Overcoming the rift
Yoel Meltzer
Published: 24.06.10, 19:22
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1. An excellent and much needed analysis
Robert Haymond ,   Israel/Canada   (06.24.10)
of the tensions within the State of Israel today. I would suggest that the situation is still more complex than what Mr. Meltzer articulates. The ethnic rivalries between Jew and non-Jew as well as various factions of Jews, i.e., Ethiopians, post-communist Russians, Sepahardim and Ashkenazim, all complicate the picture of Israel as it currently exists. Nonetheless, and as Mr. Meltzer has so aptly expressed, dealing with these tensions is of supreme importance as our own survival appears to depend on it. In a remarkable set of volumes, Arnold Toynbee, the English historian, in his history of civilizations, came to the conclusion that all but one of the civilizations he had identified throughout history had decayed and/or self-destructed internally before giving way to external threats. I think we may be witnessing the exact same dynamics in the nation of Israel at this time and I dread it.
2. you can't bridge polar opposites without a common enemy
Golan ,   modiin   (06.24.10)
you cannot bridge Zionist secularists with anti-Zionist Hassidut. You cannot bridge communists with capitalists. And you cannot bridge the Misnoigeid with the Hoissidoic unless they have a common enemy. This is why the Israeli left (your internationalists) side with the Communist/Arabist/Islamists. They have the same group that they wish to destroy (one wants to destroy ethnically while the other physically) and that group is the Jews (nationalists and non-nationalists) So it would be easier to bridge the anti-Zionist Haredi with the pro Zionist Jews because they have a common enemy... RADICAL leftists/Islamists/Arabists
3. Excellent Analysis, plus
Paqid Yirmeyahu ,   Ra'anana, Israel   (06.24.10)
for internationalists who are adamant about "blend[ing] in with the rest of the world" the proper place for that is already established. It's called America, not the Holy Land. One of the best pieces of analysis I've read in ynet. (So, I imagine it will be skewered.) Paqid Yirmeyahu Paqid 16, The Netzarim, Ra'anana, Israel Israeli Torah-reverer (Teimani, Baladi, Dor Daim, Orthodox Jew) Advocate for Logic as Hermeneutic Halakhic Authority Welcoming All Torah-reverers (Jews & non-Jew geirim)
4. Jews elevate the rest of humanity?
Steve Benassi ,   Silver Bay, MN USA   (06.24.10)
Yoel Meltzer is delusional. Jews are not special, Whites are not special, Aryans are not special. "Blending in with the rest of the world" is what the rest of the world is doing. Its a good thing. When Jews refuse to assimilate, then fly to Palestine, that is where the problems begin. Jews have been around for thousands of years and their population is small not because of anti-semitism or the Holocaust, it is due to assimilation.
5. Nationalism will prevail. Internationalism is global slavery
Jake ,   USA   (06.24.10)
Sooner or later the useful idiots who support Internationalism will realize that they are supporting pure evil. Many of us already realize this, and support the nationalists fighting for their rights, fighting the UN hegemony. A world at peace, does not require a world police.
6. To Yoel
Marcella   (06.24.10)
First of all, thank you for addressing this extremely important subject. There should be AT LEAST a common nationalism based on the most elementary needs: preserving Jewish identity, battling common enemies, uniting in the face of never-ending threats to ALL JEWS. I'm reading the 1933-41 journals of Victor Klemperer, an assimilated Jewish professor in Dresden. He's very candid and allows the reader to see inside his mind during the years when the noose was tightening around German Jews. I'm still reading his 1936 diaries and I've been shocked at the level of negativity towards Zionism and Jewish Palestine by a very nice and decent man. Assimilated Jews' antagonism towards Zionism goes way back. Many of the GERMAN JEWS who emigrated to Palestine when no other place would have them, shared this contempt for Zionism and sympathy for the Arabs living there. Many planned to go back to Europe once the conflict was over. It is this particular group that may share a large part of the blame for sowing the seeds of anti-Zionism in the Court, the media, universities, etc. A blogger wrote: "German Jewish immigrants amalgamated into a powerful anti-Zionist force. They spoke German, scorned the redneck Palestinian Jewish culture, ignored religion, and snobbishly viewed themselves as Europeans. German Jews were the Peace Now of that time. They advocated peaceful solutions and accommodation of Arabs." "They were the only educated class. Automatically, they became academics, media professionals, and judges. They imprinted German values on their students. Those were the extremely nihilist values of the most assimilated Jewish community of the time. " (Samson Blinded Website) I wish there was a way for readers to explore this issue more in depth. Do you have a website yet, Yoel?
