Identity, Israel, Politics, Religion

Q: Why is the US spending $3 billion / year to finance anti-Christian bigotry?

The correct answer should be that it isn’t, because Bibi Netanyahu fired all the 50 civil servants who, in their official capacity, excommunicated any Jew who rents to a goy.
So far, however, Bibi has condemned the psak din, but has not done anything to fire the rabbis who issued it. So too, the ruling has not been countered by the chief rabbis, or by any of the rabbis who guide Netanyahu’s coalition partners. In other words, while Netanyahu may profess outrage, this does seem to be the normative halachic ruling for the State of Israel.
Would 50 Israeli civil servants be so stupid as to piss off all 6 billion goyim on the planet, including over a billion Christians? You betcha!
After all, the Israeli Orthodox establishment has gone to great lengths to alienate 5 million non-Orthodox American Jews. They’ve declared the child of one of our top theologians to not be Jewish; they’ve arrested our religious leaders for the crime of carrying a Torah in public; and they’ve decreed that Sabbath observance is the only defense against forest fires.
They’ve kicked us in the face, and the leaders of American Jewry — the Jewish Federations and the Jewish organizations — did nothing but applaud and defend the government that empowered them. There was no price to pay.
Back in 1988, the Jewish establishment had balls (I’m looking at you, Shoshana Cardin). Yitzhak Shamir was on the verge of forming a coalition with the haredim by giving in to Habad-fomented demands to ammend Who Is a Jew. A high powered delegation of American Jewish machers flew to Jerusalem… and the result was Israel’s first national unity government.
But that was then. Now, not so much noise from American Jewry. No real push-back as the Israeli Foreign Minister announced, at the UN, his plan to remove the citizenship of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens. No, nothing but applause. This disastrous coalition of Lieberman and Ovadia, of racist nationalists and racist fundamentalists, doesn’t offend the American Jewish establishment.
The question is, will American Christians be so forgiving?
The attack ad practically writes itself:
“”My opponent voted to give billions of dollars in foreign aid to a country where government supported clergymen preach hatred toward Christians….”
If AIPAC leaders care about Israel (rather than the Republican party), they might want to look up from their porn and give Bibi a call. Because this time, Bibi’s buddies are playing with fire.

10 thoughts on “Q: Why is the US spending $3 billion / year to finance anti-Christian bigotry?

  1. 1/ Once again, non-Jewish does not equal Christian. Believe it or not, most non-Jews in Israel and in the world at large are not Christian.
    Once again its the anti-Zionist Jews who are the most anti-Christian
    2/ Just yesterday I was reading a post here about how Israel’s social services are being funded by the foreign ‘guilted cousins’.
    Today I read how those cousins have been ‘alienated’.
    If they’re so ‘alienated’ why are they so donating?
    3/ The fact is it that lots of non-Orthodox Jews give lots of money to specifically Orthodox movements, including Orthodox groups who show maximum disdain for the non-Orthodox.
    If there’s any alienation going on its the alienation many non-Orthodox Jews feel towards non-Orthodox movements.

  2. A high powered delegation of American Jewish machers flew to Jerusalem… and the result was Israel’s first national unity government.
    It can’t be the nobody else sees the arrogance in this.
    If these high-powered American Jews would move to Israel, along with say 300,000 less-powered American Jews–and then payed the exuberant income taxes, sent their children to the army, lived through the awful terror attacks, dealt with all of the problems with the Heredi-controlled Rabinate, etc. . . . then they would be able to help cure much of the country’s social problems–including the Heredi control of the Rabbinate. But that’s just not going to happen . . . so maybe all of these Machers are correct in showing a bit of humility.
    And, agreed, I don’t think Israel should ask for one penny from Diaspora Jewry, and between all of us the American government’s aid to Israel has much more to do with the two countries’ defense industries and with the Evangelical Christian community in America than it does with all of the High-Powered Machers who keep having their faces kicked in.

  3. First, no one excommunicated anyone. They ruled that it is forbidden, and people have the right to listen or ignore it.
    Second, is it now the policy of the Israeli government that elected officials determine religious policies? Certainly they determine legal and official policy. But they should not be telling rabbis what Judaism says. That’s just a huge Pandora’s Box. When they start firing rabbis for saying things that make them uncomfortable, who knows where that will lead.
    Third, this is largely a PR problem. The moderate rabbis — who are of equal or greater stature than the ones quoted — are being ignored by the media.

