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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Shelach - The Will of God (cont.)

Last year, I posted this thought for parashat Shelach. That post generated a small debate with Jameel today - see the comment section there.

More interestingly, this shabbat I read a commentary by rabbi Avigdor Neventzal ("rabbi of the old city of Jerusalem") for Shelach that was surprisingly similar to the one I heard a couple of years ago from rabbi Amnon Bazak. Surprisingly, because rabbi Neventzal is known for his hard-line right-wing approach, and yet does not hesitate to pose questions regarding the interpretation of "the will of God" in the story of the meragelim and the applicability to today's political debate.

(This would be a good place to recommend rabbi Neventzal's "talks" on the weekly parasha, published in a five-book set.)


Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jameel: The mindset of the "settlers" is far from monolithic.

Shavrul: Of course it is.

I'm referring to the small, but extremely loud, minority that for the past 39 years has been holding the entire country hostage to its fanatic, messianic ideas of redemption through the worship of land.

Excuse me? That's sterotyping at it's worst. Who built the Settlments in the Jordan Valley, Sinai, Gush Etzion, Gaza and the Golan? The secular Zionist Labor party. Did they build those settlements out of a fanatic, messianic idea of redemption?

Rhetoric that a small group has been holding the country hostage is patently false. While Gush Emunim spearheaded aspects of the Settlement movement, the reasons for the settlements are multi-faceted ranging from security to messianisism to ideological nationalism to quality of life seekers to absolute naivete.

It's high time the Israeli thinking left stopped trying to bunch together the entire settlement issue, hoping to conveniently find a scapegoat for all of Israel's woes.

Sharvul said...


Frankly, I am tired of these "debates". I know you might interpret this as shying away from "facing the truth" or what-have-you. That's fine.

But after so many years of arguing around the same issues, I am tired. I just feel I know (almost everybody knows! certainly most political parties) what the solution will ultimately be, but somehow we manage to argue ourselves to death (literally) instead of trying to reach that solution faster and save lives in the process.

You can interpret my tiredenss as part of the overall problem of tiredeness in Israeli society, and I would not disagree.

I don't want to turn my blog into a right-left debate forum. There are plenty of those around. Therefore, I respectfully withdraw from this debate and thank you for your comments so far.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Sharvul: I can appreciate your not wanting to debate the issue.

We can agree to disagree and move on to something else completely different.

Conservative Apikoris said...

Tead the words od Amos Oz, who recollects a conversations he has with a veteran Zionist back in the 1950's:

"And because we have something now, we mustn’t take anything else from them. [my emphais, not Oz's] That’s it. And that’s the whole difference between me and your Mr. Begin: If we take even more from them someday, now that we already have something, that will be a very big sin.”

As far as what God wants from us: Let God tell us in Hids own voice. As for the religious Zionist rabbis and ideologues, I only have one word: charlatans.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Conservative Apikorus: And that just shows you the moral depravity of Amos Oz. While Tel-Aviv sits atop the ruins of Sheikh Munis, and the TAKAM Kibbutzim which were built on stolen land which used to have Arabs living on them...there are ALMOST NO settlements which involved land THEFT.

The land for the settlements came from "Admot Medina" -- land that was classified as Jordanian State land, as defined by then-Israeli Attorney General, Pliah Albeck.

It's so convenient to bash the settlers, while Amos Oz and ilk lounge around in their homes which caused alot more anguish and grief to Arabs.

Again...who built the majority of the settlements?

The Labor governments.

Conservative Apikoris said...

.there are ALMOST NO settlements which involved land THEFT.

I think Oz's point was that the land grabbed in 1948-9 was justified because (1) the Jews had nowhere else to go, and (2) the Arabs were trying to drive the Jews into the sea, etc. etc.

Post 1949, maybe the Arabs are still trying to drive the Jews into the sea, but the Jews now have a homeland, so they don't need to steal any more land.

And I understand very well which political party was in charge and allowed the settlemnt movement steal Arab land. The Labor party also has the theft of land from Israeli Arab citizens on its hands. But I really don't care, all Israeli politicians are goniffs and I feel no obligations of loyalty to any Israeli or Zionist party.

So, too bad. Amos Oz and his generation got a free pass, but sorry, no more. The Jewish people don't need to steal any more land.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

CA: Who exactly did the settlements "steal" the land from? Why should Oz get a free pass at the expense of the rest of the country and the Palestinian refugee problem? The settlements didn't create any refugee problem -- Oz and his friends did.

Besides -- the 6 day war was never intended as a land grab. You know that well.

I'd sooner give away Ramat Aviv than Beit El.