7. To #4
marvls ,   nyc   (06.24.10)
Yes - the mission of Judaism is to be a "light unto the nations" to elevate humanity with Jewish values of justice & righteousness. Jews can only do this by setting good examples i.e. embracing their Judaism - otherwise you're right - they're no different than everybody else. Your analysis of assimilation is pretty warped. Small # of Jews is due to assimilation - that's why Jews should assimilate?? Also "Jews refuse to assimilate, then fly to Palestine, that is where the problems begin" huh? Do you mean the Jews of Germany who were so assimiated that many didn't know they were Jewish until Hitler sent them to camps? Or the assimilated Soviet Jews who knew little about Judaism except that the word "Jew" was stamped on their internal passports? I guess those societies loved their Jews so much, there was no need for them to "fly to Palestine" and create all those problems...
8. left-right understanding
moron ,   galut   (06.24.10)
will come with rise of anti-semetism or arrival of moschiach--whichever first occurs--bibis constant pandering to opinion of enemies ,handing hamas victories at pa expense in gaza, searching for pr instead of rallying support for a strong israel cannot unite country
9. To Yoel: The mid ground counts big...
David ,   Shiloh Israel   (06.24.10)
Your article is both timely, and exceptionally relevant for Israelis. As a Jewish settler, who also can relate to many reasonable Arab issues, I'm sick of having to be demonized by totally ignorant Jews. I've been raised in the Diaspora and have been more internationalist then they could ever wish to be in their clumsy attempts to mold in with the rest of the world. We 'are' a unique people. That includes the socialist & humanitarian leaning Jews who care for non-Jews. However, to be so naive to believe that if Jews like myself left our homes in the central hill country of Israel, the rest of Israeli Jews can live in perfect peace & harmony...well excuse me! Some commentators have righfully drawn attention to individual Jewish groups having polarized positions. I answer that, by stating that the mid-ground in Israel counts big! Accordingly, this article can help to restore a better balance between the 'majority' of left & right wing Jews who don't wish to see each others destruction.
10. Israel is not 'paralyzed'. Let the two sides bicker!
Daniel ,   Los Angeles, USA   (06.25.10)
Those who support a strong and Jewish Israel also support the rule of law and individual rights. It is the internationalists who are prone to succumbing to moral relativism, cult of personality, and government over-reach. Israel is a strong nation and tight US ally. Don't worry about the infighting. It is the EXTERNAL threats which demand our concern and action.
11. You know there's something very wrong and confusing
Marcella   (06.25.10)
- When successive prime ministers tell those who have waged war and terror "Take Our Land, Please. " - When the leader of the opposition, Ms Tzipy Livni, tells high school students that Patriotism today means Two States. - When in the 21st Century Jews are expelled from their homes based on their ethnicity - and in the country often referred to as the "Jewish state". - When Jews berate other Jews for daring to live on land west of the Jordan - Jewish land according to international law. - When Jews take on the side of Arabs and against the IDF, the government, and other Jews. - Where the government, politicians, professors, almost everyone remain silent about Israel's legal right to the land. - Where nobody seems too upset at the fact that the country has become a vassal state of an unfriendly foreign government that micromanages Israeli domestic and international policies. Point to any country on the map and you'll see people for whom nationalism is taken for granted. It's not something to be ashamed of and it's not an aberration. In its most basic form it means This is our land, our people, our heritage, don't mess with it. So why being a nationalist in Israel has become an extreme and objectionable position? I'm not religious so I feel very discouraged to see how Israeli seculars are not always standing up for Israel's right to all its land and in solidarity with all Jews.
