Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oh, What a Night! Winners: Right and Extreme Left; Losers: Zionist “Left”

With 99% of the polling places in, the Israeli Knesset elections have gone very well, in this writer's opinion.

In fact, it is hard to see how it gets much better than this:

The Right did well, though not as well as had been predicted a week ago. While it is a bit early to congratulate Bibi, it looks like he will form the next coalition, and, with any luck, he will form a narrow right wing government with the religious parties and the ultra-right parties. He could have a bit more flexibility with Kadima as a junior partner – after all, Kadima really is the moderate wing of Likud. Kadima got more votes, but I don't see how Livni can make a coalition. So whatever happens, it looks like Bibi is on top. As one who endorsed him in November here, I can only say, "Woo hoo!"

The Arab parties will have one more seat than in the previous Knesset. Hadash increased its number of seats from 3 to 4 and gained more seats than Balad; Ra'm Ta'l also has 4. This may shift – when I wrote this paragraph five minutes ago, Ra'm Ta'l had 5, but lost a seat to Yisrael Beitinu.

It appears that Hadash took Jewish voters from Meretz, which received only 3 seats, less than Hadash's 4. In Jerusalem, which means really in West Jerusalem, Hadash had 1% and Meretz 3%.

[Added on Saturday, Feb. 15: Eyal Niv, of the indispensable "Truth from Eretz Yisrael" blog, figures that Hadash picked up around 10,000 new Jewish votes this time. Let's hope that figure grows. See here]

The Left camp – the so-called "Zionist Left" and "Center-Left" -- will go into Opposition. I am, quite frankly, happy that the electorate punished Meretz for its failures. It is time for "heshbon nefesh"; and Haim Oron, in my opinion, should be the first to reach personal conclusions and resign.

But the failure of the Zionist Left goes much deeper than that. I don't see how it can recover in the current circumstances. Which means that people who don't want to go the way of Kadima and to the Right will have to rethink some fundamental assumptions about Zionism and the State of Israel.

Like the assumption that says that the problems started with 1967 and not with 1948, or even earlier.

With a rightwing government, the case against Israel as a pariah state will be easier to make, and the international isolation of Israel can proceed apace. If the one result of the election is that the so-called "peace process" is put to pasture, then I say, "Dayyenu"!


Antoun said...

Hi Jerry,

My thoughts have been similar to yours re Bibi.

Indeed, Bibi is more-or-less the honest face of Zionism. Whilst Labor (or Zionist-left as you refer to it) and Kadima offer grand deceptions with their peace talk, Bibi goes straight to the point and declares his Zionist strategy without apologies.

However, you can bet that Hezbollah, Hamas and Ahmedinijad are also betting for Bibi. An extremist PM in Israel will talk tough on the Palestinians, end any chance of peace with the Syrians, and give further credibility to the causes/rhetoric of Hezbollah/Hamas/Iran.

So there are two sides to the coin. The first, as you pointed out, could result in the US/Europe finding it easier to pressure Bibi into negotiations.

The other, as I have just suggested, could result in the growing power of extremist elements in the region, further undermining regional stability and increasing Israel's insecurity.

Whichever way the coin flips depends squarely on Obama.

Anonymous said...

Although I find it odd for a Jew who lives in Israel to hope for "Israel to become a pariah state", you will notice that the parties most involved in settlement bashing, Labor and MERETZ crashed. Talia Sasson, a veteran anti-settlement warrior in the Justice Ministry was at spot no 7 (they got 3 apparently) so that didn't pull in any votes for them.
The really big loser of the election is Ehud Barak. If we was any sort of gentleman, he would resign on the spot. No European party with a Parliamentary system of gov't like that of Israel would tolerate such a failed leader remaining at the helm for one minute after a loss like that. I am glad to see that the voters were savvy enough to realize that Barak's "rally around the flag" decision to go to war didn't help him. I think one of the reasons the Likud didn't do as well as they predicted was Bibi's pledge to keep Barak as Defense Minister. To me, he is a failed bungler.

