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Posts Tagged ‘Arab Israelis’

What’s Right with Israel – 2

Posted by rabbiart on May 4, 2008

Judging by some comments on “What’s Right with Israel – 1” it seems like some readers are uncomfortable with those Israelis who are attempting to live up to the prophetic tradition and to the mandate of the Torah which says הוֹכֵחַ תּוֹכִיחַ אֶת-עֲמִיתֶךָ (You should surely rebuke your kinsman). I’m no fan of, for example, Women in Black, who often hold what I feel are anti-Israel demonstrations, and hold them on Shabbat when they know other Jews might rather be in shul than putting on counter-demonstrations. But the existence of – and acceptance of – dissenting voices in Israel, is something Jews everywhere should be proud of. After all, the RAMBAM’s writings were put in cherem for his views, which some considered heretical. And as recently as 1945, Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan was excommunicated by the Assembly of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States.

And by the way, I’ll be riding my road bike in Israel in November to raise money for Hazon and the Arava Institute, because Israel has garbage problems like every other country in the world.

So here’s #2 in What’s Right with Israel; the not-so-very-short list of Arab members of the Knesset. The members of parliament from the parties Ra’am Ta’al, Hadash, and the National Democratic Assembly. Do I agree with what they have to say about Israel, some of which is quite hateful? Of course not. Do I think it’s completely laudable and amazing that a country surrounded on all sides (OK not the Mediterranean) is strong and self-confident and yes, pluralistic enough to live up to the best ideals of democracy. You betcha!!

Here’s some sugar to make the (for some) medicine go down; a list of the Israeli Nobel Prize Winners. And I suspect if there were not such an amount of Israel hatred (the new anti-semitism of course), the list might be significantly longer.

  1. Robert Aumann, Germany, Economics, 2005
  2. Aaron Ciechanover, Chemistry, 2004
  3. Avram Hershko, Hungary, Chemistry, 2004
  4. Daniel Kahneman, Economics, 2002
  5. Yitzhak Rabin, Peace, 1994
  6. Shimon Peres, Poland, Peace, 1994
  7. Menachem Begin, Poland, now Belarus, Peace, 1978
  8. Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Austria, Literature, 1966

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