12. Meltzer's a smart guy indeed !
avi   (06.25.10)
not one time appears the word God, and maybe that's why he gets no negative comment ... hehehe, forget god and everyone agrees, nice try darling.
13. how about the rift in emanuel?
mike ,   israel (formerly usa   (06.25.10)
if two orthodox factions can't get along with each other, what chance is there for leftist and rightists or anyone else? physician heal thyself.
14. to 11
nahla ,   jerusalem   (06.25.10)
iam from here as i was born here my parents so my grand fathers and my grand mothers are from here becouse of that i say that iam palastinian .i do my best to evry one may be iam not a light in this world but sure i do my best to evry one but the fact is it is my land and iam palastinian moslem speake arabic vey well so if i have the israili nationality i will not change to be light even if i change my religion to be a hew i think it will not change my manner to do my best to evry one
15. Zionism
deborah lurya ,   irvine   (06.25.10)
The Jewish people are an indigenous people who have ancestral rights to Eretz Israel, including Judea Samaria. Israel is the national homeland of the Jewish people. Zionism is the national rights movement of the Jewish people.
16. To # 1
Yoel Meltzer ,   Israel   (06.25.10)
Thanks Robert. According to the Sages we'll eventually get to the redemption, but our actions will determine if we'll get there the easy way or the difficult way. Thus despite the many problems, I have no doubt that we'll get there. What Toynbee wrote probably applies to every nation except am yisrael.
17. To # 3
Yoel Meltzer ,   Israel   (06.25.10)
Thank you.
18. To # 6
Yoel Meltzer ,   Israel   (06.25.10)
Thank you for your comments. Regarding the web site, some friends have been nudging me for some time to open up a blog but I haven't gotten around to it. Regarding German Jews and their influence early on in the state, I suggest reading Yoram Hazony's The Jewish State. It's a very good and important book.
19. To # 9
Yoel Meltzer ,   Israel   (06.25.10)
Thank you for your insightful comments.
20. To # 10
Yoel Meltzer ,   Israel   (06.25.10)
Thanks for your comments. Although I agree that we need to deal w/the external threats, for me the real problem is internal and only by dealing w/this can find our way out of the endless mess.
21. To # 12
Yoel Meltzer ,   Israel   (06.25.10)
Thank you for your comments, even if they're a bit sarcastic (at least you read the article!). The subjects in the article (building a Jewish nation, being a light to the nations, etc) are all straight from Judaism so whether or not I mention God is irrelevant. There certainly wasn't something intentional on my part to curry favor with people.
22. #18 Yoel - book recommendation
Marcella   (06.25.10)
I have it! I have The Jewish State. It's been there waiting on a bookshelf for years. I buy tons of books (many from 'remainder' tables) with the hope of reading them some day. I will certainly read this one now. Thank you for your reply and all the best to you.
23. To make you smile - pictures of an Arab unity conference
Marcella   (06.25.10)
Scenes from the Islamic Conference to Save Gaza http://www.israellycool.com/2010/06/22/scenes-from-the-islamic-conference-to-save-gaza/
24. klemperer
roi ,   modiin, israel   (06.25.10)
klemperer,a poor assimilitated german jew-thinking marrieing a goyish lady an eating treif will make him german, is a good example of what german antisemites called: not german-not jew. the jews did not help klemperer and the germans said his relative, the famous conductor-Oto -is not a real german to conduct Wagner Nibalungens. So , this POOR Victor Klemperer says HERZEL is a FACHISTbut he longs the real german nativity. jews are real Tembel if they think that gentiles will forget who the jew is. Sartre was wise enough to say that a jew is the one somebody else a jew. if we trace this brilliant words we are an empire of wise people tha do not embrace the gift. klemperer was a big big TEMBEL.we must start thinking that jewish nationality is a gift - i do not want to be in a family that my uncles were members of the inquisition or part of Muhamd's Gihad beasts. HAS VEHALILA. Shabat shalom. P.s as usual yoel is brilliant.
