Letter to Bibi in support of democracy in Israel


By Rabbi Aaron Gol...
February 5, 2010
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Dear Sir,

A few weeks ago, I, together with my lay leadership, wrote to the Israeli Ambassador to the UK to express our concern for the increased intimidation of Progressive Jews in Israel. I am appalled that there seems to be an increasing number of incidents culminating in last week's attack on the New Israel Fund as being the cause of the Goldstone report, with a vicious personal attack on the New Israel Fund president and former deputy Knesset Speaker Naomi Chazan.

Our Congregation, its lay leaders and Rabbis are utterly committed to the State of Israel. We are proud of Israel's democratic processes and were heartened when in a Times Leader earlier this week, it was expressed reworking the words of Amos Oz: "Israel does behave considerably better than other Middle Eastern countries, even when it is behaving badly." We therefore ask that you personally and immediately take every step possible to stop the witch-hunt against NIF and Israel's internationally-respected human rights groups.

This is not a matter of politics. This is a matter of the basic rights of freedom of speech, dissent, and conscience that allow Israel to proudly call itself a democracy to the rest of the world. Israel must not emulate Iran and China, and sink to the level of its worst enemies, in responding to baseless, vicious and extremist attacks..

Shabbat Shalom,

COMMENTS

Ben Abuyah

Fri, 02/05/2010 - 16:18

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Kol hakavod


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Fri, 02/05/2010 - 16:32

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Kol hakavod. Hear, hear


amber

Sat, 02/06/2010 - 17:00

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Garbage.


amber

Sat, 02/06/2010 - 17:02

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Interesting that supporters of NIF like moshetzerfati patently hate the Jewish state.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Sat, 02/06/2010 - 18:29

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So, Amber, do you not see Israel as a state for all Jews? Just for the right wing and the Orthodox?


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Sat, 02/06/2010 - 19:39

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Yet another attack, Mr Hoffman, on a fellow Zionist and Jew and on NIF, which supports many Zionist organisations and which is run by Zionists. For shame. Resign.


Yvetta

Sat, 02/06/2010 - 21:09

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Well said, Jonathan! I've noticed that the rabbi blogs but never seems to engage with subsequent posters on his blogs - he just seems to hit and run.


Jonathan Hoffman

Sun, 02/07/2010 - 07:27

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Our Congregation, its lay leaders and Rabbis are utterly committed to the State of Israel.

Bravo - fine words - but I still haven't seen you protesting at an anti-Israel Amnesty or BRICUP meeting. If you recall, I suggested you might like to come with some people from the Harrow Central Mosque which you so admirably supported. You could come with some congregants of your own, and make it an "interfaith" event!

I'm a bit confused though - maybe you can help me out. NIF supports Adalah which has published a manifesto calling for the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.

How does that square with your "utter commitment to the State of Israel?"


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Sun, 02/07/2010 - 09:06

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Attacking a fellow Jew and a Zionist yet again, Jonathan? Not everyone who supports Israel has to take part in your marches, some of which are totally futile and self-serving. Seems you've learned how to edit and place, too.


Jonathan Hoffman

Sun, 02/07/2010 - 11:01

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"....witch-hunt against NIF and Israel's internationally-respected human rights groups."

In their private world, officials from NIF and affiliated NGOs are allowed to attack, use lewd graphics, and sling mud, but when anyone even dares to criticise them, this is a "witch hunt"

- Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg
- NGO Monitor


Yvetta

Sun, 02/07/2010 - 12:47

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Moshe, whenever someone edits their post (as Jonathan must have done) that post jumps into the most recent spot. It's happened to me a few times. Nothing to do with c & p. or a deliberate action.


Jonathan Hoffman

Sun, 02/07/2010 - 12:52

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Large chunks of this letter to Bibi are taken from the boilerplate email sent round by NIF to its supporters............

http://www.nif.org/media-center/nif-under-attack.html


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Sun, 02/07/2010 - 13:27

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Jonathan, why do you persist in attacking fellow Zionists and Jews with whom you don't agree?


amber

Sun, 02/07/2010 - 13:48

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But moshetzarfati, you don't support Israel - all you have to say are words of condemnation and bile.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Sun, 02/07/2010 - 17:02

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Ah, but Amber, this is where you are wrong. I support Israel's right to exist within the 1967 borders, alongside a viable Palestinian state, with a shared Jerusalem as its capital. I believe the greatest threat to Israel today is not the Iranians or the anti-Zionists abroad, but the colonists on the West Bank who are ensuring that Israel will become a binational state within a few years. This is because currently there is a non-Jewish majority, largely disenfranchised, controlled by a Jewish minority, between the River and the Sea. Another threat to Israel is the fact that it appears to be going down the path of Orthodox fundamentalism and far-right exclusionism, which means that most Jews abroad -- like myself -- will not be able to identify with it for very much longer.
Now do you understand why I believe that the divisive person at the head of the ZF must resign for the sake of unity and solidarity.


amber

Sun, 02/07/2010 - 17:11

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You recognize a right to exist/ That's big of you - I recognize your right to exist as well.

