Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

"The Most Thoughtful & Insightful Columnist On The Jewish Scene Today" On Netanyahu, Israeli Politics, Antisemitism & Aliya ...

That's Rabbi Mark Golub's assessment of the incomparable Isi Leibler, who for a quarter of a century bestrode the Australian Jewish communal scene like a Colossus, and who is of course also an international Jewish leader of great renown and prescience, based in Jerusalem.

In this thought-provoking interview Isi Leibler gives his views on Bibi Netanyahu's current visit to Washington (about which the previous post on my blog, by David Singer, is concerned), Obama's "humiliation" of Netanyahu, unparelleled by Obama's treatment of any "rogue state" leader, the attitude of Israeli politicians, the "demonisation" of Netanyahu and his wife in the Israeli press, the Iranian issue, and much more.

 Incidentally, prior to a deep and searching discussion of Israeli politics, parties, political leaders  (including Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Lieberman and other electoral candidates), and the rabbinate, he cautiously predicts that Netanyahu will be returned as prime minister when Israelis go to the polls on 17 March.

He also gives his views on the attainment of a Two State solution ...  on Netanyahu's attitude to peace  ... on Obama's "frightening" inability to use the phrase "Islamic fundamentalism" in relation to terrorism and his apparent support for the Muslim Brotherhood...

Isi Leibler is worried that the Obama administration will not stand by Israel over the remaining 22 months of its existence, and he fervently wishes American Jewish leaders would abandon their "silence"and publicly speak up against Obama ... He believes that American Jews have in their DNA a "liberal" unwillingness to be critical of a Democrat president and a black one at that.

He contrasts their attitude with his own as leader of the Australian Jewish community, when he was not afraid to take on prime ministers.

Viewing American support as absolutely critical for Israel, he is afraid the Obama's administration will distance itself from Israel and turn towards European initiatives...

Regarding antisemitism, he believes there will always be Jewish communities in Europe ("a cemetery for the Jewish people"), but contends that Netanyahu would have been remiss had he not reminded European Jewry that Israel exists for them, and that in a situation in which Islamic antisemitism is rising and Jews need to be guarded from violence, aliya (although ideally to be undertaken for positive rather than negative reasons) becomes an obligation, if only for the sake of the next generation.

He pours scorn on the attitude that aliya from Europe would give Hitler a posthumous victory given the fact that Jews are obliged to live fearfully and almost as pariahs.

And he also worries, in view of campus antisemitism and the dodgy attitude of some Hillel groups, that a critical situation for Jews may eventually happen there.

Israel, he points out, is "the greatest miracle of our times", a happy society despite its problems, its "crappy politicians", and its whingeing and it awaits.

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