Contrary to your hopes. Israel will not become a pariah state. People around the world understand our situation. Support for Israel remained strong during the recent war in spite of the large number of Arab casualties. Your flip-flopping between saying you support of the phony "2-state solution" and then saying the whole Zionist enterprise is criminal (i.e. your claim "the problem didn't start in 1967, it goes back to 1947 [UN Partition vote], 1917 [Balfour Declaration] and 1897 [Herzl founding political Zionist Organization]) merely prevents people from taking your views seriously as some sort of realistic plan for the future. Why should the Arabs listen to your pleas for a "2-state solution" when you yourself say it is immoral?

Anonymous said...

At least someone is happy...
and my party didnt get in. got only 1% instead of 2. bahhhh mushchatim nimastem. oh well at least there will be another election 2 years max.
by the way there is still an option of achdut leumit and rotation.

Anonymous said...

Putting the "so-called peace process" to pasture could be a double-edged sword, strengthening the "peace credentials" of the Kadima-Labour "moderates" - along the lines of "If only Tzippy and Ehud had gotten in, we'd have had peace by now" (see Peres '96), further augmenting the global fantasy world of ME peace efforts. As for the case against Israel as a Pariah state, the dynamic will continue to be dominated by political ineterests and the anti-Semitism card (and guilt). I don't see any change there. The only slight glimmer of hope in all of this would appear to be the very small shift within the Israeli left, away from Zionist gospel - challenging Israeli/Zionist brainwashing and unithink. Ken yirbu.

Diaspora Diva said...

Hi Jerry, Do you think that Netanyahu (perhaps leading a Lieberman, Shas, religious parties coalition) would again backtrack on his claims that he wouldn't give up settlements and/or a unified Jerusalem if faced with real pressure from the US administration? How would you foresee the Obama administration reacting to a far-right coalition that refuses to cooperate with the peace plan? It's kind of hard to imagine that he wouldn't at least pay lip service to the "peace plan" and then things might proceed as they have for the past few years. Would Kadima really do things that differently if they managed to cobble together a coalition including Lieberman?

Anonymous said...

When I stated:
"Support for Israel remained strong during the recent war in spite of the large number of Arab casualties."
I was referring to public opinion in the United States.

Jerry Haber said...

Whooa there...

Some very good comments and questions. My post last night was done hastily, and already I see some that commenters made good points.

But a few general comments of my own:

First, my name may be Jeremiah, but I am not a prophet nor a son of a prophet. So all forecasts are guess-work.

Second, nothing really changes with this election, no matter who would have won, certainly there is no dramatic change. I am not even talking about Obama-like "change". The differences between Barak, Livni, and Netanyahu are more style than substance.

So what could change?

Well, let's take a concrete example. When Israel did not want a cease-fire in Gaza the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling for one that passed 13-0, with the US abstaining. (That is what Y. Ben David calls "strong support of Israel" in the world. Maybe he means "Bizarro-world"). Would the US abstain if it were Bibi and not Olmert?

OK, you will say, small potatoes. Indeed, it is, especially even if you are being hit by white phosphorus. But we are talking here about evolving attitudes. And when the US is undergoing a re-evaluation of the situation, when it is trying to come up with fresh ideas, it helps if the government in Israel has what the World considers to be an ugly face.

By the way, this is good for the Zionist Left, too, because it will send them further to the left. I think I will have a separate blog on that, because I angered some of the Zionist left readers. Hey, remember, some of my BEST FRIENDS vote for Meretz. (Apparently, I don't have too many of them.)

Now for reactions:

Y Ben David, I don't know what you've been drinking... you consider "Criminal" and "immoral" as synonyms for my term "problem".

Read my peace on Barenboim below, and you will see that I support a two-people solution that guarantees equal rights and opportunities for both people. Whatever political framework best guarantees this I am for. None of the Zionist parties in Israel have ever supported what I support; neither does the Geneva Initiative. But I am repeating myself.

Anonymous, I am sorry that Meimad Melchior didn't get in the Knesset, but the polls didn't favor him, and I wouldn't have voted for him. But he is a good man (I am tempted to say, uncharitably, "for a rabbi"). But look on the bright side -- if he stays out of politics he may be freer to speak out against the farce that poses for religious Judaism in Israel.

Shmuel, I don't think the world will wax nostalgiac about Livni the way it did when Peres lost to Bibi. Different time, different people. How long can the "moderates" fail without people questioning the moderates.

I don't expect overnight change in the world, especially a world that fears Islamic fundamentalism. But I do think that Israel's reputation will suffer, and the longer things go without a resolution, the harder it will be for Israel to make its case.

