Reform Is Misguided on JNF/Lieberman


By Jonathan Hoffman
May 21, 2012
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http://news.reformjudaism.org.uk/press-releases/statement-on-jnf-event-w...

Avigdor Lieberman is the Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Israel. Far from being "outside the consensus of Israel society" both Labour (initially) and now Kadima have no objection to serving alongside him in the government. In fact with 94 out of 120 MKs the Coalition has more support than any other government in Israel's history.

Reform Judaism's statement is therefore based on a false premise. They really should have done their homework first. Many of his detractors resort to lies. For example the Turkish Prime Minister alleged entirely falsely that Lieberman said that Gaza should be nuked. And Lieberman has never denied that "Arab citizens of Israel are fully part of Israeli society with the same rights of free speech as Israeli Jews".

The Reform demarche is also deplorable. Lieberman is in his position as a result of the political process in the Middle East's oldest - if not only - democracy. It is entirely wrong for the Reform to challenge the JNF's invitation to him. He is a Minister whose credentials are accepted by governments around the world including in the UK. (Foreign Secretary William Hague is seeing Lieberman while he is in the UK).

But wait, the Reform Movement of the UK begs to differ .....

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Who will be the first in the Reform Movement to say "Not In My Name"?

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Postscript #1:
http://www.liberaljudaism.org/news/552-liberal-judaism-responds-to-jnfs-...

As expected the Liberal Movement has followed suit. Well what do you expect of a Movement whose Chief Executive openly supports Ken Livingstone and denies that it's antisemitic to call for "One State" ...

Postscript #2

Counter-demo to oppose the Forces of Darkness: 6:15pm Tuesday, Pillar Hotel, 19 Brent St, NW4 2EU - Hendon Central tube (N Line)- bring a flag

Postscript #3

Great counter-demo - here are the photos:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67529945@N03/sets/72157629855182568/show/

Postscript #4

Admirable JC Editorial:
http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/leader/68067/thats-democracy

COMMENTS

Harvey

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:24

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The modern day anti Zionist faction of reform Judaism states Zionism contradicts the belief in universal Judaism


Harvey

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:29

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That being the case the first reform prayerbooks eliminates references to Jews being in exile .In order to do this effectively .they have sought to airbrush out historical facts based on both oral and written evidence ie Torah ,but also the archeological artifacts of ancestral Judea and Sumaria . In so doing ,they negate the origins of Christianity.


Harvey

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:36

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The great opposition to Zionism is not really religious or ethical but out of fear that Jews will once again be singled out as different and therefore subject to persecution . The fallacy of this absurdity was demonstrated in the 1920s and early 30s Weimar Republic prior to the advent of the Nazis when assimilated Jews rejected Orthodox Judaism and nascent Zionism and instead embraced German culture believing themselves immune to the rising ground swell of antisemitism . That was for the unter menschen ,the obvious Jews of the Shetl with their strange garb . Of course this belief proved disastrously wrong


Harvey

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:47

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in the US Richard Jacobs is the new head of the reform movement with ties to extremist organisations such as J Street and the New Israel Fund .His predecessor Eric Yoffie may have been a leftist member of the ' Peace Camp but came to his senses in a speech to the Union of American Reform Hebrew Congregations in 2001 when he said ' we have believed that if an Israeli PM would be brave enough to choose peace over territories ,the Palestinian Authority would also choose peace . But the offer was not accepted .The PLO showed itself to be one of the most stupid ,murderous and blood thirsty national liberation movements in all human history . We misjudged Palestinian intentions and misread Palestinian society .


Harvey

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 12:50

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Dont expect similar words from Jacobs .One would have to go to the Neturei Karta to find an Orthodox rabbi so strongly identified with organisations deemed pro Palestinian by the Israeli left .


Harvey

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 13:02

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-1 points

Reform stands for gay marriage ,patrilinial descent and abortion on demand and has a large number of non converted intermarried members . That is their perogative . However, that many elements of the Reform movement choose to align themselves with those that deny the Jewish right to self determination places them firmly beyond the pale .
Some while ago JStreet founder Daniel Levy declared 'that perhaps a Jewish state that requires force to defend itself isnt such a good idea after all'.
A similar thought process to that of the Weimar Jews in many respects . Bury your head in the sand ,assimilate and hope that it will all go away .


Harvey

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 13:18

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Several years ago , Rabbi David Goldberg of the St Johns Wood Liberal Synagogue held a free Mordechai Vanunu debate at the Synagogue with the late Susannah York on the panel .
No acknowledgement of the fact that Vanunu ,far from being a 'whistle blower ' was in fact a traitor and had been found guilty of high treason and espionage .
Israel being the only country not to be allowed to maintain and protect classified information .
The Q+a that followed rapidly descended into a hate fest which called into question Israels very existence. I realise now that a number of members of the London Bds movement were present that day . I also remember Rabbi Goldberg , with a beatific look of serenity presiding over this abomination without any objection .
I asked several members of the Synagogue , why they hadnt objected to the meeting taking place inside their Synagogue . A meeting which sought to undermine and delegitimise Israel . Their answer came as a surprise back then but not now as they were in full agreement with the sentiments expressed .
This is the Reform /Liberal movement ,or at least certain elements of it .
It should be viewed no differently from mainstream antiZionist organisations, Jewish or otherwise.


joemillis1959

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 13:45

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To quote Shimon Samuels: "The real scourge of Anglo-Jewry is found in those who criticise, complain and pontificate about the way they think things "should be done" - yet do not accept for themselves any responsibility for creating solutions".
So, Harvey, Jonathan - moving away from criticising, complaining and pontificating, what is your solution to Israel/Palestinian conflict? One state? Two-state? Jordan is Palestine? Let's hear your vision without resorting to abuse.
After all, Jonathan, you asked yesterday at the Board of Deputies for people to be civil.


