No To Theocracy
Tue, 05/04/2010

 In “Rally Here Slams Obama and Jewish Democrats (April 30), a reference was made, saying that Manhigut Yehudit, “an Israeli organization that favors a theocracy for the Jewish State,” was represented at the April 25 “Break The Silence Rally” we organized to express our displeasure with President Barack Obama’s anti-Israel policies.

While we at the Jewish Action Alliance, the organizers of the rally, find much to be admired by the convictions and loyalty to the State of Israel coming from Manhigut, and are delighted that friends who are Manhigut supporters were in the crowd, we did not ask Manhigut to speak.

We at Jewish Action Alliance consider Jewish history and the Bible significant underpinnings of the State of Israel’s essence and aspiration, but we do not call for Israel to be a theocracy, nor to be governed exclusively by Shulchan Aruch, the code of Jewish law. Historic Jewish religious values are always important; nonetheless a government should be formally structured along the lines of individual liberty and by the will of its voters.

Jewish Action Alliance

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The "editorial opinion" signed by Beth Gilinsky above is either (a) a forgery or (b) a personal vendetta. Moshe Feiglin & Manhigut Yehudit, contrary to your incorrect depiction, show us how to have respect and love for *all* Jews, whether observant of our Torah or not. You, on the other hand, are (deliberately?) stoking the furnace of baseless hatred with your accusation of religious coercion that you know to be false. A red herring, if there ever was one. Shame.
As the United States Director of Manhigut Yehudit, I can assure all of the readers that we do not, and have never stood for religious coercion of any kind in Israel. We stand adamantly opposed to religious coercion, and this can be seen clearly on our website - In late 2008, Beth Gilinsky personally invited me to speak at her Republican Club in Great Neck, and she was standing a few feet away as I stated our anti-coercion policy. As such, I have no idea why Beth Gilinsky chose to mischaracterize us and distance herself from Manhigut Yehudit. Could it be because I received applause from her group in 2008 when I pointed out that Obama would be bad for Israel, but then I received negative reviews as I pointed out how McCain would not be better, and I related a personal story to highlight McCain's poor stance toward Israel. Maybe she didn't want me to point out at her recent rally that the Republicans are no better than the Democrats on Israel? Both parties clearly have a goal of dividing our Holy Land and creating a 59th Muslim state in Judea and Samaria. If the Jews had 58 states and the Muslims had one the size of Rhode Island, does anyone think that we'd be blowing ourselves up to cut that Muslim state in half (or worse)? Of course not. So, besides that fact that G-d gave this land to us, the 'peace' process makes no logical sense anyway. We are the main opposition to Israeli giveaways of our precious Land of Israel. We feel that the Torah, and not the UN, and not the German atrocities committed against our people in Europe, is our deed to Israel. As such, how can it be given away to anyone? In 2005, when Ariel Sharon was pushing his now-discredited Gaza Expulsion, he stated, referring to the leader of our organization, Moshe Feiglin, “It’s either me or Feiglin”. The Israeli newspaper, Ha’ir, further stated, “Amongst all the various activities of the Right, Feiglin is the most serious and deepest of all.” At the last Likud election for head of the party, Moshe Feiglin came in second to Benjamin Netanyahu. Israeli Nobel Prize winner Yisrael Aumann stated that 60% of Israelis don’t know the "Shema", and a recent IDF poll showed that only 28% of inductees had ever set foot anywhere in Jerusalem prior to joining the army. What we wish to do is strengthen the Jewish identity in Israel by introducing one hour a day of Jewish studies in public schools - currently there is none. Yes, that is correct - since 1993 there are NO Jewish studies in Israeli public schools. Ask your friends in Israel to confirm this if you don't take my word for it. Yet for trying to correct this existential problem, those in the Israeli Establishment who are scared of what we represent attempt to label us as equivalent to the Taliban. In the end, this attempt at minimizing the Jewish character of Israel will fail, as it must. We believe that when Jews know who they are and why Eretz Yisrael belongs to them, they will make different and better decisions about their nation's future.
Beth Gilinsky is incorrect. Manhigut Yehudit does not favor a the establishment of a theocracy in Israel. In fact, Manhigut Yehudit opposes religious legislation and religious political parties.
Yes to Jewish values Jules Miller The importance of historic Jewish values is what the Manighut Yehudit is all about. They are not a Haredi party that insists on Shulchan Aruch as the basic law of Israel. Their intent is to be a part of one of the main political parties and to influence them to have policies that do not offend religious Jews. Whether this is better or not as good as having them support the modern Orthodox nationalist party is, in my opinion, a mistaken tactic. The way that Natanyahu marginalized them in the last election dhould have taught them a lesson. Strengthening the National religious party, under the proportional method of allotting Kenesset seats, would give them more leverage to get their agenda passed and reduce the power of the Lekud. The overwhelming majority of Israeli citizens whether they be secularor Haredi or anything in between are very incined to follow Jewish customs and ceremonies in one way or another. Lighting Sabbath candles, Having Passover Seders, etc. and it is not uncommon to see Secular Jews kiss the Mezuzahs on doors when entering a building, but they do not want a Theocratic state.

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