25. Leftists are brothers & sisters. Their ideology is wrong.
Chaim ,   Israel   (06.25.10)
Melzer makes some very good points. We must heal the rifts in Israeli society as best we can. However, while realizing that leftist Israelis are our brothers and sisters, we can't overlook the fact their ideology is wrong and leads to nothing but disaster. In fact, leftist appeasement and retreat is the cause of virtually ALL Israel's major problems. So while we reach out to leftist Jews, we vehemently reject their crazed ideology.
26. Hilarious, Marcella (Arab Unity conference).
Robert Haymond ,   Israel/Canada   (06.25.10)
I've also visited samsonblinded.org and, on cursory review, it appears to be a very useful site. It must be powerful since Amazon has deleted reviews of the book. As to Viktor Klemperer, I think it is notable that he's been put in relief to make a point. By contrast, I've read a few works on Jewish partisans during WWII. Few if any came from the professional classes nor from the devout religious classes (although some became devout, if they survived). I would suggest the very readable book entitled "Partisans of the Forests" by a Canadian Jewish historian, Allan Levine.
27. #26 Robert
Marcella   (06.25.10)
Thank you for the book suggestion. I'd love to read it. I've read The Avengers by Rich Cohen and have four other books about partisans still waiting to be read. I'm a seriously addicted book buyer. Wish I could read them, though! :-) I just started The Jewish State. I'll be glued to it now. Victor Klemperer, in spite of all his faults (anti-Zionism, his unconvincing excuses for remaining in Germany when collegues and relatives were fleeing, his daily whinning about health and household issues) is a rather endearing character, and so I read his book with interest. He was fervently anti-Communist, but he chose to remain in East Germany after the war and felt quite contented there. I can't wait to learn how he managed to readjust his politics. I've always tried to understand the mind of people who face the obvious but choose to live in denial till it's too late. It's 1936. Dismissed from his post, he is aware of what's coming, but he shuts out reality and spends most of his time writing a book about the 18th century! History is being written all around him but he chooses to dwell on a distant past that does not concern him anymore! I see similar parallels for all Jews these days, and particularly for Israeli Jews. Lonely Planet books just voted Tel Aviv among the Top Ten Party Towns in the world. That's only one sign of the absurdity passing for reality in Israel these days, I suppose. Nothing wrong with enjoying life, but the Party Town designation is rather jarring considering the danger the whole country is in. If we could travel in time and talk sense to Victor Klemperer, would he listen to us? And now, if somebody tried to talk sense to TA leftists, would it have any effect? I don't think so.
28. Marcella: It took me many years to figure
Robert Haymond ,   Israel/Canada   (06.26.10)
this out but as an old man, after retiring from my professional psychology practice no less, I observed some folks selling a children's learning programme to the public which was advertised as topnotch and beneficial but was sorely overpriced and actually mundane. the salespeople, none of them psychopaths, all believed in the product in spite of the evident flaws and highly exaggerated price and deemed themselves as doing "good" in the world. It was then, after so many years and growing old, that it became obvious to me that self-deception was a natural ingredient in all our lives just as it must have been in Viktor Klemperer's. It's what allows us to live with ourselves. Some, like Franz Kafka and Primo Levi, did not possess sufficient protection from reality and could not sustain themselves as a result. Because self-deception is a universal need, truth tellers will always be turned on.
29. #12 Yoel, I still don't believe it you answered !!
avi   (06.27.10)
THANK YOU, that's really nice of you & Ynet. I propose you to do some homework and fill the voids where you suppose the word G.d should best fit in ... You'll see it does make a difference, sincerally, Avi GLEITZER
30. To # 25
Yoel Meltzer ,   Israel   (06.27.10)
Thanks for your comments. Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting that we adopt the left's ideology because it's obviously problematic (as you wrote). Rather I'm stating that we need to extract the good points. As I'm sure you know, there are many ideologies that although they are destructive they also contain some kernels of truth. It is these kernels, and not the whole ideology, that we need to extract.
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