EDB, my analysis is based on what I perceive to be a bad reputation that Bibi has in the US. He won't want to form a narrow rightwing government, I think, because he is aware of that reputation and of how such a government would look. But again, no major changes.

Antoun, since I really don't see drastic changes in Israeli policy under Bibi -- if history is any indication, he may actually be more susceptible to US pressure than the more "moderate" candidate -- I don't see much change from the extremists, who don't distinguish between Israeli leaders (and they have a point.)

Anonymous said...

I don’t think we should rejoice. Do not discard the next round i.e. the standoff between a right-wing government or any government for that matter in Israel and the Iranian radicals. Do you think Obama will convince the Iranians to forget their bomb? I would not bet a shekel on it. So, even with a lot of goodwill, the US will probably be dragged into a confrontation. I wonder if the Israeli government is doing the necessary steps to protect its citizens in the wake of the next war to come. If I was an Israeli, I would not feel so reassured.

Anonymous said...

I understand your POV, I think, but I think it's wrong. In his tribalistic way, YBD has a point--the majority of the voters went with the racist settlers. It's hard to see how you can have any sort of just peace when, on the one hand, Hamas is supported by many Palestinians, and on the other, you have the majority of Israelis siding with their own brand of war criminals. (And if you include Barak and Livni under that label, as I would, then that's virtually everybody).

It's true that people in the US may start to see Israel as just another brutal government like its neighbors, but it's a long way from that realization to an actual solution to the problem.


Jerry Haber said...

Y Ben David,

I missed your correction when I wrote my comment. So I take back what I said. You are right, the US opinion polls backed Israel, though I am skeptical about how many people really thought about it. But you are right on that score.

However, backing Israel on Gaza is not the same as backing Israel on settlements. And if the American media goes after Bibi, that will filter down to the polls. But, in principle, you are correct.

Jerry Haber said...

Mike, what bomb are you referring to? A nuclear bomb? Iran isn't making one. And if it makes one, it won't use it. so what are you worrying about? Oh, you are worrying about Bibi attacking Iran? He won't with Obama in the White House. So, I repeat, what are you worrying about?

Jerry Haber said...

I think we have had this conversation before. At least I have.
The only argument I know that says that this is a bad outcome is the one that says that Palestinians will suffer more under Bibi than under Livni. Since peace is not possible, the argument goes, at least vote for the folks who will be less harmful to the ones who are suffering. And if, in retrospect, more private land is taken by Bibi than by Livni, that that would be a good argument. But remember, more private land was taken from the Arabs when Rabin and Peres were in charge than when Bibi was. Y. Ben David will tell you that Bibi was a disaster for the Land of Israel folks.

Does it hurt me that so many of my people backed a cheap Russian ultranationalist olilgarch and a slick used furniture salesman? Yes, I would be lying if I said it did not. But what did Ehud Olmert do during his years beside waste time and expand settlements -- and give the illusion of a peace process. If Livni continues then there will be no pressure on Obama to change course significantly. If Bibi leads a rightwing government, that will strengthen the leftwing of the Obama advisors.

And one more thing -- my brothers and sisters voted in large numbers for Hadash; not my physical ones but my siblings be-mitzvot, my crowd of like-minded people. I am very proud of Hadash's performance, and I only hope that next time they will get more Jewish votes.

Mad Zionist said...

Jerry, since your beef with the Jews dates back to the pre-state era, it occurred to me that your contempt for Jews actually goes back to revelation at Sinai and beyond. Jews have a religion that teaches separations of peoples, foods, genders, and a belief in a special "chosenness" that differentiates and divides.

Jews have been taught from the very beginning to not intermarry, to perform the bris millah that separates Jew from Gentile in an exclusive covenant, that has us in our daily prayers face Jerusalem and pray to God for a time when all Jews from everywhere migrate to arab "Palestine", resettle the land of Israel, rebuild the holy temple where the native arabs built a shrine...terrible stuff.

Oh, and lest we forget the Jews in ancient times who attacked the indigenous Canaanites and others in the land before them and cleansed them. Conquered them. Killed them. Removed them. Oh, and worst of all, the Jews believe they were then punished by God for not being brutal enough!

