National Religious" school system and yeshivot in Israel. (About 30% of Israels 'children attend such schools. The ultra-Orthodox "Separate School" system has about 20%, the Arab system about 20% and the "State" -i.e. secular Hebrew - system about 30%.). Its also taught in many Jewish schools in the diaspora.

Liberal Jews, should know what we are up against.

Read more details of the Katzover interview in Haaretz.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Something to Pray For:
A non-Awful 2012

As bad as things are they can always get worse. So here is something to pray for - or rather against. Noam Sheizaf at 972 is predicting that 2012 will be the year democracy ends in Israel:

... According to the Israeli system, the Central Elections Committee has the right to forbid parties who support terrorism, racism or oppose democracy from participating in the elections. But the committee is a political body, composed of Members of Knesset, and is currently controlled by the right. In the past, it has tried to use this article in the law for political purposes, but has failed. This time it may succeed.
It is very likely that the Central Elections Committee may ban the two major Arab parties, Balad and Raam-Taal, from participating in the elections. Given the public hostility to Balad, and especially to its MK Hanin Zoabi[photo above], letting Balad participate would be a huge surprise.
The result would almost certainly be a call for all Palestinian citizens to boycott the elections. And to be honest, I am not sure that any Jewish progressive should participate in an election in which the ruling coalition bans opposition parties. Arab parties that would be allowed to run – if there are such – would be faced with a major problem, as would Jewish democrats – the few that are left. Historically, the dilemma whether to boycott elections or leave the parliament in protest of anti-democratic laws has always been a major crossroad on the way to authoritarian regimes.

Low Arab turnout, and perhaps even full non-participation, would hand the right a landslide victory in the elections (the left has not won a majority in the Jewish public since 1973, and currently it is far from it, even with the Arab vote). Such events would surly benefit Avigdor Lieberman, by framing the elections around the Palestinian citizens. Lieberman’s racist proposals surrounding the issue could attract many new voters to his party.

The 19th Knesset will be much more rightwing then the current one. More importantly, Israel won’t be able to go on claiming that it respects minority rights after forcing their representatives out of the Knesset. The left will be torn apart and the Palestinian minority will be forever alienated.

And from there it will all go downhill.
Of course, other people are predicting the 2012 will be the year the world ends, so Noam could be wrong. Lets pray he is.