"Is it OK to be Jewish and criticise Israel?"


By Jonathan Hoffman
March 4, 2011
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Excellent well-chaired and well attended ZF/EDRS meeting at Edgware Reform last night. What a contrast with the average PSC or MEMRI meeting.

All four panellists were well-informed and passionate - but measured.

Zalmi Unsdorfer's opening salvo was especially good.

Read it here:

http://zalmi.blogspot.com/2011/03/is-it-ok-to-be-jewish-and-criticise.ht...

COMMENTS

Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 10:25

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-4 points

Jonathan, would that be the Zalmi Unsdorfer who is chairman of Likud-Herut UK? Hardly an impartial by-standser, is he? Buy apart from that of course it's OK to be Jewish and criticise Israel.
In fact, not only is it OK, it is to be welcomed as part of the maturing of Jewish communities world wide. The guilt trip is over.
After being used by Israel for more than 60 years, suddenly there are those of a particular political bent who want Jews to shut up, or at at least say amen to all Israeli policies for fear of what the goyim might say.
Well, so what if the goyim say. They don't get to dictate what we think.
Jews aren't sheep who follow blindly because someone in Israel is uncomfortable that we are criticising certain self-destructive policies.
Only dead fish flow with the current.


mattpryor

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 10:43

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3 points

I would just like to say that when Jon Cohen refers to us non-Jews as "goyim" (in a humorous context) I know there is no malice in it. When Joe Millis says it, in the context above, I find it quite insulting, and so will others.


Jon_i_Cohen

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 11:06

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2 points

Matt, you are abssoutely right, I only wish there were more"goyim" like you that stand up and support us, your comments are always clear, incisive and "on the button".
As for, Joe, what can I say, he spends his life critiscising every move the Israeli government makes and every move that supporters of Israel in the diaspora make.
Whether he relises it or not he and other "useful idiots" play into our enemise hands and add fuel to the BDS and de-legitimising fire.
And Joe, no it is NOT OK to be Jewish and critiscise Israel, it is just that people like you belong to a large, vociferous, left-wing MINORITY that THINK it is OK - you, and others like you are so misguided and are doing so much damage.


jose (not verified)

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 12:04

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0 points

It is of course perfectly all right to criticise Israel. It would be perfect too if those who criticise Israel would also criticise any other country and as or more often for the same or worse ills.
But unfortunately, this is rarely the case for Milligramsam.


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 12:18

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-5 points

The polls, Jon, prove you wrong time and again. I don't care what anyone else says and neither should you. It is right and proper to criticise Israel if it is abandoning its role as a Jewish democratic state. Even bibi hass warned about it becoming a binational state. Would you prefer it being remembered as the Crusader kingdom of the 21st century?


Jon_i_Cohen

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 12:25

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1 point

What polls Joe?

The only polls I have seen:- http://surveys.ipsosinteractive.com/wix/p866086804.aspx
http://www.jpr.org.uk/downloads/JPR%20Israel%20survey%20report%2015.pdf

quote a wholehearted support for:-

1-The State Of Israel
2-The Government of The State Of Israel
3-The Right For the State of Israel to live in Peace & Security.

Your views do NOT support the above.


amber

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 12:31

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3 points

Millis, can you explain how Israel can be a Jewish state, when you wish for a complete separation of religion and state?

How does that work?


amber

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 12:33

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1 point

Matt, I agree. It is an interesting psychological phenomenon - always willing to put the boot into Israel, yet with a rather dim view of non-Jews.


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 12:37

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-5 points

The JPR poll that says 75 per cent support a two-state solution and 70 support criticising Israeli government policy when necessary and even 52 per cent who back talks with Hamas. Supporting Israel does not mean saying amen to every policy. We've grown up since then.


jose (not verified)

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 12:47

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0 points

Damn! This is Parkinson or what, Milligramsam?
I heard that half of Israelis have IQ lower than 100, so that corresponds well with the 52% who would back talks with HAMAS.

Supporting Israel means even less criticising each and every thing Israel does, especially when it does it for protecting its citizens, a function every citizen pays taxes for.

Who is this "we" that has grown up and why do you think you are part of it, Milligramsam?


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 12:50

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-1 points

Amber it means not having state-fumded rabbis, many of whom don't even believe in the Jewish state, dictating what is or what is not Jewish. It has nothing to do with the Jewishness of the state. Israel is a secular Jewish democracy.


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 12:58

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-2 points

Sorry about the repeats. There mist be a glitch here.


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 12:59

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-7 points

Sorry about the repeats. There mist be a glitch here.


Watchful Iris (not verified)

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 13:02

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-1 points

....no it is NOT OK to be Jewish and critiscise Israel, it is just that people like you belong to a large, vociferous, left-wing MINORITY that THINK it is OK....

WOT? Tell me I didn't just read this about a democratically elected government....someone please....


Yvetta

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 14:09

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6 points

Perhaps the salient word has been omitted from Jonathan's title - it is "publicly".
For Jews to criticise Israel publicly merely gives aid and comfort to the enemies of Israel who want the demise of the Jewish State.


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 14:14

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-4 points

Yvetta, publicly or not, it doesn't matter. Why on earth should people remain silent just out of fear that it might give "aid and comfort to the enemies of Israel who want the demise of the Jewish State"?
Those who want the demise of the Jewish State will continue to do so whether Jews remain silent publicly or not.

