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The Gordis Not

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Gordis then takes a large step forward which all Israel’s governments have avoided for 45 years and more and asserts that now it will lose its ability to maintain a status quo which serves its policies best of all:

Observers everywhere would read the adoption of the Levy report as tantamount to annexing the West Bank.

I hope.  But I don’t think so.  And I am pretty sure Gordis knows that Netanyahu will not do that either.  Not because he doesn’t want it but that in everything else he has done in his second term as Prime Minister has been to cover Israel with the US for the Iranian threat.  Gordis knows that that is what Bibi has been doing and so there was no need for him to publicly shame him and Israel in such a manner.

Moreover, he thinks profound damage will be caused:

It would be read as putting the Palestinians on notice that Israel plans never to evacuate any settlements, and that hopes for a Palestinian state are dead.

Wait.  With peace, and coexistence, being the goal to be achieved with the Arabs resident in the areas of the former Mandate that was established to “reconstitute” the Jewish National Home not under Israel’s sovereignty, why should Jews remove themselves from where they live?

Will Arabs be removed from Nazereth, Rahat, Um El-Fahm?  Are Jews to be treated to a very different – and discriminatory and even immoral – reality?

He is also concerned:

…Israelis [will think] their political leadership believes that the status quo is actually the ideal and that young people should give up even dreaming that the conflict might, one day, be behind us. Can we imagine ourselves in an interminable conflict without numbing our moral sensibilities?

Well, better a status quo that provides security rather than a jump off the cliff is what most Israelis prefer.

He then waxes emotional:

Zionism at its best is aspirational..Zionism struggles to survive…It hopes for a richer and more sophisticated conversation about how a state can be Jewish. It should aspire to greater social equality. And it should yearn for a day when its sons and daughters will not have to go to war…

Zionism also strives for the time when Jews in the Diaspora, more properly, the Galut/Exile, will stop seeing themselves as equal to the Jewish community in Israel.  Yes, we are partners, yes we share the same visionary aspirations, the same wish for a thriving Jewish culture.  But Jews abroad need know that there is a line that doesn’t always have to be crossed.  To be Jewish, nowadays, seems, especially in the camp Gordis chose to be aligned with, is to show just how much you can criticize Israel.

“I criticize Israel, thereby I am” is the now catchword, and so Gordis posits that

To state publicly now that what we have in Judea and Samaria is not an occupation might be a legally justifiable claim. But it would also signal that it is time to give up even thinking about how a different reality in the Middle East might be achieved. That, we must not do.

Rabbi Dr. Gordis, Daniel, you erred in your own aspirational exuberance.  You erred in the ‘friends’ you chose.

As you wrote: “Not for naught is Israel’s anthem called “The Hope”, and yes, so we, too, have hope – for you.

As it is written in Psalms, in order to achieve peace, one must first distance oneself from evil.  One must stop speaking guile and do good.

 

_________________________

The Letter:

July 13, 2012

The Honorable Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of the State of Israel
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
As strong advocates for Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish and democratic state, we are deeply concerned about the recent findings of the government commission led by Supreme Court Jurist (Ret.) Edmund Levy. We fear that if approved, this report will place the two-state solution, and the prestige of Israel as a democratic member of the international community, in peril.
As you boldly stated in your address to the United States Congress last May, “I recognize that in a genuine peace, we’ll be required to give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland.” As you said clearly, doing so is not easy. While the Jewish people indeed share a biblical connection to the lands of Judea and Samaria, you told Congress, “there is another truth: The Palestinians share this small land with us. We seek a peace in which they’ll be neither Israel’s subjects nor its citizens. They should enjoy a national life of dignity as a free, viable and independent people living in their own state.”
Securing Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state requires diplomatic and political leadership, not legal maneuverings. We recognize and regret that the Palestinian Authority has abdicated leadership by not returning to the negotiating table. Nonetheless, our great fear is that the Levy Report will not strengthen Israel’s position in this conflict, but rather add fuel to those who seek to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist. At this moment, it is more critical than ever that Israel strengthen its claim in the international community that it is committed to a two-state vision, which is, in turn, central to Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state.
We are confident that with your deep understanding of the gravity of this situation, and your unprecedented political strength, you will ensure that adoption of this report does not take place.
Sincerely,

Karen R. Adler
Jack C. Bendheim
Michael Berenbaum
Howard M. Bernstein
Charles R. Bronfman
Steven M. Cohen
Rabbi Marion Lev Cohen
Lester Crown
Thomas A. Dine
Rabbi David Ellenson
Edith Everett
Susie Gelman
E. Robert Goodkind
Stanley P. Gold
Rabbi Daniel Gordis
David A. Halperin
Harold R. Handler
Alan S. Jaffe
Peter A. Joseph
Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky
Peter S. Kolevzon
Steven C. Koppel
Burton Lehman
Marvin Lender
Geoffrey H. Lewis
Deborah Lipstadt
Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon
Harriet Mouchly-Weiss
Burt Neuborne
Bernard Nussbaum
Richard Pearlstone
Marcia Riklis
Rabbi Jennie Rosenn
David Sable
Rabbi David Saperstein
Jeffrey R. Solomon
Joel D. Tauber
Melvyn I. Weiss
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie
Michael D. Young
Lawrence Zicklin

About the Author: Yisrael Medad resides in Shiloh and is a foreign media spokesperson for the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities.


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5 Responses to “The Gordis Not”

  1. Stephen Leavitt says:

    When did the Shalem Center start espousing that Israel should expel Jews from their homes and other failed leftwing failed theories?

  2. Yori Yanover says:

    Medad — I so wanted to write this one… My attorneys will contact you regarding stealing the words right out of my mouth.

  3. Gordis was in one sense not wise in joining a group who by and large are known for opposing the present Israeli government. He was courageous in saying that there is a problem in having a Jewish state if forty to fifty percent of his population is Arab.

  4. Mike Cohen says:

    If you had watched the so-called "debate" between Gordis and Beinart you would have seen that this is their position. Amazing that Shalem is so desperate to be accepted that even they are now in two-state camp…

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