israel_flag.jpgTwenty or thirty years ago, talk about the transfer of Israeli Palestinians out of their homeland to somewhere else was beyond the pale, something only found amongst the right.
But today, even amongst the most elite of American immigrants to Israel, such talk has currency as does the abandonment of democracy and pluralism.
Robert Gordis comes from one of the elite families among Conservative Jews in the US (that is, a midway tradition). Anyone who has paid attention to modern Jewish scholarship will know the same, yet he, as a representative of the liberal religious tradition has come out with something like this in his latest book:
“For it is that majority that enables Israel to serve as such a beacon of hope for Jews. That, in turn, invariably will entail more than rhetoric. It will require abandoning the pretense that Israel is just like other countries, the charade that claims that Israel can deal with its minorities precisely as other democracies do…If Israelis genuinely believe in that purpose, they will then have to be willing to discuss what they are actually willing to do to protect the existence of the state that has saved the Jewish people.”
But of course, on top of the chilling call for an ‘mono-religious9; state, he has forgotten that it was other democracies (and the USSR) that has had the most profound role in saving Jews in the past.
Having just come back from South Africa, where the sins of the past regime’s theological and political justifications are well remembered, I find this argument frightening. Of course, this is not to say that S.A and Israel are or were the same, but there is a continuum that Israel has the opportunity to avoid.
See the critique of his position here.