This kind of attitude reminds me of the "sha...shtill" of the shtetl and yeshivah world.
Do you not leave the house for fear that you might get run over?


jose (not verified)

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 14:34

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0 points

Why on earth should people remain silent just out of fear that it might give "aid and comfort to the enemies of Israel who want the demise of the Jewish State"?

But why did you remain silent when Ghaddafi massacred his people, while you rant about Israel's minor ills? Double standards are a sure sign of antisemitism.


jose (not verified)

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 14:35

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0 points

Myopic Iris making more than one-liner? There must be a coallition!


Watchful Iris (not verified)

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 14:56

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-3 points

Shame on you, Joe for your neglect of an obviously glaring issue such as Ghaddafi's brutality. Wasn't this worthy of at least 2 blogs and 4 subsequent posts? Now what can we possibly believe of you? While you're contemplating this much deserved chastisement, please consider making a public condemnation of any and all ills of the world, lest we think you're anti-semitic because you've chosen to address this blog, instead.....shame, shame, shame!

Personally, I condemn anything Jose condemns....since I don't have time today to prove I'm not anti-semitic by spending my day comdemning things......


Jonathan Hoffman

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 15:01

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1 point

"Hardly an impartial by-standser, is he"

What a stupid comment

Every one of the four panellists had an institutional affiliation so you could say the same about them all.

Loopy ...


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 15:05

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-4 points

So, Jonathan, why didn't you bring the viewpoint of the other panellists? Surely, in your position, you mustn't show partiality by supporting the views of one over the others ("Zalmi Undsdorfer opening salvo was especially good" to quote you). It might put off those agin you.


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 15:10

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-4 points

Anyway, an early Shabbat Shalom. I'll leave it to Jose/Anthony Posner/Blacklisted Dictator to play silly buggers with his delete and repost game.


Jonathan Hoffman

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 15:27

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2 points

"why didn't you bring the viewpoint of the other panellists?"

1. They have not written them down
2. This one was especially good

Any more finger-pointing?

I love being treated like a 2-year old.....


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 15:33

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-4 points

So, Jonathan, is it especially good when it concurs with your viewpoint? And y bring one, if you can't bring the others?
As an elected official of what is ostensibly an umbrella organisation, surely you cannot reveal your viewpoint. It might upset those who do not agree with you in the ZF (that'll be the majority).


Yvetta

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 16:50

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4 points

Joe, in answer to your question - because it plays into the enemies' hands by giving them ammunition big time.


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 16:53

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-4 points

So what, Yvetta? So we should play the old game of "sha...shtill"? Not wishing to compare, but Catholic priests could say the same thing about those exposing child abuse at seminaries. It plays into the hands of the Pope's enemies.
Shutting up for fear of helping the enemy when you know you are right is an excuse, not a reason.


amber

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 17:14

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1 point

Milis, how is a "Jewish democracy" different from any other democracy, unless it has a religious element?


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 17:24

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-2 points

Amber, it is no different except it is the expression of self-determination of the Jewish people after two millennia away from their homeland. The first Zionists weren't religious. In fact, quite the opposite. And the Orthodox came on board the Zionist movement only later.
Read Herzl, read Moshe Hess. Read Zeev Zabotinsky. And AD Gordon and Echad Ha'am.


amber

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 18:01

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1 point

So a Jewish democracy is a democracy of Jews - including the religious who you want to "get rid of"?


amber

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 18:02

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1 point

Millis, you can't talk of Jews and a Jewish state and completely separate them from the Jewish religion.


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 18:10

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-4 points

Of course, you can. Jewish is a nationality. Just like all Russia's holidays coincide with the festivals of Orthodox church, Israel's coincide with Jewish festivals and fasts. France is a secular democracy, but its calendar is based around Christian festivities.
Britain is a secular Christian democracy. So Israel is a secular Jewish democracy.
The whole idea of Zionism, of Israel, was to return the Jews to nationhood with a territory. Nothing to do with religion.
In the Jewish democracy, the Orthodox have a place, just not as state-funded rabbis.


amber

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 18:23

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2 points

But just look at what you said - European countries have holidays based on Christianity, and Israel's are based on the Jewish faith.

So how can the faith be divorced from the country?


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 18:26

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-4 points

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear and for that I am sorry. These are all secular states, but national holidays are the religious ones. In Israel's case, all it would mean is that the state didn't fund its rabbis (all of whom are from one particular branch of Judaism) and they would have no say in the running of the country. That's what I mean by separating state and religion. Perhaps its better explained as separating state and synagogue.


amber

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 18:46

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2 points

But how can one when religious parties get enough votes to have a say in government?


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 18:49

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-3 points

Very simple. All the secular parties, from Labour to the Likud (and they are a majority), should get together to change the electoral system to one that relies on constituencies rather than the mess that is PR.


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 18:51

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-2 points

All it will take is for the secular parties to ignore the religious ones in a future coalition. It's happened once before, when Shinui was in its pomp, and I think it could happen again, because most Israelis have had enough of the blackmail.


Joe Millis

Fri, 03/04/2011 - 18:56

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-3 points

But I suppose we will have to wait for the Messiah for that to happen

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