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The Real Issue

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Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.

There is no state among all the member nations of the United Nations whose very existence is called into question this way. And while we as Jews argue among ourselves as to this policy or that, as if this were remotely relevant to the issue of peace, we fail to focus on the real issue, namely that so long as Joseph’s brothers do not recognize his right to be, there can be no peace but merely a series of staging posts on the way to a war that will not end until there is no Jewish state at all.

Until the sibling rivalry is over; until the Jewish people win the right to be; until people – including we ourselves – realize that the threat Israel faces is ultimate and total; until Iran, Hamas and Hizbullah agree that Jews have a right to their land within any boundaries whatsoever, all other debate is mere distraction.

Adapted from “Covenant & Conversation,” a collection of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks’s parshiyot hashavua essays, published by Maggid Books, an imprint of Koren Publishers Jerusalem (www.korenpub.com), in conjunction with the Orthodox Union.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth since 1991, is the author of many books of Jewish thought, most recently “The Koren Sacks Rosh HaShana Mahzor” (Koren Publishers Jerusalem).

About the Author: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth, is the author of many books of Jewish thought, most recently “The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning.”

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