Sunday, June 26, 2016

Rosenthal's Ten Propositions (Part Two)

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of Ziyon.}

Vic Rosenthal of the Abu Yehuda blog, the Elder of Ziyon, and other venues, has a recent piece entitled simply, Ten Propositions.

I discussed the first five at Israel Thrives the other day.

These are the next five:
6 - Everyone should be able to follow their own religion or lack thereof without coercion. But the official religion of the state of Israel should be Judaism.

7 - Israel and the Jewish people have an absolute right to defend themselves.

8 - Collective guilt justifies collective punishment.

9 - Nobody has the right to try to kill Jews or Israelis, even if their means are ineffective.

10 - There should be a death penalty for murderous terrorism.
Let's take these individually.

Number Six:

Everyone should be able to follow their own religion or lack thereof without coercion. But the official religion of the state of Israel should be Judaism.

Many secular Jews have a problem with this.

I do not.

We have to keep in mind that the Jewish people are a tiny minority throughout the world and almost half of us live in Israel. The forces against the Jews of Israel are many and their defenders are few.

Were it not for the Long Arab-Muslim War against the Jews in the Middle East I would not care whether or not Israel declared Judaism as the official state religion. In fact, as a creature of the European Enlightenment and the Constitution of the United States, I generally oppose declarations of state religions.

However, given this political moment in the history of the Jewish people declaring Judaism as the official religion of the state serves to promote the idea of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

And it is this idea that must finally be driven home to both Christian and Arab, alike.

Number Seven:

Israel and the Jewish people have an absolute right to defend themselves.

Yes, we do, but the rest of the world does not see it that way.

On the contrary, Jewish self-defense has been viewed as a form of aggression for millennia. Whether in Europe or the Middle East - whether in terms of Romans or Christians or Arab-Muslims - Jews have historically been denied self-defense on the grounds that we are guilty of whatever accusations are flinged at us. Thus Jewish self-defense is a means of avoiding righteous justice and should not be allowed.

This is an ancient anti-Semitic sensibility, prominent in both Europe and the Arab / Muslim world, that has evolved and attached itself to present-day political sensibilities. This is why so many westerners, largely on the Left, but not entirely, believe that Arabs have every right to try to kill Jews as a matter of "resistance" or "social justice."

However, it must be made explicitly clear to both westerners and the Arabs of Israel - in word and action - that the Israeli government, on behalf of the Jewish people, will simply no longer put up with the racist, Koranically-based violence toward ourselves or our children.

Number Eight:

Collective guilt justifies collective punishment.

It is only those of us who live in cozy and secure places, like northern California, who think otherwise.

It is very easy for people who, for example, live in the United States to oppose "collective punishment" because Americans are not in an ongoing war for survival.

The Jews of Israel are.

Whenever Hamas starts tossing Qassams and Katyushas into southern Israel, on or around the towns of S'derot and Ashkelon, the world community sleeps. However, whenever Israel stands up and says, "Enough of this!" the western-left leaps to its feet and starts screaming from the hillsides about "genocide" and "collective punishment" despite the fact that, yes, the IDF does more than any other army in human history to avoid civilian casualties.

The truth is that the Arabs of the Middle East have inflicted a long war of attrition upon the Jews and in war there is always "collective punishment." The Jews of the Middle East did not start this war and they do not want it, but if they are to survive and thrive - if they are to protect their own children - they absolutely must fight it.

And, of course, in war innocent people are hurt and killed.

There is always "collective punishment" in war.

If the Arabs would like to see such "collective punishment" end then they should very much consider relinquishing their never-ending murderous, theocratically-based hysteria concerning the Jewish people.

Number Nine:

Nobody has the right to try to kill Jews or Israelis, even if their means are ineffective.

This is an exceedingly strange statement.

Would anyone ever suggest that nobody has the right to kill, say, Rosicrucians... even if their means are ineffective?

It flat-out amazes me that Rosenthal even needs to say this... and, yet, I agree that he does.

How many comments have we heard from the anti-Israel / anti-Jewish Left in the last decade that the rocket-fire coming from Hamas is really nothing but "bottle-rockets"... and similar statements?

The western progressive-left has a tendency to downplay anti-Semitic violence against Jews because either they simply could care less or honestly believe that the Jewish people have it coming for allegedly oppressing the bunny-like, native, indigenous, olive-tending, "Palestinians."

Number Ten:

There should be a death penalty for murderous terrorism.

Jewish religious tradition opposes the death penalty.

Nonetheless, Jewish religious tradition also stresses the necessity for self-defense. Although I am not a theologian, I feel reasonably certain that such a proposition would find advocates among religious Jews, as well.

We cannot have hostile and powerful political actors, such as Barack Obama, demanding that Israel release the murderers of Jews from Israeli prisons as a "confidence building gesture" to terrorists like Mahmoud Abbas.

I am, therefore, in agreement.

Anyone who seeks to murder Jews in Israel for either Islamic religious reasons or due to Palestinian-Arab nationalism needs to be made to understand that Israel will not put up with it.

