Is Israel a Jewish country?…asks Rabbi Laibl Wolf

November 30, 2014 by Rabbi Laibl Wolf
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If the world is a confusing place today, Israel is even more so as I am finding out on my visit here.

Rabbi Laibl Wolf

Rabbi Laibl Wolf

Today’s very public debate is whether Israel is a Jewish state? All this, notwithstanding the Balfour declaration of 1917 and the United Nation’s declaration in 1947 that Israel is a Jewish homeland. Israel’s own Declaration of Independence declares it a Jewish state. So why the current outburst of vociferous Israeli self-doubt just as the Prime Minister seeks to enshrine this truth in a Nation State law, thereby finally providing the courts with a framework for its decision making process?

The counter argument being posed is that legally enshrining its Jewish character deprives minority groups of their ‘democratic’ right to vote against it. Taken to its logical end such argument leads to ridiculous outcomes: It would deprive criminals from deciding how to run the prison system. It would deprive university students in deciding the content of their examinations. Or deprive drivers from deciding what side of the road they individually prefer to drive on. And deprive plumbers to vote at electricians’ union meetings.

Yet, many in Israel feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, sheepish, ashamed, inadequate, and alarmed at the notion of ‘coming out of the cupboard’ and publicly describing Israel as a Jewish state. This Jewish ‘condition’ has a name: low self-esteem, and this condition results in cultural death viz. assimilation, wanting to be ‘like everyone else’ in the hope that Jews will finally become ‘accepted’. And what better way than to stop being Jewish?

Every country has its right to self-definition. Every religion has its right to self-definition. Every interest group has its right to self-definition. So why not Israel?

The answer lies in the current political context. Israel has nasty neighbors. They want Israel eliminated. Always have. It’s not at all a ’Palestinian rights’ issue. Palestinians didn’t even exist when the Egyptian President in 1965 (before the settlements, temple mount ‘status quo’ issues, Gaza, Golan Heights) publicly uttered the blood curdling threat “…we shall enter Israel with its soil saturated in blood.” Not to be outdone, the PLO chairman crowed a few days later, “We shall destroy Israel and its inhabitants…”. The Hamas Charter coolly states: …O Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come on and kill him…”. In 1967 the Iraqi President made his intentions very clear: “Our goal is clear – to wipe Israel off the map.” In those days Jewish holy sites under Jordanian rule were transformed into urinals (Trans Jordan itself being a very recent innovation in 1921), Jewish gravesites defiled, gravestones uprooted for building materials, snipers shot at Jewish passers by in the Old City, etc. Even the contemporary version of ‘Palestinian reasonableness’ has the ‘moderate’ Abbas publicly stating that a future Palestine will be judenrein. And the recent rain of thousands of rockets on Israeli cities, only saved by the new technology of ‘iron dome’, has not exactly endeared Israel’s neighbours to its Jewish inhabitants.

Therefore the Goebbels-like-lie attempt by Israel’s enemies to declare the proposed Nation State Law undemocratic is part of a major international initiative to deprive Israel of its Jewish legitimacy, and even of its existence. Forget that Israel’s Jewish legacy was codified and documented in the Bible thousands of years ago to Abraham, through to Moses, there still exists a serious attempt at revisionist history and to make Israel a figment of the world’s imagination: it never existed, and if it did, it must have been Palestinian (in spite of the fact that there is no Palestinian culture distinct from the Arab people, nor is there a Palestinian language).

The proposed Nation-State law defines Israel as a Jewish homeland, as did the Balfour declaration and as did the United Nations. It means that anyone seeking to live in Israel, be they Jew, Christian, Moslem or secular, cannot overturn the Jewish character of this land. All inhabitants have complete civil rights to practice their religion and lifestyle, but subject to Israel’s laws defining the country’s character.

No different than finding the banks closed on Martin Luther King Day or stores closed on the English Queen’s birthday or even Saudi Arabia outlawing women drivers or wearing burqas and jihabs.

Arguments based on lack of Israeli democracy are a ‘complete furphy’.

 Rabbi Laibl Wolf is the Dean of Spiritgrow – The Josef Kryss Center, Australia

Comments

4 Responses to “Is Israel a Jewish country?…asks Rabbi Laibl Wolf”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    Exactly, Rabbi Laibl Wolf. It’s exactly as you say. What on earth are the likes of Tzipi Livni on about?! She must be objecting for selfish political reasons only, otherwise it’s incomprehensible.

  2. Eleonora Mostert says:

    Stand up ovation for Rabbi Laibl Wolf. I am a Messianic Jew. Israel will and has always been the homeland of the Jews. Only crazy people argue with G_d.

  3. Matthew Johnston says:

    Well look at Syria no government and no constitution or laws. So for some order the Koran is used as the constitution. And that is what it is a repressive document. So some governments like say Saudi Arabia use it for internal control. But then other countries the dictatorships while being so called secular use Israel and resistance as the means of control via the Koran. How else like Iran, Hamas can you keep people suppressed and in poverty, now the west’s view is being framed by changing demographics and as the Koran is a repressive document they suppress themselves with terror laws and policy due to Muslim votes all these refugees are going to end up in Europe from the Arab Spring and the Palestinians are trying to use demographics as policy and force a one state solution and will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state and that what this law is about for the reasons the Rabbi suggests and Wilders says the same thing about Europe .

  4. Paul Winter says:

    I am 100% in agreement with Rabbi Wolf.

    The argumemnts of: Israel discriminating against non-Jews and Halacha becoming the basis of law (the recent NIF criticism) are baseless conjectures to keep the Arab “right of return” alive and deny Israel as the nation state of the Jews.

    A recent article by Elder of Ziyon titled “Hypocrisy, thy name is Arab: The “Jewish State” kerfuffle”, points out that the discrimination and racism that the Arabs claim will flow from Israel declaring itself as the nation state of the Jewish people, is precisely what the Arabs themselves are guilty of.

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