  4. I’ll preface this by saying that I haven’t actually seen this letter that was supposedly signed.
    “equal or greater stature”
    That’s the understatement of the year. Rabbis in Israel are a dime a dozen, and the ones making headlines here are third and fourth stringers. Getting 47 of them to sign on to something is no big feat. This isn’t the first time Ovadia’s son has been getting himself into trouble. Furthermore, I agree that they should be removed from their posts. These individuals are not elected, they’re selected, and to perform a public service at the government’s behest. They should not be deluded to think they have any direct political power. They can preach what they want without state funding or a state podium.

  5. No, they ruled someone who rented their apartment to a goy should be placed in nidui. So if you live in Kiryat Gat, don’t expect to get an aliya in the state-run synagogue if you rent to a non-Jew.
    I don’t understand why any government officials should be determining religious policies. But don’t take government salaries for jobs delivered on the basis of political patronage and then call foul if electoral politics rears its head. Conversely, don’t put radical clerics on your payroll and disclaim responsibility for their inevitable radical statements.
    I guess it’s the classic Jewish sin of wanting to be like the neighbors. If Iran and Saudi Arabia can support wild-eyed xenophobic clerics on the government payroll, why shouldn’t Israel? If Tehran is closing the nuclear missile gap, it’s incumbent on Kiryat Gat and Tzfat to close the 11th century scholarship gap. (11th century since, as you well know, the psak overlooked the 12th and 13th century rulings concerning the halachic status of Muslims by the Meiri and others.)
    Thinking it a PR problem is in fact a problem of its own. No, it’s a religious problem — are we supposed to love our neighbor or exterminate him (and his children and cattle) — and a political problem. And it is not only a problem for those living in Israel, but a problem for those of us in America who have for generations argued that (1) Judaism is a religion of peace (check out the original logo of the Jewish Publication Society!) and (2) that bigotry has no place in a civilized society.
    Saying there are other views doesn’t obviate the problem. This is the view of the government rabbis of Kiryat Gat and Rishon Lezion and Carmelit and Safed and Nahariya, to name just a sample. The fact that other rabbis didn’t sign on is nice, but doesn’t change the real problem, the real moral stain, of those who did. Just like the lack of Jim Crow north of the Mason Dixon line didn’t obviate the problem in the south.
    Sure, there are plenty of Orthodox rabbis who disagree; heck, some of my best friends are Orthodox rabbis who disagree. The real question for the American Orthodox rabbinate is not whether Rabbi Marc Angel will condemn the ruling in an email to his congregants, but whether the OU will decide that the ruling is so clearly flawed, so clearly at odds with normative halacha and common sense, as to call into question the testimony of its signers when they testify as to kashrut. In other words, would you eat food certified by the rabbinate of Kiryat Gat?

  6. How is this a business of the American Jewish establishment? There aren’t enough Jews in Israel, or Rabbis in Israel to deal with this? I think Jonathan1 is right; there is some serious arrogance being expressed here. I don’t accept some American Jewish conversions. Does that mean I should get some big Israeli Machers to fly down to Los Angeles and sort out the Reconstructionist hippies who also think we don’t eat pork because there was no refrigeration in ancient times? This is nonsense. There is no centralized hierarchy in Yiddishkeit. Rabbis who embarrass themselves lose credibility and support, no matter what community they’re in. Let it happen.

  7. There is a serious possibility here that the headline of your post and the content are close to yellow journalism.
    while I agree with the basic premise that we as Jews must confront the bigotry that is reflected in the letter, it is very important that you state that at least two MAJOR Haredi Rabbis spurned the letter, Rav Shteinman and Rav Elyashiv.

  8. Shmap, the headline and content of this blog post do not constitute journalism – they’re advocacy. In this case, Reb Yudel is trying to shock us American Jews that our meshuggeneh cousins in Israel are embarrassing us in front of the Christians, and that we should stop them, now, before the Christians kill us all.

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