Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Israel Racism Watch -- Knesset gives initial approval to bill restricting JNF land lease to Jews only

Jerusalem Post is here

The link to the Haaretz Hebrew is here.

The Haaretz English Translation is here

Basically, the Israeli Knesset gave preliminary approval today to a bill outlawing the lease of land owned by the Jewish National Fund to goyim. It now goes into committee where, God willing, it will be buried. But I doubt it.

Of course, it is against the halakha to sell the land of Israel to idolaters. The fact that Rav Kook ruled that Muslims are not idolaters is a source of unending embarrassment to the religious right.

But the point of this bill -- cosponsored by a member of Ehud Olmert's Kadimah party -- is to bypass the High Court's 2004 ruling that required the JNF to lease state land to Israeli arab Adil Ka'adan as a result of that ruling, Meni Mazuz, the State Comptroller, instructed the JNF not to discriminate in sales. That angered the Israeli legislators, who wish to pass this discriminatory law. The irony is that there was an attempt to prevent the bill from being tabled because it is racist. Apparently, not enough.

By the way, the Ka'dan ruling was praised by Alan Dershowitz in his book, "The Case for Israel."

I am hoping that Alan will speak loud and clear against this racist -- oops -- "Jewish" law, (that is how the proponents are describing it.)

Should I be glad that the racism that is so deeply rooted in political Zionism, and the State of Israel, is being flushed out of the closet for everybody to see? Not really.

But hang is a Jewish state, right? And that land was bought by Jews for Jews. I mean shouldn't everybody have to a right to buy land for her family?

Sure, and I have a legal and moral right to sell only to whites -- right?

Will the Knesset redeem itself? Only if we shout loud enough.

Alan, please make a comment on the Huffington Post today. You say that you have criticized Israel before. Let's hear you loud and clear.

By the way, for a truly bizarre reading of the Ka'dan case by Ruth Gavison, the liberal-hawk law professor turned neocon (on her way to being a female Scalia), see


Anonymous said...

Are you real an orthodox Jew? Is there a permit for Jew in the Bible to sell lands in Israel to a Goy?

Abe Bird

Jerry Haber said...

Yes! (When you mean "Bible", I assume you also mean torah she-be-al peh.) There is no issur as far as I know to sell land to a ger toshav. And he is a goy.

The issur of lo tehanem is to an idolater. Some rabbis extend that to all goyim. Other rabbis -- like Rav Kook -- don't.

Racist rabbis like Eliyahu of Tzefat (he's a glatt kosher racist) don't accept Rav Kook's position.

Rabbi Bleich wrote a good article on it in one of his Contemporary Halakhic Problems book (vol. 2?)

Many people have written on Rav Kook's position, which permitted selling land to Muslims.

Anyway, all this is irrelevant to today's case. The knesset is not the Sanhedrin; our leaders are boalei niddah and mehallei shabbat be-farhesya. You have a heter for that?

But thanks for taking the time to write...


Richard said...

Jerry: I've just spent a few minutes here & have to say I'm overjoyed you're blogging. You represent a really important niche that is virtually unrepresented in the Jewish blog world: Orthodox yet progressive Zionist (if that doesn't do violence to yr sense of self-identity I hope). Yes, there's Dan Sieradski who has a following. But I think you bring something different to bear.

I'll add you to my Israel Palestine Blogs peace blog aggregator as well (though I'm afraid the rss feeds for this site aren't always updating properly).

Do you know about the other Jewish blog aggregators out there? If not, you should register with Jrants, Jewish Blogosphere & Jewish Blogging. You won't get tons of hits but you'll get some traffic.

Pls. keep in touch.

Jerry Haber said...

Aw shucks, thanks...

I am sorry to say that there are not a whole lot of progressive orthodox bloggers...

But I am pleased to say that there are many orthodox and formerly orthodox Jews in Israeli human rights organizations, especially among my children's generation.

Most of the leaders of "Breaking the Silence," for example, including its founder Yehuda Shaul, are orthodox. Peace Now's Dror Etkes comes from an orthodox home.

OK, I should not get carried away. But when I see activists wearing yarmulkes (don't forget Rabbis for Human Rights), my boson wells with pride, to quote W.S. Gilbert