Yep, you have a beef alright, but your beef is not limited to 1948, 1936, 1929, 1904, 1889, or any other era in history. You obviously need to strip the Jews of the vile Jewishness that leads to elitist behaviors which provoke all of humanity, and stands in the way of peace wherever it rears its ugly head.

Anonymous said...

What good will larger numbers of Jews voting for HADASH do? It is still viewed as an Arab party, and indeed the Arabs are the dominant force in it. Since they can't be part of the governing coalition, under current circumstances, what influence can they have?

Jerry Haber said...

Mad Dog,

Spoken like a true Kahanist! I would argue with you, as I argued with Kahane, that a) one can be an orthodox Jew, commited to principles and practices of Torah true Judaism, and still be an ethical human being. Note that I added "principles" since I am willing to agree that there is some doctrinal content that characterizes orthodoxy.

But more than that, the Kahanist is, in my opinion, the enemy of Torah True Judaism' its sitra ahra. He expresses-an impatience with rabbinic Judaism as too "galusdik"; he expresses an impatience with ethics and morality as not the way of the Torah, and he expresses an impatience with self-restraint. The Kahanist wants to purge Torah true Judaism of statements like, "Who is a hero? He who conquers his passion" and "One can be a scoundrel with the license of Torah" and "Whoever saves a single HUMAN life is as if he saved an entire world."

In fact, the Kahanists are the ultimate scoundrels with the license of the Torah. They are no less selective in their reading of their sources than the others. But they are Torah-observing fascists rather than Torah-observing humanists. And, as the latter, I have no hesitation in saying that they are not my "ahinu be-mitzvot" and hence, following Rashi, hating them is permitted, indeed, perhaps, even commanded, since "Shall I not hate those who Hate Thee O Lord."

But having said that, I realized the most Kahanists today are in the category of a tinok she-nishbah, a child captive to a hate-filled fascist philosophy that masquerades as Torah Judaism.

Kahane once said to Avraham Burg, "Not everybody who wears a kippah is a frum Jew." To which Burg replied, "Not everybody who wears a kippah is a mentsh." In my book, you can be a mentsh without being a frum Jew; but you can't be a frum Jew without being a mentsh.

To him, and to you, I say,

"Shuvu banim shovevim" -- it is not too late for teshuvah

Jerry Haber said...

Y Ben David, you asked two questions. Why should a Jew vote for an Arab party. What good does voting for an Arab party do, since they are in permanent opposition.

Quick answer: I am an American so I vote on the basis of platform and performance, not on the base of race or religion. I know that is difficult for most Israeli Jews to get that, especially the Americans who don't really understand what American is about (or would like to keep those principles for America, but not for their ethnic democracy.)

As for why I voted for Hadash, you should look at my post on the subject. Basically, I agree with their platform and their performance. Even opposition parties can make a difference, especially with respect to legislation. And, of course, members of Knesset have more public exposure, and I like Barakeh and Khenin; they are models of what Jewish Arab cooperation can look like, and they are constructive forces in Israeli society.

Is Hadash perfect? Of course, not. I am too much of a liberal capitalist to buy into some of the rhetoric. But, again on performance, I am pleased with bills that were sponsored, and i pleased with their philosophy.

Hadash is a Jewish Arab partnership in which the Jews do not dominate; they want to help their fellow citizens to redress some of the systemic discrimination. Look at their platform; you have read enough of my stuff to know why I am attracted to it.

A Meretz type once asked me why I threw my vote away voting for Hadash. I replied that I was tired of throwing my vote away voting for Meretz.

Anonymous said...

Mad Zionist defends genocide as one of the defining characteristics of his religion. This reminds me of a very strange far-right Christian I met once who defended the genocidal portions of the Bible in an unembarrassed fashion--in his case he told me that God ordered the complete destruction of the Canaanites because the Canaanites practiced human sacrifice and he didn't seem to see any irony in this.


Anonymous said...

Jerry, I am worry because I am a professional kvetcher and also because I think this a real issue, not the byproduct of my imagination. The Iranian threat is a ticking bomb. The Iranians are obviously building a nuclear capability. And what I am afraid of is a preemptive Israeli strike on Iranian installations. The Israeli authorities have openly announced that they will never accept a nuclear Iran. So the least we can do, is to take them seriously. Remember: they also said they will attack Gaza if necessary. The next government will probably have to take the responsibility of an attack that will draw unimaginable consequences. And I feel you take this issue to lightly.