Real Real Zionist

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 14:39

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-4 points

Phew.Just give me a moment to sit down and put my feet up.


Real Real Zionist

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 15:04

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For Hoff's solution to the Israel/Palestine thing click here: http://hoffmanchronicled.wordpress.com/jonathan-hoffmans-solution-to-the...


Advis3r

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 15:22

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The subject Millis is Reform Is Misguided on JNF/Lieberman - trust you to butt in off topic.

So why would Harvey or Jonathan Hoffman want to share anything with you - have you merited a response?


Mary in Brighton

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 15:51

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-3 points

Could this be true, Jonathan? Did you really make a call for civility? Does this mean you have rehabilitated yourself?

Do you mean no more of this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBH6XONDpes


Real Real Zionist

Mon, 05/21/2012 - 17:13

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It is incredible that, outside of the worst nations of the third world a grotesque oaf like Lieberman can become a senior minister.

What is illuminating is that Hoffie is a fan.

Lieberman is a " no solution " fan. " There will be no solution in my lifetime ".

Is this why Hoff never responds to invitations to declare his position ?

Of course it is. He is a no solution man too but can't declare it because it would annihilate his forlorn, hopeless ambition to " be somebody " in the community.


AlistairClark

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 09:11

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Avigdor Lieberman is nothing but a low life facist settler,I find his views utterly disgusting.


Stephen Franklin

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 09:38

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I am a reform Jew and in my opinion Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner's statement was misguided and divisive. I also think that the attacks on the Reform movement as a whole that have been aired on this blog as well as other places in reaction to her statement are equally misguided and divisive.

I challenge Rabbi Janner-Klausner to site a single statement by Mr Lieberman that suggests that Israeli Arabs are not are fully part of Israeli society with the same rights of free speech as Israeli Jews.

Harvey the Reform Movement through Pro-Zion is associated with the very good Zionist youth movements Netzer Olami (http://www.netzerolami.org/Eng/Shnat/ShnatNetzer.asp) and Masa (http://www.masaisrael.org.il/). It is just not true that the Reform movement does not associate itself with Israel.


Jonathan Hoffman

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 10:42

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Well said Stephen

Maybe Laura J-K will take up your challenge here...


joemillis1959

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 10:50

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And perhaps, Jonathan, you could take up the challenge of moving away from criticising, complaining and pontificating about the way you think things "should be done". Please tell us your solution to the Israel/Palestinian conflict.
Is it One state? Two-states? Jordan is Palestine?
Let's hear your positive vision for Israel without resorting to abuse.
You did, after all, urge civility at the Board on Sunday.


AlistairClark

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:16

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Mr Mills.I think only One state is possible and so do most of the activists I know including the Palestinian diaspora .We'd Like a two state solution but Israeli Intransigence prevents this unfortunately.I believe that if we can find a way of getting Israel to negotiate based on recognised borders the solution to the refugee problem could be solved by handing over intact settlements,not all Palestinian refugees will choose to return.I would like to see a solution that normalises relations with Israel and the Palestinians in a way that's good for trade and so that both peoples should be able visit either country to visit friends,holy sites and so on.


Stephen Franklin

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:30

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@Alistair Clark

At the moment Palestine can't even form a single authority that includes both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and there is no indication that that situation is likely to change.

Talking about one state in such circumstances is meaningless unless you mean one state that excludes the Gaza Strip. That might be possible.


Mary in Brighton

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:33

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It's a fair question Jonathan. Is Jordan Palestine ?


Advis3r

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:42

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He seems to think so and he is Lebanese

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q14hG6_gmzQ


Stephen Franklin

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:43

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@Mary in Brighton

Jordan was born out of Palestine. The League of Nations Mandate for Palestine included Transjordan, although Britain chose to rule Palestine as two territories from August 1922.
http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20081221030238/http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/361eea1cc08301c485256cf600606959/c7aae196f41aa055052565f50054e656!OpenDocument

As of now there is no state called Palestine, so yes Jonathan's question is fair.


Advis3r

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 11:47

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@Alistair

Lieberman said this:

“The only way to solve the problem (between Jews and Arabs) is to lower the friction between the two peoples. There can't be peaceful coexistence in one national state, we can't live together in the same apartment. So there should be a separate Jewish state and Arab state.”

That is fascist? That is what the UN proposed in 1947 no guesses as to who rejected it and now wishes they had not.


