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Friday, June 18, 2010

Rabbi who exposed Helen Thomas: Israel is not separate from Jewish identity

From an article about Rabbi David Nesenoff, the rabbi who interviewed Helen Thomas at the White House in late May and brought about her downfall.
Nesenoff, of Stony Brook, N.Y., was caught in a media whirlwind after capturing on video longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas telling Jews to “get the hell out of Palestine” and go “home” to Poland and Germany. Thomas, 89, abruptly retired as a columnist for the Hearst newspaper chain shortly after the comments were made public on YouTube and on Nesenoff’s website, rabbiLIVE.com.

Now, given a media spotlight — however brief — that he attributes to divine intervention, Nesenoff is on a mission to fight those who view Israel as something separate from Jewish identity.

“This concept… that there’s no connection between Israel and the children of Israel… now they’re coming out openly and saying it,” Nesenoff told the Forward in a June 11 interview. “It goes beyond anti-Semitic. It is anti-God, because anybody that believes in God, no matter which philosophy… believes in books and liturgy and literature that contain Jews as the children of Israel. That’s why this thing has blown up so big, because [Thomas] and the people that support her have broken into the very rock and the foundation of all religion and all philosophy.”
I don't know whether everyone who forced Thomas out thought this through the way Rabbi Nesenoff did. But it is certainly the case that there is no difference between attacking Israel and attacking Jews. One is a cover for the other (Neturei Karta and the like notwithstanding - Jews may get the difference but non-Jews for the most part do not). Just look at the rhetoric of groups like Hamas and Hezbullah and of governments like Iran and Syria. They're not attacking Israel - they're attacking Jews.


At 7:14 PM, Blogger nomatter said...

I hope people stop being so judgmental on him. Some of the comments about him made me sick. And I am not talking about the ones from antisemites either.

Carl you wrote:
"But it is certainly the case that there is no difference between attacking Israel and attacking Jews."

We know that However a greater world and those who lead the world have rewritten that truth by whitewashing the Palestinians.

"They're not attacking Israel - they're attacking Jews."

BINGO!!! So what does this say for our leaders, past and present?

Trust no one. When they show us through their actions they care, then we will trust.

At 2:02 AM, Blogger Teacake said...

Absolutely, attacking Israel is the round about way to attack Jews. I always question a person's need to criticize Israel when in fact all the information they have is biased and mostly untrue.

The connection between Israel and the Jewish People has been one in the same for thousands of years. How all the sudden is it that people think of pallies as the indigenous people when there is no history of them beyond 50 years or so?

At 5:50 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

My concern is religous-politics. Do not get me wrong, I support Israel's right to exist, defend itself and to allow its citizens to live in peace and prosper.

What that concern is the link between Judaism and Israel as becoming some political excuse. Is criticising Israel's politics anti-Semitic? I often find that when one is not happy with with the actions of the Israeli government or its defence forces you are automatically anti-Jew.

I have a problem with the religous politicial institution that makes up much of party-life in politics in Israel. Technically-speaking (and not a comparison), there are mroe radical religious parties within the Knesset of Israel then say radical religious parties in most Muslim countries. Many of them being in the current Coalition with far-right parties. It is they, that influence the non-intervention of Israel's commitment to stop the tide of settlements.

Making such comments that Israel and Judaism may be fine, but if it turns into political-Judaism (which I think Zionism has become), then it is a problem, because it affects those around it that are not Jewish or those that do not want to have that religous-Judaism affact them. I see a similarity and would go as far as to consider Zionism in this sense to be the very older brother of Islamism - political-Islam. In the purest sense it may have some logic but as soon as it affacts others whom are not Muslim or do not want it, there is an immediate conflict and injustice.

Donny vdH


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