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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Why Some American Jews Are Balking at Netanyahu's Visit to Congress

Nadene Goldfoot                                                  
Netanyahu speaking at UN explaining need to stop development of uranium in Iran
The Jewish Democrat Senators are divided down the middle into staying to listen to Netanyahu speak on March 3rd about Iran and nuclear power.  Out of 27 Jewish Senators, 13 say they will attend and 14 will not attend.  We only have one Jewish Republican Senator and he plans to attend, making it 14 to 14.  Those not attending are staunch followers of the Democratic President Obama and take their cue from his behavior.  What makes Jews so divided over such as thing as listening to the Prime Minister of Israel?  Why is it that Jews have been followers of Obama when he shows a change of attitude towards Israel from what other previous Presidents have shown?  

Many American Jews, about 35%,  belong to the Reform Jewish movement.  They in turn, probably  have become Democrats.  The reform movement in Judaism  historically started in the 19th century in Germany. Over time, it has given rise to a set of Jewish beliefs and practices separate from Orthodox Judaism.   Synchronistically, Judaism came to an end in Germany with hideous torture and gas chambers in the 20th Century with the Holocaust that wiped out 6 million Jews of Europe with intentions to go onto all parts of the world to do the same thing.  The Holocaust brought out sadism in certain Europeans and loss of belief in G-d in many Jews.  
Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews share a culture and its foods
All Jews have had in common the acceptance of only one G-d, but today even many Jews say they are atheists.  From results in a 2003 poll, 79% of Americans believe in G-d but only 48% of the Jews do today.  This could be from the affects of the Holocaust and the affects of science, something many Jews have as their profession.  Jews are found to have a very high intellect, being a few points higher in IQ than the general population.  1/5 of Nobel prizes are earned by Jews who make up only 1/2 of 1% of the world population.  Such minds are more questioning than most people, I find.    For some Jews, being Jewish is more about culture than religion these days.  The last thing they have kept is the food.   Intermarriage has a great deal to do with this.  Some have settled on Reform as an inbetween way of keeping religious.  

As a result, many who would decide to belong to a synagogue would find themselves more comfortable in a Reform Synagogue .   We find that 90% of American Jews are Ashkenazi and make up 1.7% to 2.6% of the American population.  In 1932, when Nazis were just getting going in Germany, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Democrat,  was president in the USA for 4 terms, voted in by 85% to 90% of the Jewish vote.  

The reason  that many Jews go for Reform Judaism is that it cuts out more of the Hebrew prayers and does more in English. It is considered more modern.  The central tenet of the Reform movement is to deny that the Torah is the authentic word of G-d and to reject the historical reality of the Sinaic revelation.  They view both the Oral and Written laws of Judaism as a product of human hands, not divinely given to Moses.  They also feel that the Torah is a reflection of the time over 3,000 years ago since Moses (1391 BCE- 1271 BCE) was said to have written them all as the 5 Books of Moses,  and have lost their binding force on us.  It reflects only the historical development of Judaism which is subject to change based upon contemporary moral and doesn't represent a G-d-given truth for all time.  In other words, they reject the Torah as the eternal word of the living G-d of Israel.  Historically the Reform movement was very anti-Zionist. 

 Update: 2/15/15..The Reform Movement rejected the Balfour Declaration and wanted everyone to know that.  In 1885 they signed a paper saying that they didn't consider themselves any longer as a nation, but just as a religious community and didn't expect a return to Palestine or the restoration of any of the laws concerning the Jewish state.  With the Balfour Doctrine, the Reform didn't like the declaration that Palestine shall be the national homeland for the Jew.  They weren't about to move there.  Contemporary Reform Jewish leaders are today every bit as Zionistic as their Orthodox brethren.  In fact, we do have extreme Orthodox groups as much against living in Israel as the Reform had once been.  (The Jewish Press, January 30, 2015, page 28-29 by Saul Singer.  

Before 1980, the Reform synagogues went back to accepting more of what Conservative Judaism does and accepts, and they became far more supportive of Israel.  Rabbi Rose in Portland was a good example.  He even helped to train and educate those interested in Israeli advocacy.  He held debates with Arabs in Portland, and once did lose his cool, just as Moses did once, whereas Rabbi Rose walked off the stage in the middle of a debate, finding his opponent unreasonable.  I was a first hand witness to that and would have done the same thing.  He could not logically debate this person .  
Moses with 10 Commandments

So when it comes to Israel, we have a dilemma.  We know that historically, Judea and Samaria were our land in the beginning.  Orthodoxy takes the Torah seriously in that G-d told us this was where we were to live.  Joshua led us into Canaan since Moses died at age 120 and was not allowed into the land due to losing his temper earlier, anyway.  The ancestors of Jacob's 12 sons were given their allotted land by Joshua.  Today the Palestinians are demanding our ancient land as theirs for their state without accepting the fact that there is a Jewish state now, and has been for the past 66 years.  The Labor party of Israel (Leftist) want to cede the land to them again, something we have already tried and failed with Ehud Barak, Yitzak Rabin and Shimon Peres ,  while Likud, Netanyahu's party, says no.  They stand on international law proving that the land after 1967s war belongs rightly to Israel being it didn't belong to Jordan who had just helped themselves to it with England's looking the other way in 1948.  

