Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

More stating the obvious

Posted by Charles II on July 30, 2014


RABBI HENRY SIEGMAN: Yes, it’s [the invasion/bombing of Gaza is] disastrous. It’s disastrous, both in political terms, which is to say the situation cannot conceivably, certainly in the short run, lead to any positive results, to an improvement in the lives of either Israelis or Palestinians, and of course it’s disastrous in humanitarian terms, the kind of slaughter that’s taking place there. When one thinks that this is what is necessary for Israel to survive, that the Zionist dream is based on the slaughter of—repeated slaughter of innocents on a scale that we’re watching these days on television, that is really a profound, profound crisis—and should be a profound crisis—in the thinking of all of us who were committed to the establishment of the state and to its success. It leads one virtually to a whole rethinking of this historical phenomenon.

The whole interview is fascinating and well worth the time. There’s a basic problem at the root of the Palestinian conflict. Jews have a legitimate reason to want a state as protection against religious/ethnic persecution. But the essence of desiring justice for the historical–and ongoing– ill-treatment of the Jewish people is desiring such justice for all people, even those one considers enemies.


4 Responses to “More stating the obvious”

  1. jo6pac said

    He has called the Palestinian struggle for a state, quote, “the mirror image of the Zionist movement” that led to the founding of Israel in 1948.

    I guess I’m wrong in saying wasn’t this a Palestinian state to begin with and my only Jewish friend say Jews were to suppose to wonder the earth until Jesus rose again. The again I know very little about religion but always in enjoy when I’m around my Jewish friend and mutual friend who is Muslim, I sure do learn a lot about religion. The conversations are always friendly.

    • Charles II said

      Palestine is some of the most fought-over real estate in the world. Who its original inhabitants were is unclear.

      What is not at dispute is that, despite repeated displacement from the land by the great powers of the day, the Jews were the majority residents of Palestine 2000 years ago. They were forcibly evicted from there by the Romans. Until 1948, they were stateless and persecuted. At that point, the majority residents of the land were largely Arabs. Many Jews had immigrated peacefully. I’m sure you know all this history. So, Siegman’s point is that the Jews have suffered repeated displacements from land they regarded as theirs due to the power and arrogance of the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Romans. Therefore, they should feel empathy for the Arab Palestinians, who occupied the land continuously for hundreds of years and came to regard it as their home.

      I do think that due to historical abuse of the Jews, there is reason for them to have a homeland where they can be free from religious persecution. But there is no reason that their homeland cannot be within the 1947 borders.

      It isn’t a Jewish legend that the Jews will wander the earth. Rather, this was probably a product of Jewish-Christian rivalry. See here for the full megillah

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