Friday, May 25, 2012

Vive la Difference?


I’m reading The Forward, a wonderful Jewish newspaper, and two articles catch my attention. The first wonders why young, secular, and liberal American Jews take so little interest in Israel. The second reports on ultra-Orthodox rabbis spreading an extremist Judaism throughout the ranks of the Israeli military instructing soldiers to “show no mercy,” to view civilians as “not innocent,” to “ignore any foreign doctrines [that] confuse the logical way of fighting the enemy” (doctrines such as the Geneva Convention and the Israeli Defense Force’s own code of ethics).

It seems to me that the second article speaks to the first.

One reason young (and not so young), liberal, secular, and universally humanistic American Jews are alienated from Israel is that Israel seems to be on its way to becoming a theocracy. The more Israel comes to resemble Iran the harder it is to give a crap about what happens there.

Now Israel need not care what liberal, secular, and universally humanistic American Jews think. They can and should do what they think is in their best interest. If Israelis want to live in a theocracy run by Orthodox Jews that’s their business, but don’t expect me or people like me to stick with them.

Now it’s true that America seems to be on its way to becoming the United States of Christ, and when it does I will leave, but, given the choice, I won’t move from one theocracy to another. I’ll look around and find the country whose people seem the most free, secular, democratic, and rational, and emigrate there.  At the moment I’m eye-ing Canada, but it may be that China will surprise us all, and I’ll move there. At least I know I’ll like the food.

8 comments:

Denucho Attarian said...

This type of post is for me the type you do the best. Even your great sense of humor cannot hide your visceral dissatisfaction of a great tradition being degraded. I hope you are wrong about the United States of Christ but if you are right I my face is in your rear view mirror.

Denucho Attarian said...

This type of post is for me the type you do the best. Even your great sense of humor cannot hide your visceral dissatisfaction of a great tradition being degraded. I hope you are wrong about the United States of Christ but if you are right thats me in your rear view mirror.

Tricia Datené said...

You will be very welcome in Canada. Come to Vancouver Island!

migali said...

Well one thing is for certain- Theocracy is alive and well In the South.

Sue said...

You point to one of the hard realities of those of us who live in The U.S. -- the seemingly inexorable slide into a mindless, Christo-centric theocracy. I wonder how many, like you, and like us, seriously contemplate the day when it will become necessary to find another, more open, more reasonable place to live?

swan

S Brooks said...

Rabbi, if you're joking about moving to Canada, ignore this post. If you're even remotely serious then pay attention. Regardless of the genuinely welcoming sentiments of its citizens like Tricia, the Canadian government itself is not so welcoming to U.S. citizens seeking to escape the socio-political-economic lunacy that's happening in America. I know this because I legitimately tried to move my family there recently for the same reasons as you but was told by the Canadian Consulate that "such disagreements with the current direction of the U.S. federal and state governments, and my perceived views that it is moving away from true democracy, are considered speculation and are not acceptable reasons for seeking a permanent visa in Canada'...'and my rationale for the request gave [the Canadian government] grave concerns." However, if you have a vocational talent that's in high demand--such as petroleum engineering or technology--they they are open to your request. The man at the consulate also said (off the record) that the Canadian government disagrees with my assessment of the situation in the U.S., and he considers us "whiners." The best they offered was a three month tourist visa. Needless to say, we're still in America...and still looking.

CTKWingChun said...

Careful. We'll soon become the 51st state.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/canada-politics/rcmp-ease-canadians-idea-u-agents-canada-201905380.html

Karen said...

What about Sweden, Denmark, or Switzerland? One of those might fit the bill. If I were single, I know I'd be looking in that direction.