General discussion


Israeli society

By john.a.wills ·
Rabbi Avraham Kuk, first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Eretz Israel, was a Zionist. He believed in culturing a just, virtuous society. It was pointed out to him that many Zionists active in Eretz Israel were far from holy, and he was asked how they fitted into his dream. He repied that in building the Temple many ritually unclean people had been employed, but that once the building work was done they were expelled from the precincts. The Israeli state has now been up and running and pretty secure for 58 years. Is it holy? Passing over such matters as the widespread neglect of kashruth, let us concentrate on weightier matters of the Law. Many Israelis hardly ever pray or enter a synagogue; there are gays in parliament; prostitution is widespread; the World Bank ranks the Israeli state as second only to Italy among industrialized countries for business corruption; there are constant scandals about corruption in government; the state is so crime-inclined that it refuses to join either the ICC or the IAEA; and there is the ongoing dispossession and oppression of the Palestinians. All this, I presume, means that Rabbi Kuk's dream is not being fulfilled. What has gone wrong?

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Why do you care?

by JamesRL In reply to Israeli society

Are you hoping for the realization of all the conditions to enable the rapture?

Or are you simply curious.

No society is perfect. Isreal is not exempt from being run by humans with all the problems of human frailties.

You could ask the same kind of questions about any country in the world.


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not rapture

by john.a.wills In reply to Why do you care?

The rapture is a Christian Fundamentalist misunderstanding of a text I do not intend to elucidate. I care about the failure of Rabbi Kuk's vision because it was a fairly clear vision and it seemed to some people capable of achievement. Perhaps all political dreams go awry, but over a fairly short period of time it should be possible to pinpoint incidents or failures which led to the general failure.

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I agree with James

by RknRlKid In reply to Why do you care?

Israel is an independent nation. As such, their business is their business, not ours.

Other countries (almost all in the third world) are MUCH more corrupt/immoral than Israel. I consider the bloodbaths in Africa to be much more worrisome than the problems in the middle east, from a human rights perspective.

(The remainder is a rant, it has nothing to do with the original post or poster.)

This is one thing I hate about the "international community" concept. Everyone is involved in everyone else's business. When this happens, nothing gets accomplished, because everyone is too concerned with public opinion to make rational decisions. The United States is a good example of that. Goofy congressmen are more concerned about what world opinion is than in solving the real problems. Because of this, the focus is OUTWARD rather than INWARD. The vital domestic needs of the country are overlooked in favor of foreign policy (which many times we have no business being involved in anyway).

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OY VEY! Wrong place for such a discussion

by Why Me Worry? In reply to Israeli society

this one could get really ugly!

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Stay Tuned

by Tig2 In reply to OY VEY! Wrong place for ...

They generally do.

That's the great thing about the Miscellaneous thread. Anything goes. And I mean ANYTHING.

Think of it as the "watercooler". No subject that can pass the smut filter can be discussed. We have discussed politics, religion, cancer, hugging your cat in the workplace... you name it. Some of it gets to be a bit heavy but all well intentioned.

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Israel is not a Theocracy

by ProtiusX In reply to Israeli society

Your assumption is that the Nation of Israel is a Theocratic one and you are incorrect. Israel has never been nor was it ever intended to be a Theocracy. You are confusing Jews and Israelis. A Jew is a religious person who practices Judaism. An Israeli is a person who lives in and is a citizen of Israel.

"Following World War II, the British withdrew from their mandate of Palestine, and the UN partitioned the area into Arab and Jewish states, an arrangement rejected by the Arabs. Subsequently, the Israelis defeated the Arabs in a series of wars without ending the deep tensions between the two sides. The territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 war are not included in the Israel country profile, unless otherwise noted. On 25 April 1982, Israel withdrew from the Sinai pursuant to the 1979 Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. Israel and Palestinian officials signed on 13 September 1993 a Declaration of Principles (also known as the "Oslo Accords") guiding an interim period of Palestinian self-rule. Outstanding territorial and other disputes with Jordan were resolved in the 26 October 1994 Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace. In addition, on 25 May 2000, Israel withdrew unilaterally from southern Lebanon, which it had occupied since 1982. In keeping with the framework established at the Madrid Conference in October 19**, bilateral negotiations were conducted between Israel and Palestinian representatives and Syria to achieve a permanent settlement. In April 2003, US President BUSH, working in conjunction with the EU, UN, and Russia - the "Quartet" - took the lead in laying out a roadmap to a final settlement of the conflict by 2005, based on reciprocal steps by the two parties leading to two states, Israel and a democratic Palestine. However, progress toward a permanent status agreement was undermined by Palestinian-Israeli violence between September 2000 and February 2005. An agreement reached at Sharm al-Sheikh in February 2005 significantly reduced the violence. The election in January 2005 of Mahmud ABBAS as the new Palestinian leader following the November 2004 death of Yasir ARAFAT, the formation of a Likud-Labor-United Torah Judaism coalition government in January 2005, and the successful Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip (August-September 2005), presented an opportunity for a renewed peace effort. However, internal Israeli political events between October and December 2005 have destabilized the political situation and forced early elections, scheduled for March 2006. " - A Brief history of Israel.

While there is no formal constitution the Israelis recognize that some of the functions of a constitution are filled by the Declaration of Establishment (1948), the Basic Laws of the parliament (known as "Knesset"), and the Israeli citizenship law. The legal system is an amalgamation of English common law, British Mandate regulations, and, in personal matters, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim legal systems; in December 1985, Israel informed the UN Secretariat that it would no longer accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. The Executive branch of the government is filled by the President, Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister. The Legislative branch consists of the Unicameral Knesset which has 120 members who were elected by popular vote.

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not my assumptions.

by john.a.wills In reply to Israel is not a Theocracy

First, the Israel of the Bible is not a nation (Nm 23:9) but a church. The modern Israeli citizenry is likewise not a nation but a project, or rather several different projects with a great deal of commonality of means. It would not have to be a theocracy to be virtuous in Rabbi Kuk's way of thinking.

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Totally wrong

by ProtiusX In reply to not my assumptions.

The "Israel" of the bible was a man who was born Jacob and was renamed by God. He had 12 sons who became the "Children of Israel" and their descendants became the "Nation" of Israel. It is not a church but a group of people who are descendants from Jacob.

The Modern day Israel is a nation and is recognized as such by the UN and the vast majority of nations around the world. The fact that Hamas does not "recognize" Israel means absolutely nothing. Hamas is a terrorist organization that has made it very public that their intent is to destroy the nation of Israel, kill every Jew and eliminate them from the face of the Earth.

Lastly, by definition any government in which the divine power governs an earthly human state, either in person or, via its religious institutional representatives, either replacing or dominating the organs of civil government as clerical or spiritual representative is a Theocracy.

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by john.a.wills In reply to Totally wrong

Nm 23:9 is clear enough. By and large, when the Bible calls Israel a nation God is annoyed with us. The Davidic Kingdom was an ecclesiastical state, not a national one.
By the way don't tell lies, even about Hamas: the desire to end the Israeli state is not a mindless desire to kill Jews, and Hamas has offered recognition on condition that the exiles be allowed home, which common decency demands.

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Cart Before the Horse

by ProtiusX In reply to nation

You stand on a single scripture. How about Gen 32:28
Gen 32:32
Gen 35:10
Gen 35:22
Exd 19:6
1Ch 17:21
Psa 83:4
and so on and so on.

I won't even address the last statement. Hamas much like Hezbollah are murders, kidnappers and thieves. They care nothing of neither their own brethren nor the lives of others.

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