Harvey

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:05

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Following my initial comments on the Reform movement , I thought to sit back and see how long it would take before one on topic comment appeared .
To date only Stephen Franklin has addressed the comment thread .
This capably demonstrates the fact that the traducers and trolls who turn up here have nothing to say and are only intent on fouling up the comment thread .


Advis3r

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:05

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"but Israeli Intransigence prevents this unfortunately ..."

Let's see two offers of 95% of what the Arabs CLAIM they want by two different Israeli Prime Ministers - both rejected without even a negotiation.

Israel has moved from a rejection of any Arab claim to statehood to recognition of the Palestinians and land for peace. On the other hand the Arabs reject any notion that Israel is the State of the Jewish People and insist that not only those refugees who left what is now Israel in 1948 but also all their descendants are accorded a "right of return".

But it's Israeli intransigence - so glib and so not right.


Harvey

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:12

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Stephen
If you read through my comments , you will note that I refer to 'certain elements ' within the Reform movement and not to the Reform as a whole .
Those elements are a stain on the Reform movement and should be viewed in the same way as any other fascist racist organisation that seeks to delegitimise Israel be it psc or the loons from Neturei Karta . Once you open your Synagogue doors to merchants of hate as Goldberg did several years ago , you become one of them .


iansternberg

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:22

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The Reform Movement has a policy of Responsible Autonomy - this means that individual Reform Jews are encouraged to examine these kinds of political issues
( in dialogue with Jewish Tradition & the Jewish Community ) and make their own minds up on the merits of the issue . The reform Movement is reluctant to make binding Rabbinical statements on political matters - we prefer to recognise that there will be a number of different responses that Reform Jews will formulate on such matters .

I am concerned that once again the Reform Movement is being singled out for criticism here - some of the comments above seem to be motivated by Anti-Reform prejudice & are completely ignorant of the real history of Reform Judaism & our beliefs & values .

Rather than becoming embroiled in divisive & negative sectarianism we are more interested in carrying out the work that Progressive Religious Zionists campaign for - promoting Israel & Zionism as central values within the Reform & Liberal Movements - and helping to build The Israel Movement For Progressive Judaism within
The State Of Israel .


AlistairClark

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:23

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The P.A recognise the State of Israel,Advisor . A offer of 100% of captured territory with 2% for swaps is all that's acceptable,If Israel was Interested in peace


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:23

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Speaking of " elements " and " stains "...... Harvey would you not regard yourself as an element and a stain on the Zionist Federation ?


Stephen Franklin

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:32

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Harvey. Those who are not Zionists should not be equated with fascists for disagreeing with us. Those who do not tolerate disagreement are fascists. Fortunately that does not apply to the United Synagogue or other orthodox synagogues, where not all members are Zionists.

Alistair Clark. The PA recognise the fact of Israel's existence. They do not recognise that Israel has a right to exist. They recognise Israel's existence the way a lioness recognises the existence of a gazelle.


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:40

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Stephen that is ridiculous. No state exists as a matter of right except in a closed system. For example a system of law. The PA ( of whom I am no fan ) will obviously recognise The State of Israel in a final status agreement otherwise there wouldn't be an agreement.


JC Webmaster

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:51

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This comment by Chris Tucker has been moderated


Stephen Franklin

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 12:54

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Real Real Zionist PA Denies that Israel has any right to exist now or in the future time and time again. Palestinian Media Watch gives hundreds of examples of statements by PA Ministers and on the strictly controlled PA Media. Here are just two.
http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=6865
http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=6724

If you want to see more see those with PMW in the "Published by" field of the following site:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?pli=1&key=0Aga_u6Z-UGGCdEljN0xsR...


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 13:00

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Stephen let us assume you are right and that is the PA position. Then there would be no final status agreement unless they changed their position.Yes ?

It is only recently that the Irish removed their claim to the North from their constitution.


Stephen Franklin

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 13:05

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@Chris Tucker. That site is disgusting. Hoffman, like all good Zionists, wanted nothing to do with the EDL and said so to them and told the police at the demo that he did not want them in the same demo area as the supporters of Ahava. Some of the EDL members who did not make it clear that they were from the EDL, and so people who made out that they were simply supporting Ahava were welcome. EDL members and supporters were and are not welcome among most good Zionists.

That said however hateful EDL are, they are not as bad as those who back movements committed to the genocide of Jews, as Hamas are.


Stephen Franklin

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 13:09

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Real Real Zionist. The answer to your question is yes, but they (the PA) would have to show that their position had changed in what they do and in what they say on their own media to their own people in their own language.

For many years now they have said one thing to the foreign press and something quite different to their own people in Arabic.


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 13:13

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Stephen, a hundred times less hateful?


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 13:25

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Harvey, have we made your day yet?


Real Real Zionist

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 13:30

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Stephen, but then there would not be an agreement. What we have at the moment is conflicting hyperbole. A final status agreement would include full, unequivocal, and complete recognition by the state of Palestine of the state of Israel, and vice versa. Without that, there wouldn't be an agreement. After the agreement, both, can make whatever noises about the other that they wished. So what?


JC Webmaster

Tue, 05/22/2012 - 13:33

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