Another thing. I don’t like the word “isolation”. I think intelligent pressure on Israel would be more efficient than the “isolation “ of a “pariah state”, which reminds me of Durban. In Durban, the ones who where the loudest to ask that Israel should be banned from humanity, where mostly sinister and bloody dictatorships. By “intelligent pressure”, I mean a real strategy of “give and take”. I have an example. In December, a few days before the Gaza attack, the EU foreign ministers offered unconditionally to Israel an upgraded status, although the European parliament had voted against this decision. This was a serious mistake. The Europeans states should have given this privileged partnership on the condition that Israel would comply to international law.

Anonymous said...

In the US the choice was clear between McCain and Obama. It Israel it was a choice between who was the better McCain. May the best McCain form the coalition.You cant get change from a "broken prutah"!

Mad Zionist said...

Jerry, the fact that you completely avoided the substance of my post to go off on an ad-hominem tangent about Kahane demonstrates how accurate and close to home my points hit.

Expressing your personal hostilities, deep-seeded hatred, and blind rage towards Kahanists, whom you attack as "scoundrels" for not being sufficiently "Humanist", does not change the irrefutable observations I exposed, it simply emphasized your hate for Judaism like a neon billboard.

Irrational hatred, lies, libels, and self-loathing always has been a perfect recipe for Jewish Humanism, i.e., rejection of Judaism and replacing it with Humanism. Everything I said in my post was factual and correct, yet you dodged it simply to say that you are obligated by Jewish law to hate those who have not adopted Humanism in place of Judaism.

You can't see the forest from the tree you're hugging, Jerry. I recommend you reread my original post and address it point by point, lest you risk all credibility in presenting yourself as religious or authentic.

In many ways, you are similar to the "Messianic Jews". They, like "Humanist Jews", believe in a replacement theology that Judaism has been hijacked from its proper course and is being observed by stiff-necks who refuse to accept the Truth. Like a Messianic Jew, you have maintained many of the outward trappings of Judaism, wearing a yarmulke, celebrating chagim, when underneath the window dressing, in truth, you are a missionary of Humanism and seek to find selective affirmations and codes within gamara, kabbala, and Torah text to con the less knowledgeable into buying your ruse.

I would respect you more if you just came out and said you are observing Humanism rather than Judaism...at least it would be honest rather than simply practicing deception to promote heresy.

Jerry Haber said...

Mad Zionist, look up ad hominem. It's Latin. You may want to learn how to use it correctly.

My Judaism is ethical; yours is fascistic. Both are constructions. I invite you to take your pick.

I read your comment, and it sounded Kahanistic to me. If I am mistaken, my apologies. Tell me where you differ from Kahanism?

But, because I am feeling charitable, I will answer you point by point.

"Jerry, since your beef with the Jews dates back to the pre-state era, it occurred to me that your contempt for Jews actually goes back to revelation at Sinai and beyond. Jews have a religion that teaches separations of peoples, foods, genders, and a belief in a special "chosenness" that differentiates and divides."

It occurs to you wrong. I have no problem with any of the above. The fact that you think I do speaks volumes about your inability to engage things besides straw men of your imagination.

"Jews have been taught from the very beginning to not intermarry, to perform the bris millah that separates Jew from Gentile in an exclusive covenant, that has us in our daily prayers face Jerusalem and pray to God for a time when all Jews from everywhere migrate to arab "Palestine", resettle the land of Israel, rebuild the holy temple where the native arabs built a shrine...terrible stuff."

Since I am a frum Jew, I don't know what you are talking about, except when you begin with Eretz Yisrael, which, for some strange reason, opposed to virtually all the poskim of earlier generations, you think applies to now. Traditionally Jews prayed about the return, and just as traditionally they didn't do a damn thing about it, even when they could.

I don't have any problems with Jews believing that in yemot ha-mashiah the Temple will be rebuilt. I also know that the Rambam said that in the time of the mishkan, Jews were commanded to sacrifice animals because they didn't understand prayer as avodas ha-Shem,just as we don't understand contemplation as avodas ha-Shem but need prayer.

