This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Comments on comments on Cohen's Israel Article

I have been sampling comments to the provocative piece by Richard Cohen on Israel's existence being a mistake. I posted a long comment on Meryl Yourish's piece in response, although I doubt she will publish, so I am reposting it here.

Richard Cohen did not say Israel should roll over and play dead, or that it should not exist now. If he had told the whole truth, he would have pointed out that an anti-semetic US State Department turned away all refugees. Had they not turned them away, there would have been a mass migration here which would have lead to further pressure to bomb the death camps and otherwise act against the Holocost.

Cohen’s title was provocative - it made you look. His point was that reoccupation of Gaza and south Lebanon would not be a good idea. He may be right if the answer is a two state solution, although I don’t think the two state solution has been thought through as yet, since two real states would mean a Hamas with a right to arm itself as its own country. I think that is a non-starter. It also does not solve the demographic problem of the Israeli Arab Muslims (the Christians have mostly fled by now from both Israel and the West Bank). Unless a Palestinian state includes the Muslim areas in the north as well as a chunk of the West Bank and that state is absorbed into a larger Arab federation under Hashemite rule (and I am talking Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan), the two state solution is bound to fail.

What is the alternative? Peace and Justice. So far that is not going too far in either camp. Israel claims to be a bastion of westernism, although if it is it has an apartheid problem it will have to solve. In fact, claiming to be a Jewish state and violating the Torah’s edicts about abusing the alien in its midsts is an exercise in hypocracy.

If Hamas really wants to upset the applecart, it should end the call to abolish Israel and instead demand full Israeli citizenship for all Palestinians and Arab Israelis, including the obligation of military service. This would certainly change the nature of the debate and probably get to the heart of Cohen’s point, that what Israel is doing is inconstent with the Torah. He just didn’t say it that way.

Ask yourself this question, if a Jewish State is about Judaism rather than ethnic nationalism (which is an interesting question to debate), than how is it not silly to expect G_d to allow the restoration of the Temple or the return of the tablets from their likely resting place in Eritrea while the Arabs are being treated as slaves?

So, is Cohen a self-hating Jew, or one who is calling on the Jews to honor Judaism rather than ethnic nationalism? As you say at the outset, you would like to throw him out of the tribe, which means that the likely answer is that he has violated Jewish tribalism rather than Judaism. When you can see the difference, peace is possible.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Leon in Texas said...

You never see the media or writers place any emphasis on what God has said in Bible. Israel and the jews are to be favored by all Christians by his command. In these end times I suspect the world will be surprised what God really has in store for His favored land.

1:50 PM

 
Blogger Michael Bindner said...

He made the same promises to Ishmael.

As for the end times, there is a current of prophesy that is older than the "left behind" scenario which so thrills evangelicals. In the old Catholic prophesies, the scion of Charlemagne will unite Christendom, defeat Islam and unite the world as the Great Catholic Monarch, who will then be overthrown by anti-Christ. What is funny is that many in the evangelical community believe that this GCM is the anti-Christ. If the Catholic prophesies are correct the Evangelicals may back the wrong horse. This is in the unlikely event that any of this happens any time soon.

4:02 PM

 
Anonymous Ozzie said...

There are many bloggers who have commented on article and demonstrated why it is inaccurate.

4:29 PM

 
Blogger Michael Bindner said...

I would call it incomplete, because he does ignore the plight of Arab Jews who were expelled after Israel was created. Of course, if there were no Israel, these Jews would still be in their homes. However, he makes valid points. I find the truth can only be found by listening to all sides. You cannot find it purely through partisanship. Always know what your enemies are saying and learn from it. That is true wisdom.

10:24 AM

 

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