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Sunday, August 05, 2012

Tom Friedman's quid pro quo?

There's a rumor going around pro-Israel circles that Tom Friedman was furious at his bosses at the New York Times for allowing Yesha Council Chairman Dani Dayan access to the Times editorial pages. An op-ed appears in Sunday's Times that is so dripping with hatred for traditional Judaism and the Jewish state that one cannot help but wonder whether the Times published it to mollify Friedman, who is, after all, considered one of their top editorial writers (which is a sad comment on the Times' editorial page). The op-ed was written by former Knesset Speaker Avrum Burg, who acquired French citizenship in 2004 (but according to Wikipedia currently lives in Israel).
Mr. Netanyahu’s great political “achievement” has been to make Israel a partisan issue and push American Jews into a corner. He has forced them to make political decisions based on calculations that go against what they perceive to be American interests. The emotional extortion compels Jews to pressure the Obama administration, a government with which they actually share values and worldviews, when those who love Israel should be doing the opposite: helping the American government to intervene and save Israel from itself.
It's not Netanyahu's achievement. It's Barack Obama's and the American Left's. It used to be that support for Israel was a given for both parties. Survey after survey has shown that in the Democratic party support for Israel has dropped significantly. In fact, the party's Left flank is openly hostile to Israel. This confronts at least some American Jews with a dilemma: Support the party that overwhelmingly supports Israel or support the party that supports unrestricted abortions and redistribution of wealth. And for those American Jews to whom Israel really matters, but who still have otherwise 'liberal' views, this poses a dilemma. But not the one that Burg is expounding.
Israel arose as a secular, social democratic country inspired by Western European democracies. With time, however, its core values have become entirely different. Israel today is a religious, capitalist state. Its religiosity is defined by the most extreme Orthodox interpretations. Its capitalism has erased much of the social solidarity of the past, with the exception of a few remaining vestiges of a welfare state.
Much of that is true (although I would vehemently contest the phrase 'most extreme Orthodox interpretations). But it's a function of who has come to live here. Most of those who have come here out of choice rather than necessity are Orthodox Jews. No one else is interested, except of course the non-Jewish Russians who wanted to improve their economic status. And as to capitalism, Burg was fine with capitalism so long as it benefited the Labor party and its cronies. Why can't others benefit as well? Should we go back to the situation where the Histadrut shuts the country down once a week instead of once every six months?
In the early years of statehood, the meaning of the term “Jewish” was national and secular. In the eyes of Israel’s founding fathers, to be a Jew was exactly like being an Italian, Frenchman or American. Over the years, this elusive concept has changed; today, the meaning of “Jewish” in Israel is mainly ethnic and religious.
No, it was never 'national and secular. Here and there, there were people who showed up who wanted to convert, but they would never want to live in Israel as non-Jews. Unless they were Arabs.
The winds of isolation and narrowness are blowing through Israel. Rude and arrogant power brokers, some of whom hold senior positions in government, exclude non-Jews from Israeli public spaces.
Anyone know to whom he's referring?
Graffiti in the streets demonstrates their hidden dreams: a pure Israel with “no Arabs” and “no gentiles.”
Well, that's real authoritative. People who are 'rude and arrogant power brokers' are writing graffiti in the streets? Telling others to write graffiti in the streets? Graffiti represents a country's political ethos? Huh?
But there is another option: an iconic conflict could also present an iconic solution. As in Northern Ireland or South Africa, where citizens no longer spill one another’s blood, it will eventually become clear that many Israelis are not willing to live in an ethnic democracy, not willing to give up on the chance to live in peace, not willing to be passive patriots of a country that expels or purifies itself of its minorities, who are the original inhabitants of the land.
Is this what he learned in Netiv Meir (the local religious Jerusalem high school that he attended) - that the 'Palestinians' are the original inhabitants of the land? His father must be rolling over in his grave. And while I've never compared Israel to South Africa (which I don't believe is quite the utopia he makes it out to be), I have compared it to Northern Ireland and explained why the comparison is totally inappropriate.

Someone please take Avrum Burg off the list of 'pro-Israel' writers and speakers. He's definitely neither of those.

Read the whole thing. If you can stand it.

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At 9:22 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

It should be pointed out David David Ben Gurion, by most accounts who was an atheist, also followed the Bible!

You will look in vain in Burg's entire article for mention of the fundamental source of Jewish history that inspired Ben Gurion and Israel's founding fathers.

Zionism may have sought to construct a New Jew - but it was a Jew rooted in the Jewish heritage of his country. A Jewish heritage that Burg dismisses for which he cannot find the time to acknowledge it.

What did Burg really learn in Netiv Meir? Clue me in - we would all love to know!

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Dan Kelso said...

Burg wants a 1 state solution.
If Burg wants a 1 state solution, he's free to move to Syria, Egypt and Gaza and live under Sharia law.
Ofcourse Burg dont want that and thats why he lives in France.
Burg should know, Israel existed 15centuries before Mohammad and Islam were born.

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Dan Kelso said...

Burg doesn't want to talk about Palestinian terrorism, not generation after generation of officially sanctioned Palestinian incitement.
Earth to Burg, go on Palmediawatch to see for yourself.

Burg is upset that the Arabs can no longer ethnic cleanse the Jews from their historic capitol.
ISRAEL which is defending itself against Pan-Arabism, Arab imperialism and Arabization of the Middle East – that is the “problem you dont like.
The real problem is global Arab/Moslem insistence to spread hate, violence, wars, terrorism, lies, false accusations against Jews and reducing Jews to subhumans or second class citizens – slaves or servants – without any human rights.
When you have Palestinian leaders teaching their people, If their are 10 Jews and you kill 6 of them, how many Jews are Left?
When you have these same wicked leaders telling their people that Jews are the sons of Pigs and Apes.
When you have Palestinian Mufti’s teaching in Mosques that the highest goal for a Muslim is to kill the Jews and to think Burg supports these nut jobs.

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Dan Kelso said...

Shamefully, IOC can’t spare a minute to mark 1972 Palestinian Munich terrorism.
Burg as usual is silent on remembering Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism.
Does Burg think Israelis have human rights? Like the right to live

11 Olympic Athletes and coaches brutally murdered during the OLYMPIC Games does not deserve one minute of silence in their memory? If it were any other country there would have been a whole presentation including photos and moving music!!!!

To this day, these Munich murderers are officially revered in the Palestinian Authority and elsewhere in the Islamic world as heroes.
Indeed, murdering Israelis is religiously permitted under Islam.

The terrorist-worshipping PA has been glofifying the Munich massacre for years, while Burg says nothing about this.


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