Rabbi Rashi (1040-1105), the great French/German commentator of the bible who I happen to carry a few segments of genes, had a father, Rabbi Isaac,  who said that the main purpose of the Torah was to teach the mitzvot or good deeds and ways of living civilly in this world by starting with the first mitzvah in the Torah, blessing the New Moon in Exodus 12:11.  It begins with Genesis because...and this is very important...Because if the nations of the world should say to Israel, YOU ARE ROBBERS BECAUSE YOU HAVE SEIZED BY FORCE THE LANDS OF THE 7 NATIONS, CANAAN;   ISRAEL SHOULD SAY TO THEM, THE ENTIRE WORLD BELONGS TO GOD, HE CREATED IT AND GAVE IT TO WHOMEVER IT WAS RIGHT IN HIS EYES.  OF HIS OWN WILL HE GAVE IT TO THEM, CANAAN,  AND OF HIS OWN WILL HE TOOK IT FROM THEM AND GAVE IT TO THE JEWS.  

How amazing!   That day has come when the world demands that we are to allow against our will that this land is to go to the Palestinian Arabs who, by the way, never existed as a people throughout the entirety of human history.  Livni and Hertzog of Israel from the Labor party are some of those ready to give it up.  You will not find the Palestinians mentioned anywhere in the Torah or in the rest of the "Old Testament" we call the Tanakh.  They are people from Syria and other surrounding lands.  
Menorah in front of Knesset in Jerusalem, Israel's capital 

The Democratic 2012 platform "Omits support for Jerusalem as capital of Israel. The 2008 Democratic platform advocated the controversial and inflammatory position that “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel.” That is still Mitt Romney’s position, but the 2012 platform has excised that section completely, much to the chagrin of Israel hawks. (The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin has already labeled it “the most radically unsupportive statement of policy on Israel by any major party since the founding of the state of Israel.”)"  
Rabin, Clinton and Arafat win Nobel Prize for Peace-it didn't take...

As a reminder, we had 2 prime ministers, Ehud Barak and Yitzak Rabin in the Oslo Agreement from the Labor party before ready to give almost every part of Israel up to the Palestinians except their own bedrooms and beds and still the Arabs were not about to make peace.  It did no good except to make the Jews look weak.  What miracle has happened today, I wonder, that would change their minds?  They have become more adamant and demanding.  That's how they are getting what they want.  Israel is building in these areas and the Labor party is against it, wanting to wait another 66 years, I imagine to build on land legally Israel's no matter what weak arguments they come up with.  

Henry Kissinger is for Netanyahu's speaking to the Senators.  So is Elie Wiesal.  Giullani, former NY city mayor is for his speaking.  

Now, that last argument I've heard from Americans is that they hate Netanyahu because of his father.  His father hasn't been mentioned in the news or in politics, so this is a pretty weak excuse for hating Netanyahu, a hatred I'm afraid, coming from radical  anti-Semitism of the left.  It happens that his father, Benzion Netanyahu, was born 2 years after my father in 1910 but in Warsaw, Poland, scene of the Warsaw Ghetto where Jews were tortured, starved to death and shot.  He was an Israeli scholar of Judaic history and was an activist in a Zionist movement who lobbied in the USA for the creation of the Jewish state; and he couldn't have foreseen what was going to happen to his birthplace.  His father, Nathan Mileikowsky, was a rabbi who also toured  Europe and the USA in support of Zionism.  Rabbi Nathan made aliyah in 1920 and changed their surname to Netanyahu.  

Benjamin or Bibi, as we know him, was one of three sons.  Yonatan was born in 1946 and died in 1976, a commander of Sayeret matkal, and was killed in action leading Operation Entebbe.  Our Prime Minister, Benjamin, was born in 1948, and his young brother Iddo was born in 1952 and is a physician, author and playwright.  Their father, Benzion, died in 2012 in Jerusalem  at the age of 102.  He was a good man.  

Therefore, Jews in the USA have had it easy.  So easy, as a matter of fact compared with past history, that they are letting loose the religion of their fathers in the form of a more liberal Judaism and a liberal political position as Democrats, even though their charter is not keeping the promises of the presidents before Obama about Israel.  The Democrats in their political meeting in 2008  had eliminated the word God from their party platform.  .  

Jews of Israel are the product of people fleeing to Israel in order to continue living, and have been accosted with wars and giving their energy to the service of the IDF in order to maintain their lives. Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews are a little over half of the Jewish population.   They may be agnostic or religious, but all are very nationalistic.  They have no other choices.  They are maintaining the ethics of Judaism which is where American  Democracy  found their values. 

 It was Harry S. Truman, Democratic president, who was for Israel becoming a state and voted for it in 1948.   The last Democratic meeting in the USA changed their charter and left out the points about backing Israel.  This is another reason for needing Israel.  One cannot depend on a country's backing.  Throughout history, countries have invited Jews to live there and then in a few years would exile them.  We've been waiting patiently for 2,000 years and have our state once again.  

***Saul Singer in The Jewish Press, February 6, 2015 page 77;  The Reform Movement and Zionism
The Holocaust by Martin Gilbert
Update: 2/14/15 Story about Rabbi Nathan, Netanyahu's grandfather and why he made aliyah to Palestine: excellent

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