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Sunday, July 12, 2009

What a 7-year old can teach Obama about Israel

The Jewish Week (!) publishes an article about a 7-year old's trip to Me'arath HaMachpeila (the Cave of the Patriarchs - pictured) and what it can teach President Obama about Israel (Hat Tip: NY Nana). Here's the key passage:
A recent Washington Post article described the role played by President Obama's Jewish friends and advisors in setting his draconian anti-settlement policies. It's a shame that the advisors have little or none of the deep emotional Jewish ties to the birthplace and birthright of Judaism - the Biblical sites in East Jerusalem, Hebron or Shiloh. They view with distain the religious devotion of the modern Orthodox Jews and the more than100,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews who live in Judea and Samaria (not unlike the embarrassment that their parents felt toward their Yiddish-speaking Orthodox grandparents who arrived in America in the early 20th century). Unlike their American Jewish cousins, there will be little if any intermarriage or assimilation among the observant Israeli Jews.

The American friends and advisors to Obama may be friends or relatives of Israelis who are, more often than not, secular Israelis from the Tel Aviv region. The ignorance about the religious "other" is not the sole property of the American Jewish advisors.

Former Prime Ministers Barak and Olmert were quick to relinquish the Jewish patrimony. During the Oslo Accords withdrawal one Israeli military negotiator had no inkling about the sanctity of Rachel's Tomb and "gave it away" until ultra-Orthodox rabbinic leaders persuaded Prime Minister Rabin to correct the spiritual crime.

The relationship between Obama's Jews on one hand and the ardent American Zionists and patriotic Israelis on the other is reminiscent of a conversation held more than a century ago between Chaim Weizmann and Lord Arthur Balfour, the eventual author of the Balfour Declaration that launched the policy to establish a Jewish homeland. Balfour could not fathom why persecuted Russian Jews refused an offer of safe asylum in Uganda. Weizmann argued that Zionist Jews could not accept a home anywhere but Jerusalem.

"Suppose I were to offer you Paris instead of London," Weizmann said.

"But, Dr. Weizmann," Balfour responded, "we have London."

"That is true," Weizmann said, "but we had Jerusalem when London was a marsh."

Balfour asked, "Are there many Jews who think like you?"

"I believe I speak the minds of millions of Jews," replied Weizmann.

"It is curious," said Balfour, "the Jews I meet are quite different."

"Mr. Balfour," Weizmann retorted, "you meet the wrong kind of Jews."
Read the whole thing.


At 10:13 AM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

Carl, thank you for the hat tip.

Lately the Jewish Week seems to have actually understood the menace Hussein is to the USA and to Israel,and the Jews. Alas, they were asleep pre-Nov.4, 2008, but are now aware of just what has happened.

Would that the liberal Jews here would awaken from their state of suspended animation, and realize just how bad Hussein is.

My kids now have many regrets, and are chastened, but at the same time, they realize what this will do to their kids' future, and beyond.

At 10:20 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The kind of Jews Obama and his Jewish advisors know are the wrong kind of Jews.

More Jews in Israel are becoming more religious and haredi than they are becoming nonobservant and secular. Its not hard to see which Jews are having babies and which aren't. Granted, haredi Jews aren't fond of Zionism. But it would be wrong to conclude they don't love the Land Of Israel. In the end, all that will take to keep Jews from disappearing the way the Crusaders did is their faith.

The Arabs will probably regret striking a deal with Israel today because this is the last generation of Jews that will agree to a partition of the land with them. Those who believe G-d gave Eretz Israel as a Divine Promise to the Jewish people will never relinquish a single grain of it.


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