I need not tell you that the Rambam did not list yishuv ha-aretz or kibbush ha-aretz as one of the Taryag mitzvot. Or that he himself left Eretz Yisrael. Or that the vast majority of orthodox Jews opposed religious Zionism. And that even today, folks like Israel Ariel are considered meshigeneh by most sane frum rabbis.

I believe that the Mashiah will come and the Temple will be rebuilt. But not your Mashiah and not your Temple. I mean, are you unaware of anything but the crudest form or religious Zionism?

"Oh, and lest we forget the Jews in ancient times who attacked the indigenous Canaanites and others in the land before them and cleansed them. Conquered them. Killed them. Removed them. Oh, and worst of all, the Jews believe they were then punished by God for not being brutal enough!"

If the morality that you practice is that of the peshat of the Torah, then you are a vicious barbarian, not a Jew. Do you know how the Rambam understand the commandment to kill sheva oomot -- which no longer exist? Do you know that if gentiles observe a moral code that it is forbidden to kill them. Do you understand that according to Rav Kook, even, the Muslims are monotheists to whom we are allowed to rent and sell land in Eretz Yisrael?

And you talk about Canaanites? According to the halakha they don't exist.

If your morality is the peshat of the Torah, you are a barbarian; if your theology is the theology of the Torah, then your are an atheist -- because the Torah teaches that God has a body, and if you believe that, then you have no portion in the world to come according to the Rambam...

I used the term "humanism" as a shorthand for an ethical stance that is based on the best of what Torah teaches, which, according to the Rambam and the Ralbag and many others, is what reason demands. It is not humanism in the Leibowitzian sense of making man the source of moral authority.

On the contrary, since God is the source of morality and God is reason, then what reason demands is what God demands.

That is why Abram performed the will of God when he left Eretz Yisrael to go to Egypt during the famine -- even without God explicitly telling him, according to the Ralbag. Because he used his intellect to understand that God didn't want him and his family to die in the famine. That is the real answer to the Ramban, who criticized him for his lack of faith.

There are moral Jews and there are mafiosi who masquerade as Jews, who cite Scripture to aid their yetzer ha-ra.

There are moral Jews and there are mafiosi who misunderstand the morally defensible stand of preferring your own family and tribes to others in some matters, but not all matters. "Beloved is man who is created in the image of God." It took the kabbalists with their racism (itself a mutation of Shia Islam) to say that gentiles aren't human.

But that is the problem with yetzer ha-ra. It takes a perfectly defensible doctrine -- preference of one's own -- and perverts it by making it an absolute. It takes the pshat which is written for simple folk ("eye for an eye"; "God gets angry") and makes an idol out of it.

Look, you may not agree with the Rambam and the Ralbag; you may disagree with generations of rabbis who believed that the Torah aspires to the highest morality, and who often equated that morality with Aristotle (Rambam) or Kant (Hirsch, among others).

It's a free country, but the Torah is not open for all to defile it.

If that is tree-hugging, so be it. I'd rather hug trees (plug for tu be-shvat) than massacre innocents.

Be sodam al tavo nafshi

Anonymous said...

Jerry, you write: "There are moral Jews and there are mafiosi who misunderstand the morally defensible stand of preferring your own family and tribes to others in some matters, but not all matters."

The question is: where does the preference for your own family and tribes starts and where does it end? That’s the whole question. As a secular and agnostic Jew, the only thing I can say is : the answer is written nowhere, not in the sky, not in an ethical code and not even in the sphere of reason (which as most people know, is relative). Nothing is written. All is man made, with a bit of reason and a lot of madness.

M. said...


This may be a strange comment, but I just wanted to say that I laughed my ass off reading these comments. You are on a roll!

I loved this: "Mike, what bomb are you referring to? A nuclear bomb? Iran isn't making one. And if it makes one, it won't use it. so what are you worrying about? Oh, you are worrying about Bibi attacking Iran? He won't with Obama in the White House. So, I repeat, what are you worrying about?"

That's what I tell everyone, and no one listens to me! I want to sew your words onto a pillow.

Mad Zionist said...

Jerry, thank you for confirming what I suspected. You have grossly twisted selective nuggets of Rambam out of context to support your humanist avoda zara.

In fact, you may want to learn more about the Rambam than you get from your selective sources. You think he was a humanist? How's this for humanism.

