In marmur

Jonathan Freedland is a distinguished British journalist and a committed Jew. He normally writes for The Guardian, but on June 18 he published an article in the London Jewish Chronicle with the tile, “Benjamin Netanyahu thinks non-orthodox Jewish life outside Israel is doomed: for Bibi, the diaspora is mostly a relic of the past.”

Freedland ends his piece by telling us that Netanyahu is “betting that the Jewish future rests only on Israel and that Israel’s future rests on Christian evangelicals in the US and ultra-nationalists Islamophobes in Europe. So long as the likes of Donald Trump, Fox News and Viktor Urban love Israel, that’s good enough for Bibi. As for the rest of us, we don’t count. To Mr. Netanyahu, we’re history.”

At the ceremony when the United States embassy was transferred to Jerusalem, the featured speakers were the Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, who once declared (as I referred to it in an earlier piece) that Jews will end up in hell by rejecting Jesus as the Messiah, and his colleague John Hagee who, according to Freedland, once preached that Hitler was a “half-breed Jew” sent by God “to hound and chase the Jews towards ‘the only home God ever intended for Jews to have: Israel’.”

Because of their hostility to Islam and feigned sympathy for Jews, the prime minister of Israel is hobnobbing with ultra-right European politicians like Urban of Hungary and Kurz of Austria.

That’s also why Netanyahu does all he can to make sure that Reform and Conservative Jews in Israel are kept down as much as possible. Denying them equal prayer access to the Western Wall is one of many examples. The fact that most American Jews belong to these two movements doesn’t matter because they’ll soon disappear and only Orthodox Judaism will survive in the Diaspora. That’s why the only rabbi to participate in the US embassy ceremony was from the Orthodox sect Chabad.

Netanyahu as a champion of Orthodox Judaism has, of course, nothing to do with his commitment to the Jewish religion. Most non-Orthodox Jews in the United States are Democrats which is anathema to the prime minister of Israel. Some of them are even critical of the policies of his government, which is another reason for proclaiming their doom.

Michael Oren, Israel’s previous ambassador in Washington who now hold a nebulous position in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office, has published a plan to “rescue” at least some of these doomed Jews. He has suggested that Israel pays some ten thousand young non-Orthodox American Jews every year to settle in Israel where they would be saved for Judaism while contributing to the country’s economy and serving in the Israel Defense Forces.

His conclusion, “if we brought a million Jews from the former Soviet Union, of course we’ll succeed in this too.” He didn’t mention that of the million there’re still many, perhaps hundreds of thousands, who aren’t recognized as Jews in the Jewish state because of the Orthodox Rabbinate charged with the task of safeguarding our future as Jews refuses to accept them as part of the Jewish people.

The bitter conclusion to be drawn from all this is that leaders of the State of Israel are seeking to betray more than half of the Jewish people in the world who now live in the Diaspora. Shocking!

Jerusalem 18.6.18                                                                                                                                            Dow Marmur

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