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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776
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Reform, Assimilated Jews Want Voice in Israeli Affairs

Disapora Jews want to vote in Israel. They do not, however, want to make aliya or serve in the IDF
Reform Wedding (illustration image).

Reform Wedding (illustration only).
Photo Credit: Serge Attal / FLASH90

Reform Jews and a left-wing Israeli journalist said Israel must bow to Palestinian terror,  sanction non-halachic “Judaism” and give foreign Jews a vote in Israeli state matters or risk abandoning their support.

According to a report issued Wednesday by the Jewish People Policy Institute, Diaspora Jews believe the words “democracy” and “Judaism” are interchangeable synonyms. Democratic values are considered “Jewish values.”  Thus, actions that erode Israel’s democratic values are seen as detrimental to Judaism and to the definition of Israel as a Jewish state.

Diaspora Jews also feel Israel must ends its “control” over the Palestinians, presumably by abandoning sections of the Land of Israel, in order to maintain Israel’s democracy. However, the report does not mention the possibility that the PLO, led by Holocaust denier Abu Mazen, does not actually want peace, but rather aims to keep foreign aid money flowing via farcical “negotiations” with Israeli leaders.

The report also fails to mention the historic and religious Jewish connections to the places Diaspora Jews are only too happy to let go, as well as the fact that less than five percent of Jewish tourists to Israel visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem or Shilo, the ancient home of the mishkan before the Holy Temple was built by King Solomon.

Democracy. Regardless of the Facts

The report also notes that although Diaspora Jews recognize the fact that Israel faces challenges that do not always allow the country to follow Jeffersonian democratic principles, they don’t really care. Author, journalist Shmuel Rosner also fails to mention inconvenient statistics, such continued Palestinian Arab emigration from Judea and Samaria, as well as the significant drop in Palestinian Arab birthrates in recent years. According to demographer Yoram Ettinger, these factors have led to an increase for the Jewish majority in the Land of Israel over the past decade.

“It is clear that many Diaspora Jews recognize the difficulties and constraints Israel faces given the regional hostility and security threats. At the same time, the majority does not consider this reality, and the fact that Israel’s neighbors do not adhere to principles of democracy and human rights, as justification for lowering the high values bar Israel is expected to maintain,” the report says.

Notably, the 139-page report in Hebrew does not mention the words “aliya” or “immigration”. This is presumably because Rosner did not want to offend Diaspora Jews who prefer to express their Zionism by putting spare change in blue Jewish National Fund tzedakah boxes and with annual checks to local Jewish federations.

Instead, Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State: Perspectives from World Jewry asserts “the right of Diaspora Jews to express their views on issues being decided in Israel was a central topic of discussion,” as well as a demand that Israel consult with Diaspora Jews “on a regular basis” because Israeli policies and actions have an impact on the wellbeing of Jews around the world.

It should also be noted that the report does not include, either by Israeli authorities or Diaspora Jews, to draft Jewish teenagers from outside Israel to serve in the IDF, or to perform volunteer national service.

Lastly, the report includes a Diaspora demand that Israel abandon civil standards governing the functions of state. Couched in terminology about the Orthodox “monopoly” over Jewish life in Israel, Rosner appears to support the isolation of a majority of Israelis who want to live their lives in accordance with basic halachic standards. Instead, he proposes “giv(ing) equal standing to all Jewish streams” on civil matters such as marriage, divorce and conversion.

Instead, Rosner apparently prefers Israeli state support for intermarriage (no longer even a matter of contention for non-halachic streams of “Judaism”, as well as the breakdown of divorce standards that will avoid a future problem of mamzerim, or children born from adulterous unions. A vast majority of Israelis would prevent their children from marrying these individuals.

Meir Halevi Siegel

About the Author: Meir is a news writer for JewishPress.com - and he loves his job.


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