The penalties for those who seek to murder Jews within Israel must be harsh enough to seriously discourage the idea that it is perpetually Jew Killing Season among Arabs.

I just feel badly that I failed to find more points of disagreement between myself and Vic.

Maybe next time.


  1. The following are my perhaps ill-considered but immediate reactions.

    6. I'm not sure about the official religion, but I don't oppose it. You could very well be right. I do however think your last point on this is dead on balls accurate, i.e., that Israel is the Jewish Homeland, and that it is a fact which is not ever to be fucked with.
    7. I couldn't agree more, and this right to defense must be always be defended without any apologies.
    8. Arabs put this into practice every day and are supported by their western hypocrite hand-maidens. Only Jews are expected to turn the other cheek. War is war. Don't let them complain to westerners about humiliation while they dance in the streets. Humiliate them.
    9. "This is an exceedingly strange statement." Addressing it is necessitated by the Pals' exceedingly strange supporters.
    10. I agree. This is a war. The Arabs have successfully sowed confusion between war and individual criminality. I don't think Israel is compelled to uphold a distinction the Arabs have completely subverted. If they are at war with us, the rules of war apply.
    If someone is attacking your country you blow their heads off. That is the ultimate deterrent to aggression.

  2. Rules one and six are pretty much the same, absurd. Exactly which Judaism and which Jews are in charge of Israel? Orthodox, conservative, reform, humanist or something else? You were incensed at the notion of the Rabbinate making non-religious weddings a crime, how can you say that if Judaism is the state religion? If Jews and Judaism are in charge, does that mean that Israel cannot have a Muslim prime minister? Is the law necessarily based on Jewish scriptures? Whose interpretation? The entire notion is absurd. Israel is, and always has been, a secular state. It is not a Jewish state, it is a Jewish refugee state. It should be a sanctuary for any person who identifies as a Jew and not anything else, thus primarily excluding messianic Jews, but including conversos who identify as Jews but not as Christians. My definition of Jews is acceptable for purposes of refugee status, but no definition would be acceptable for purposes of defining Israel as a Jewish state.

    1. Joseph,
      It is the Jewish State, whether secular or religious.
      Who talked about putting "Judaism" in charge? I don't think that Mike meant to make Israel into a theocracy. But right now as far as I know Orthodox Judaism is in charge of Jewish religious affairs. The official state religion of England is Anglicanism. That doesn't mean the law flows from the Anglican Church. Nor does that mean that a Jew can't become Prime Minister.
      You are right that Israel has always been a secular state, and I believe it should remain so. I think you are worried about a slippery slope and I can understand that consideration.

    2. The Anglican Church in England as the state religion is now pretty meaningless, other than the king or queen has to be a member of that church. But there were significant battles fought in England between Catholics and Anglicans over who which would dominate. And those were real battles, as in people killing each other and not just political battles. I don't want to get to the point of meaninglessness after a civil war in Israel. To say it is a Jewish state and then be unable to say what real world consequences that has makes the concept meaningless. I prefer to say that Israel is a Jewish refugee state, because that has real meaning.

    3. Prefer what you will, but Israel is the Jewish State. Israeli Jews are not refugees, they are citizens.

    4. joseph,

      You ask some important questions.

      "You were incensed at the notion of the Rabbinate making non-religious weddings a crime, how can you say that if Judaism is the state religion?"

      It is entirely unclear to me how Judaism as the state religion necessarily entails the criminilization of non-religious weddings.

      "If Jews and Judaism are in charge, does that mean that Israel cannot have a Muslim prime minister?"

      That is a terrific question and, speaking strictly for myself, I would say that the answer is that Israel can, indeed, have a Muslim PM. There is certainly nothing in Israeli law to prohibit a Muslim PM.

      "Is the law necessarily based on Jewish scriptures?"

      Israel is a secular state, not a theocracy.

      As for your last few sentences, I am not exactly certain just where you are coming from.

      Israel is not a refugee state, but a Jewish state.

      It is the national homeland of the Jewish people and has been for around 3,500 years.

      It is unclear to me just why you would deny that.

    5. What exactly does "Judaism as the state religion" mean? What are the real world implications? Is it just chest thumping?

    6. joseph,

      Israel is the Jewish state in the same way that Ireland is the land of the Irish.

      I honestly do not care about Judaism as the state religion beyond the fact that it bolsters Israel as the Jewish state.

    7. If Ireland is the land of the Irish, then Israel is the land of the Israelis. If Israel is the land of Jews, then Ireland is the land of the Catholics (except Northern Ireland, which is the land of Protestants).

  3. I don't believe in the death penalty for terrorism. That implies that terrorism is a criminal offense handled by civilian courts. It's not, it's war. As such it should be prosecuted either as a war crime OR according to Koranic rules of war, which are; accept no surrender and take no prisoners. So they have a choice; they can be tried for war crimes and sentenced according to that court, or they can killed on the spot.

    1. They might want to make it clear to the EU as well.