Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Israelis - Come Home!

Here are two new videos by the Israeli government to persuade Israelis living abroad to return to Israel. Interesting to play the assimilation card on them. Very moving.

I do agree that their kids are likely to assimilate, but are these videos too manipulative? Is it within the Israeli government's role or mandate to encourage its citizens to return? (- I guess no more than it is to encourage anyone else to make Aliya!) Anyway, if you like or dislike these videos, add your comments below.

Whose land is it anyway?

In the last minute rush for Palestinian Statehood, there has been a flurry of attention on Israel. One comment in today's Guardian caught my eye.

"If the Palestinians want a state, they can go to Europe or the US – it's very nice there," said Michael Ben Ari, a member of the Israeli parliament. "This is the land of Israel and we are here forever."

Now, MK Michael ben Ari is as extreme as it gets, he is an open follower of the rascist Kach ideology, so I don't expect too much from him. But here, he expresses an idea that too many religious Jews hold, and that is patently wrong. Are we here forever? Just read the Parsha!

I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. (Devarim 30:16-19)
The land of Israel is not ours; it is God's, and he will allow us to live here if we follow the Torah, if we act morally. When Israel fall short of their religious and moral calling, then we lose the land. We should be paying as much attention to morals, as politics and the military.

Jerusalem Graffiti

Yesterday, I was in the centre of town (Jerusalem.) I saw this graffiti. Whereas I generally resent the defacement of the city, these were posted only on temporary barriers around building sites, and I do enjoy graffiti which imparts Talmudic wisdom. Certainly, many people could do with learning this lesson.