Mishna Torah, Nezkin, Hilchous
Chovale Umazik, Chapter 8, a 'moser' is one who turns over a fellow Jewish person to the enemy, or turns over Jewish property to the enemy. Such a person(s) have no place in the World to Come, and are destined to Gehinnom (what Xtians call Hell). The Rambam further stipulates such a person or persons(s) may be executed, for it is a mitzvah, and whomever executes them first, is meritorious... Furthermore, even though we do not have the conditions for execution, nevertheless, it is permissible and a mitzvah, and whomever executes the 'moser' first is meritorious.

I will not engage you further in this discussion, as it is clear you have taken a path similar to Naturei Karta, and have thus become cherem.

Meirtz Hashem, I can only hope for the time when you make t'shuvah and can be welcomed back to the Jewish people.

Anonymous said...

I read a newspaper article that said the HADASH got about 20,000 Jewish votes which is about what they have received in the past. Given the fact peope like you, Seth Freedman (of the British Guardian "Comment is Free" blog) and other "high-profile"-types decided to support HADASH, I was expecting that HADASH would do noticeably better than in the past, but that doesn't seem to have happened. The fact that Dov Khenin got IIRC 30,000 votes for Mayor of Tel Aviv and the fact that he is a highly regarded parliamentarian led people to think that HADASH would get a lot more Jewish votes. However, it seems that the large majority of voters who abandonded MERETZ did NOT go to HADASH, but rather went to Kadima, where they led to Zahava Gal-On (no. 4 on the MERETZ list) being booted out of the Knesset, and their votes going to Kadima put in right-wing religious YESHA settler Otniel Shneller. Politics brings about ironic things, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

The Palestinians already have three nations - Jordan, PA, and Gaza. That they have made of sewer of the latter two (PA, GAZA) is their own fault. That they have not made a sewer of the first (Jordan) is to the credit not of the Palestinians, but of the Hashemites.

Anonymous said...

So, send your statement for the next edition. Details matter, Jerry.

Jerry Haber said...

Y. Ben David,

Interesting comment. I read that Hadash got an additional 10,000 Jewish votes this time.

From Eyal Niv's indispensable blog,

האמת מארץ ישראל


אייל ניב
באתר ועדת הבחירות המרכזית ובאתר חד”ש (שניהם מקושרים בפוסט) מופיע המספר. יש כ-14 אלף קולות שאינם מישובים ושכונות ערבים (נניח שכ-13 אלף מהם יהודים). הוספת ה-10,000 היא הנתון שעליו דיברו ברדיו אלשמס. לדעתי זה מתיישב. אם היו כ-4,000 מצביעים יהודים, ועתה יש כ-13,000 המספר בערך שולש, וגדל בערך ב-10,000 מצביעים.

Anonymous said...

Mad Zionist, please refute, point by point, the previous postings of The Magnes Zionist.

That will catch you up and possibly leave you with some new and pertinent comments rather than repeating the very tired refrain of "If you don't share my beliefs, you aren't a Jew."

We've been there, done that over and over. Israel and Judaism are not the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Out of interest, how do you reconcile your Zionism even if it is of the Magnes variety with Hadash, which is I understand it not really a Zionist party.

I also find the divide on economic policy in Israel fascinating; it seems to me that there is little in terms of the acceptance of neo-liberalism to distingush between the so-called Left like Labour and the rightist parties of Likud and Kadima. Meretz which is probably the only real 'leftist' Zionist party is one of the most neo-liberal in outlook. Given the bankruptcy of neo-liberalism as an ideology and the increasing inquality and poverty in Israel - which for all its faults was once a very egalitarian society, I find this alarming.

Anonymous said...

Is Mad Zionist for real or just some kind of funny parody?

In any case, if this is Judaism then I wonder what makes Jews so special and so apart?

Today, I read an article in the Guardian about the Pashtun people. With a population of 42 millions, Pashtuns live on both sides of the Afghan/Pakistani border and their territory is a Taleban stronghold. They believe in one God and have a social philosophy and moral code called Pashtunwali. Fierce warriors, they a have a strong sense of belonging and identity. Marriage with non-Pashtuns is forbidden. Pashtun territory and cultural integrity must be defended at all cost.


My question is: what makes Jews and especially the Mad Zionist breed of Jews, so different of the Pashtun tribe? I don’t see much difference. Weren’t the Jews supposed to be a little bit more than just a mere tribe with a tribal state of mind?

