Girl's plight deepens Israel debate on zealot Jews

From Reuters:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped up pledges to curb Jewish zealotry in Israel on Sunday after an 8-year-old girl complained of being menaced by ultra-Orthodox men who deemed her dress immodest.

While his conservative government insists such incidents are fringe phenomena in the mostly secular country, Netanyahu’s repeated announcements on the matter reflected concern about widening religious and political schisms.
Israel’s legitimacy hinges on them being “the Jewish State.” Well, they should act like it. If they wish to act like a secular democracy, they should act like that (to include providing full rights for all who live within the borders they claim). One way or the other, folks.

They do act like a Jewish state. But Judaism isn’t a monolithic religion and they ultra-orthodox are absolutely at one extreme.

They sure act pretty secular to me. And, as far as dress is concerned, there are any number of references. For example:

[BIBLEDRB]Isaiah 3:16-23[/BIBLEDRB]

Keep in mind that the actions of the ultra-orthodox would be utterly inappropriate here. And, for health reasons, I would never encourage spitting.

But the US does not make the claims Israel does. And if Israel claims its legitimacy based upon the OT grant God gave to Abraham, well, they need to act according to the rules laid down.

Being a Jewish State does NOT give Hasidic or non-Hasidic Haredi Jews the right to threaten other Jews–some of whom are themselves Traditional Orthodox–or those of other faiths. What may seem immodest to Haredi Jews is perfectly modest to other Orthodox Jews. Extremism in any form should not be tolerated in a democracy.

Why in the world is Israel a democracy? Where is democratic rule called for in the Old Testament? Or, for that matter, in the Talmud?

My sole point is this: Israel stakes a lot of its credibility upon it being granted land in perpetuity by God. If they choose to have that as the basis for their legitimacy, OK, so be it. But then they need to follow ALL of the corresponding requirements that go along with that grant.

If, on the other hand, they wish to claim to be a western, liberal democracy, then there are certain expectations that go with that.

They should choose one or the other. They should not try to act like a western, liberal democracy and at the same time appeal to Evangelicals as being the modern successor to the House of Abraham.

The very founding of the modern Jewish State of Israel by Zionists is against not only Talmud but Torah Law. Those Torah (Orthodox) Jews who are anti-Zionist, such as some of the Haredi Jews, and live in Israel, should, according to their own logic, rather than be adversaries of the secular government in an effort to achieve political power, leave Israel and wait for the Messiah to establish legitimate rule.

There you go…

I don’t disagree with anything you’re saying here.

And then the Zionist Jews who are in favor of a Israeli State should subsequently disavow any support from the more conservative Christian populace based upon any alleged Biblical support.

The entire point I was getting at was an inherent discontinuity…on one hand, they appeal to American Evangelicals on Biblical grounds, but, on the other hand, they endeavor to be a secular, liberal, western-style democracy. It just doesn’t work both ways.

They needed to embrace democracy in order to receive supportfrom the Western world. And modern Judaism allows for a lot of variance in personal practice (or even no practice at all).

Based on their qualifications for citizenship, that alone makes them a “Jewish state”.

No one anywhere should be persecuted for nonconformity. Particularly not a child.


I don’t believe Zionist Israelis–whom I, as a Reform Jew, support, as do many who are Orthodox Jews–are appealing to American Evangelicals. On the other hand, they’ll accept ANY support they can get, even to the point of forming an unholy alliance with Evangelicals. I think the latter have their own religious reasons for supporting Israel, based on their interpretation of biblical prophecy, and some of them (certainly not all) likely couldn’t care less about the welfare of the Jewish people who live in Israel.

And that is a big problem, from my perspective

I think the latter have their own religious reasons for supporting Israel, based on their interpretation of biblical prophecy, and some of them (certainly not all) likely couldn’t care less about the welfare of the Jewish people who live in Israel.

You may be right on that.

Sounds about right, its what I’m watching anyway.

What is so unholy about the friendship that American Evangelicals have given to Israel?
In a world which hates Israel, is it more godly to be ungrateful toward those few who offer a helping hand because you don’t like their religion?

I had a feeling my statement might be misinterpreted. What I meant by “unholy alliance” is that many Israeli Jews are fully aware that Evangelicals are helping them only in part because they truly love the Israeli Jewish people. IOW, they understand the religious and political motivation involved in receiving aid from Evangelicals. Still, they accept that aid because they feel they need it. That is what makes the alliance “unholy” from the perspective of both parties: the fact it is based on mutual, self-serving motivational need, at least in part.

That would seem to be symptomatic of all “alliances;” particularly intergovernmental ones.


Evangelicals are not governments. They are merely people that understand the grave sins committed in Christ’s name against the Jewish people, and who have chosen a different path for themselves.

Of course, I did not mean to imply that evangelicalism was a government; only that the elements MB criticizes in the “alliance” between EV and Israel is, in fact, common to all alliances.


Oh thanks for that. I have to agree with that. There didn’t seem a lot unusual here that would distinguish what was happening here as unholy, compared to any other alliance or relationship for that matter.

As the left moves further and further against Israel, it seems to me that leftist Jews are being stretched to the breaking as to who they are going to refer to as ‘they’.

That’s one way of putting it Darryl. Another way would be to say that for many Evangelicals, we Catholic and Orthodox believers aren’t even real Christians.

Evangelicals are Protestants,yes.
With over 50 % of Catholics voting for Obama and all that entails, it is difficult to build any bridges to them either.

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