I don't think you're telling the truth, moshetzarfati. All your writings demonstrate a visceral hatred of Israel, an endless and obsessive pilloring of the Jewish state, without any wider context.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Sun, 02/07/2010 - 18:13

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Personally, Amber, I couldn't care less whether you believe me or not. The point is, that is what I believe, based on more than 20 years of having lived in Israel, served in 3 years in its army (gdud 890, look it up), have done miluim and having friends and very close relatives there.


raymee_jones

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 05:14

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There is no court of appeal (when prejudice has been handed out to people), no religious freedom for incoming immigrants (messianic jews are prohibited to emigrate), and apartheid for gentiles and messianic jews in the country (messianic have lost jobs on account of their faith)- and when these people are firebombed in their homes or leisure centers the police/ government ignore their rights of protection) - you call that a democracy?


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 07:04

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" ....most Jews abroad -- like myself -- will not be able to identify with it for very much longer."

No loss


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 07:33

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Jonathan, would you rather have an Israel supported by most Jews, or one that is isolated and supported by a minority?


Jonathan Hoffman

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 08:50

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I don't engage with anonymous stalking lying Trolls


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 10:01

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Jonathan, you must resign from the ZF because it appears you're not fit to hold your position. You seem to back an autocratic, isolated, exclusionist Israel rather than a pluralistic, democratic and inclusionist Israel that is a state for all Jews, irrespective of their political beliefs or religious association. Very telling.


Avraham Reiss

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 12:01

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Zarfati:
"...The point is, that is what I believe, based on more than 20 years of having lived in Israel, served in 3 years in its army (gdud 890, look it up), have done miluim and having friends and very close relatives there."

- what are you so proud of? By your own words, you're a drop-out. A weak one, at that!


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 12:04

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I left Israel because of the creeping fundamentalism and fascism. What have you done, Mr Reiss?


Avraham Reiss

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 12:19

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I came here (to Israel) in 1964, have been here since, served 20 years in a reserve combat unit, raised 4 children, and am still standing and watching all the spiritual weaklings like yourself leave us when it gets even slightly tough, which at least makes the air here cleaner.

But speaking of what you call "creeping fundamentalism and fascism", its all in your weak mind, apart from sharon's fascist and stupid act in destroying Gush Katif.

But why didn't you go to New York and become a taxi-driver, like most of the other drop-outs? Wouldn't they accept you even there?


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 12:38

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No, Avraham. I love New York, but not all that much. You seem to forget, tho, that all us "spiritual weaklings", as you put it, are mainly from the tax-paying middle class, without whom the colonists on the West Bank could not have got all those luverly government grants and the freeloading yeshiva students would have had to go to work or starve.
So breathe your clean air. The ways things are going with your Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau wanting even more coal-powered power stations, it won't be clean for long. Never mind, eh. It'll be fun in a binational state, too.


Yvetta

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 12:44

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Raymee, when Israel puts to death apostates from Judaism as many Islamic regimes do to apostates from Islam, then you'll be able to assume the moral high ground; until then, I suggest you recognise who the real bad guys are in the Middle East.


Avraham Reiss

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 12:54

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Zarfati, we both agree that it was a good thing that you left Israel. How about inviting your "many friends and relatives" to join you?


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 13:00

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Reiss, (try and spell my name right, it is very easy to copy), do you mean my brother in law who was a major in the sayeret and is now the head of projects for a high-tech firm? His tax revenue pays for several yeshivah students and freeloading settlers. Or perhaps my sister, the head of HR at another high-tech firm, and formerly an intelligence officer? I suppose you want an exclusionist, non-democratic Israel that is fit only for those living on hand outs.


amber

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 14:55

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Moshe, most Jews DO support Israel. The idea that it is you who represents mainstream Jewish thought on Israel is laughable.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 14:57

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Most Jews support a democratic pluralistic Israel, not the closed, autocratic, fundamentalist, exclusionist one that it has become.


amber

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 19:15

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moshe, most Jews support the state of Israel which exists today - not as you characterize it, but as it is.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 19:28

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No they don't, Amber, pace the rising criticism of Israel even among the Jews of America.


moshetzarfati2 (not verified)

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 19:28

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No they don't, Amber, pace the rising criticism of Israel even among the Jews of America.


amber

Mon, 02/08/2010 - 23:03

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moshe, I'm from the US. Most Jews support Israel - as do most Americans. You may not like that, but it's a fact.

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