Friday, July 20, 2007
RPS (Righteous Person in Sodom) Award
This week's RPS Award goes to the editorial writer of Haaretz who wrote an excellent editorial blasting the Knesset for approving the racist JNF law on the preliminary reading. Read about it here. The English translation does not do justice to the Hebrew headline: "Medinah Yehudit ve-Giz'anit" ("A State that is Jewish and Racist"), which is an allusion to the famous phrase in the 1948 Declaration of Independence, "A State that is Jewish and Democratic". Please read Tikkun Olam's piece, which cites the Haaretz editorial, and the brilliant cartoon by Daniella London-Dekel. And the clarification by Realistic Dove. Remember: this is only approval of the preliminary reading; it now goes into committee. That is why it is most important to scream from the rooftops about this. The more Israel can be embarrassed in world opinion the better for her and for all us. There is much more to read in today's Haaretz, and once again I have publisher Amos Schocken and editor David Landau to thank for their being a beacon of light. I cannot say the same for my Jewish Studies colleague, Kadima MK Prof. Menahem ben Sasson, the chairman of the judiciary committee, no less, and the MK responsible for the proposed Israeli constitution, no less, who voted for this infamous bill. Menahem's area of specialization is the history of the Jews in Arab lands. Perhaps he is trying to create some sort of dhimmi status for Israeli Palestinians here....no, that was not an unfair jab, Menahem In coming posts I will try to grapple with the arguments -- the not entirely unreasonable ones -- that will be brought in the coming days to justify the bill. I imagine that Israel's neoconservative thinkers such as Amnon Rubinstein, Ruth Gavison, and Yoram Yakobson will come up with prima facie reasonable arguments to support their case. In America, these writers would write for liberal hawk or conservative journals. They are not evil incarnate; on the contrary, they are people to engage, and to be engaged by them. But folks, the reason I am writing this blog is also to respond from the gut. And my gut says: Cut the sophisticated legal and philosophical crapola. This Bill is Evil!