Posts Tagged ‘Israeli rabbis’

Is Israel becoming a racist state?

June 4, 2011

Americans—especially older Americans—like Israel because it’s like America: democracy, constitutional principles, independent, industrious, and tough people. But the trend on American campuses is to not like Israel so much because of the way they treat the Palestinians (and Syrians) in the territories they conquered in 1967. As Thomas Friedman told Fareed Zakaria last Sunday,

“Netanyahu…can get standing ovations in the U.S. Congress anytime [he wants], seven days a week, 24/7. How many standing ovations do you think he could get at the student government at the University of Missouri? At Stanford? At Harvard? At the University of Virginia? At the University of Texas? If you went to those student governments, they’re the future. They’re the future of voters. They’re the future people who will maintain the strategic relationship with Israel. And there, I can tell you, as anyone who goes to college campuses knows, that people don’t get Israel, what Israel is doing right now. They — some are alienated.”

The students are seeing the right-wing religious parties gaining more of a stranglehold over Israeli government policies, and seeing treatment of the conquered peoples getting worse. Fans of Israel have long defended her by saying (more…)

Israeli rabbis spew hate, Netanyahu and others condemn them

December 10, 2010

 

Religious or racial hatred is ugly and evil, wherever it pops its head. But it’s much uglier when it’s spread in the name of religion. This is from Agence France-Presse last Tuesday:

Fifty Israeli rabbis have signed an open letter warning Jews not to rent or sell property to non-Jews, saying those who do should be “ostracized,” a copy of the letter showed on Tuesday.

“In answer to the many questions, we say that it is forbidden in the Torah to sell a house or a field in the land of Israel to a foreigner,” says the letter, referring to the Pentateuch, or the first five books of the Bible.

The text, which was signed mostly by state-employed rabbis, warns “he who sells or rents them a flat in an area where Jews live causes great harm to his neighbors.”

While the Israeli government is often in thrall to the extremist clergy who rant that God gave the entire ancient land of Israel (including what’s now Jordan) to the Jews, this was too much for Prime Minister Netanyahu, who harshly condemned the letter.

“How would we feel if we were told not to sell an apartment to Jews? We would protest, and we protest now when it is said of our neighbors. Such things cannot be said, not about Jews and not about Arabs. They cannot be said in any democratic country, and especially not in a Jewish and democratic one. The state of Israel rejects these sayings.”

Other prominent Israelis also condemned the letter, as did America’s Anti-Defamation League.

 


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