Jerry Haber said...


There is nothing in the Hadash platform that rules out Israel being a spiritual and cultural center for the Jewish people. Conceivable, one could try to create that center in the US without having to change the Constitution.

Jerry Haber said...

Mad Zionist,

Glad to see we have one thing in common. We both think that the other is deserving of cherem.

But I won't call you a moser, although, halakhically speaking, you probably fit that category. Because that would make you liable to death by any zealot, and the zealots like to kill Jews whom they don't agree with. (Like Pharoah, the zealots bathe in the blood of Jews; that is why they need so many Jews to be killed in Israel)

I can't put you in cherem, but I can ban you from the blog till you do teshuvah!

Adios, amigo

Anonymous said...

How is Avraham Burg seen by religious Jews in Israel? Is his yarmulke a prop? Do you think he diminishes the history of Jewish suffering in his writing about the Holocaust?

I think he is very good at exploring the psychology of nationalist chauvinism (Jewish or otherwise). I hope he stays engaged with Israeli and American Jewish politics rather than simply criticizing it from afar. Or is he so beyond the pale that he is just considered a loon? Martin Peretz treated him with open contempt on Charlie Rose.

Jerry Haber said...

Avraham Burg is listened to in Israel, but few agree with him. His book angered many, and he was called a traitor. His call to go back to 1948, and his belief that the Jewish people are suffering from post-Holocaust trauma does not sit will. And, yet, in many respects, he is utterly conventional in his attitudes.

For most religious he is beyond the pale. Religious Jews don't tolerate difference very well, and Avraham is different.

Peretz, of course, suffers big time from post-Holocaust trauma; he is a conventional American Jew who is incapable of understanding anything outside American, much less Israel, which he has never encountered (though he is intimately acquainted with "Jizreel," the Jewish Israel that American Jews construct in their mind)

But both Leon and Avrum nailed Peretz on the Charlie Rose show -- Peretz was fuming by the end of the show because he had not been given the opportunity to speak.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that, wasn't quite sure where you were coming from; since I couldn't understand how any form of political Zionism could fit in with a party like Hadash (which does describe its ideology as non-Zionist).

Anonymous said...

Re the Pashtun - some believe because they practice what seems to be the laws of dvarim without Rabinnic interpretation, that they are the one of the ten lost tribes -- in fact Ephraim. After 9-11 and the Pashtuns association with training camps and Taliban the "lost tribe " proponents were silent because, of course, Jewish tribe could'nt act that way could it?

Anonymous said...

>i?Conceivable, one could try to create that center in the US without having to change the Constitution.>/i>

Am I being over-optimistic in believing that the moral strength of Judaism is as much a part of the social fabric in the US as is the contribution of black Americans?

Lead them, and hope they will come... seems a good principle for all moral doctrine.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Haber, what do you think the Left (whatever that means) outside of Israel can do to help pro-peace Israelis? Will tougher tactics by pro-peace/pro-Palestinian activists merely empower the Zionist right by adding to the perception that Israel is alone in the world?

Anonymous said...

Mr.Haber, how much earlier are you willing to go?

I understand that you are a religious man, so it surprises me a little that you're suggesting taking this path of looking back.

Because, in reality, the only date prior to 1948 that has any relevance is about 2000 years back.

Would not looking back somehow lead us to a conclusion that Judaism is a religion only - and not, in fact, a nation (ie. the Zionist notion taught to us all at school)

Not that I think we are, in this current generation, ready to make such a seismic shift in our view of ourselves.
But that would seem to be the only conclusion from your post.

That all secular Israeli Jews (or more correctly, all Israeli Jewish atheists) would eventually see themselves as Israelis of Jewish descent.
That would seem to me the only position that would allow for a real integration of the people living here now with our neighbours.
Well, maybe not the ONLY position...
But undoubtedly (to my mind) the only FAVORABLE position that might stem from YOUR suggestion.

Am I misreading you?
Or do you somehow see the process of introspection on the part of Israelis (majority of which are at the very least agnostic) as not damaging to Judaism as a religion?

Or do you simply not see this as a negative outcome? (I personally don't view it as negative - but then, I'm an atheist...)

Diaspora Diva said...

Jerry, you haven't blogged in some time. Hope everything is alright... miss reading you.