Kadima Bn’ei Akiva

Everybody knows that Gen. Ya’alon’s daughter is a pacifist. And so is Sara Netanyahu’s nephew Yoni Ben-Artzi, who sat hundreds of days in jail (his brother co-founded with me the Israel Forum). Many children of elite army generals and politicians have decided to refuse over time. Now MK Zvi Hendel’s nephew is doing the same.

But there’s something different in this case. R’oi Hendel comes from a religious background, as noted in the article. I went to the same synagogue as he did and later went to the same high-school. There are very few religious refusers, and all draw a lot of attention. Sadly, it is supposed to be surprising to Israeli society that a refusenik will be wearing a Kippa. One or two years ago during Sukkot, the Youth Refusal movement built a big sukka in front of the Kele 6, a military jail in which our activist friends were being jailed at the time. Even some MKs such as Tamar Gozansky and Isam Ma’hul visited us during the 3-day project. When a journalist was taking a photograph of us for the popular teenage magazine Ma’ariv Lano’ar (I don’t know if its still popular), he asked the only religious guy to push his Kippa to the front of his head so it will come up in the photo. Rediculous.

The Religious Zionist movement is the most dangerous element in Israeli society. It pantheized (is that a real verb?) God and made the earth itself holy. Sadly, the only thing that keeps God and earth apart is the graves- the paper weights of the holy land. The religious refusers, continuing lebivitz’s tradition, are the only hope for this movement which was hijacked by the most extreme in the last years. Mafdal wasn’t always led by a fascist.

17 thoughts on “Kadima Bn’ei Akiva

  1. Ben-Artzi should consider changing his name considering that it conflicts with his ideology and behaviour.

  2. Hey… great post… the title also reminds me of a song from Hashomer Hatzair… anyways… good on you for pointing out the multi-faceted nature of all societies…
    I’m off to go sing songs and remenice (sp?)

  3. Jay, i was part of religious-zionist (and obviously orthodox) community until 9th grade, when I decided I had more than enough.

  4. Lotsa prophets would be so-called “self-hating jews” if their writings were published in today’s papers and websites.
    We need more Jews who keep a check on our immorality, such as the worship of land, too much pride, and ignoring those in our midst who need our help.
    We’re meant to be a light, not no empire.
    .rob adams

  5. Hey Rob Adams….
    You must mean “no empire”….
    “not no empire” is a double negative meaning that we want an empire!
    What we want it what is rightlfully ours….. The right to live in peace in Israel including all of Judea Samaria and Gaza.
    Rob, You are obviously a classic idiot and buffon, learn how to think, then speak and finally write. Until then keep your idiocy to yourself.
    L’Am Yisrael B’Eretz Yisrael!

  6. Oy vey, another one of those self-righteous ones accusing Jews of raising their heads and being proud, heaven forbid. Another one os those ‘no land is worth dying for’, right?
    Make no doubt about it; Jews without the land of Israel are fish without water. A Jew is not a proper Jew without the land of Israel. If someone claims that a Jew can be a good, or even better Jew outside of Israel, then don’t listen to them because they are either lying or quite ignorant about the basis of the Jewish people itself. A Jew has 613 mitzvot to practice. Today, we can only do about a 1/3. If you live overseas, even less. The only way to do the other 2/3 is in the land of Israel with the Temple restored.
    If anything, (and the Palestinians claim this everyday), the Jews have much less rights to the coastal plain than Yehuda and Shomron. Jews never lived in Tel Aviv, but they always lived in Hebron and Gaza. That’s simple history.

  7. the religious peace movement “netivot shalom” may be of help. I was part of Bnei Akiva America growin up. It certainly, in my view, is not the most dangerous element in society. Rav Kook’s teachings have been perverted in the same way that others have. More nuance, perhaps one should assess gush emunim and other groups rather than saying Akiva is dangerous.

  8. bnei akiva in America are a totally different story.
    The school i went to was a very liberal one. We still made prayers from tehilim when settlements were evacuated (oops, i ment two karavans off a hill).

  9. and we did the same. you’d be surprised how similar they are. I actualyl think its one of the most effective youth movements for bridging american and israeli jewish youth because it effectively rendered religious zionism as a spiritually infused political movement in the same way that garvey, ras sam brown, and icons of the back to africa movement united a broad range of african diasporic youth.
    we need more religious zionist youth like ourselves to work with jewish youth to work out the negative perceptions and perversions of rav kook.

  10. Well i guess you see gush emunim as an ideological “mistake” of religious zionism? because to me it looks like a natural outgrowth.

  11. No, I see Gush Emunim’s militancy as the product of what they call 67s messianic significance combined with a continued conflict with those certain arabs that deny jewish connection to judea and samaria.

  12. Josh,
    I assume you are writing from Israel and have already done your military service in the IDF, or that you plan to serve. Correct?
    Do you really have no qualms about writing off two millenia of Jews in the space of a few seconds at the keyboard? The Babylonian Amora’im, Rashi, Hanagid, Dona Gracia, Menasseh Ben Israel, Rebecca Gratz to name a few; all not good Jews because they did not live in Israel. Well, that does not leave much for the less famous members of the Diaspora. To be a good Jew, you have to live in Israel? Come on, you are joking aren’t you?
    Re complete performance of the Mitzvot: Below are Mitzvot 591 to 598:
    Appoint a king from Israel Deut. 17:15
    Not to appoint a convert Deut. 17:15
    The king must not have too many wives Deut. 17:17
    The king must not have too many horses Deut. 17:16
    The king must not have too much silver and gold Deut. 17:17
    Destroy the seven Canaanite nations Deut. 20:17
    Not to let any of them remain alive Deut. 20:16
    Wipe out the descendants of Amalek Deut. 25:19
    Perhaps in the interest of world peace, if not Tikkun Olam and the role of the Israeli president, it might be better if the Third Temple remains unbuilt.
    Sad to say, some circles choose to dismiss political disagreement by decribing the holders of dissenting opinions as, anti-semites, self hating Jews, traitors or by some other form of personal attack in order to deligitimise the holder of the views rather than discussing the issues raied. It doesn’t leave much room for meaningful and productive debate, does it?

  13. Asaf, judging by the findings of a poll taken by the Israel Institute for Democracy in May, this may become a less rare phenomena. (43% of those polled favoured dissent either for serving in the IDF or for dismantling settlements)
    http://www.peacenow.org/nia/peace/v5i43.html (See “The Young and the Restless”)
    Mind you, given that the same poll showed 43% were in favour of restricting the freedom of expression of those who criticise the state and only 46% were in favour of equal rights for Arab Israeli citizens, and there were no indications whether the figures show an up or downward trend, I am not sure where the poll results as a whole are encouraging or not.
    Religious Zionism? Yes it is dangerous. The history of mankind over the past 2000 years has too many examples of political agenda and the inflicton of suffering on others being encouraged and legitimised by religion, or perhaps more correctly, human interpretation of what purportedly is divine will. If we believe what we are told, then the same God who has given “Greater Israel” to one side is preparing a sumptuous reception in Paradise for those of the other side who blow themselves and other up in norder to take it back.

  14. Too quick on the button.
    … And as an atheist, it’s depressing to watch.
    Apologies for my bad Greek, it should be phenomenon, not phenomena.

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