Israel Criticism
Tue, 11/09/2010

Aryeh Rubin is certainly correct in stating “Liberalism Is Not Our Religion” (Opinion, Oct. 29). However, Jews should be actively involved in working for a better, more just, Israel and world, not because of liberalism, but because of Judaism. It is Judaism that stresses “justice, justice shalt thou pursue” and “Seek peace and pursue it,” that states 36 times that we should be kind to the stranger, and urges “you shall eradicate evil from your midst.” It was the Hebrew prophets, the greatest champions of social justice in the world’s history who lovingly criticized Israel when she acted incorrectly.

I believe that the highest form of patriotism and loyalty is to challenge one’s nation, people or religion to live up to its highest ideals. Of course, we should increase awareness of Israel’s many positive features and protest when Israel is unjustifiably criticized or attacked by terrorists.
But we should not blindly support her when we believe she is acting in an incorrect or counterproductive way. If we do, we are not acting according to Israel’s highest ideals and we risk losing the support of many Jews who will fail to recognize Judaism’s powerful messages that can help heal our imperiled planet.

Professor Emeritus
College of Staten Island
 

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Are we now to base our actions on how Muslim countries behave? Were the biblical prophets who sometimes sharply criticized Israel seeking its destruction? If haters of israel criticize her, does that mean that supporters like me and many others should blindly support everything that Israel does? I assume that Honsy is critical of some things the US does. Does that make him or her anti-American? The highest form of patriotism is challenging one's group to live up to its highest ideals.
That's a nice straw man the Professor sets up. He omits the fact that the side that criticizes Israel is largely made up of those who seek its destruction. Yet another reason to closely investigate what kind of university we send our children to if they are to be subjected to this kind of thinking. Of course, the fact that practically all Muslim regimes do not aspire to such a standard is entire overlooked!

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