Avrum Burg: “Israel is mortally sick”

From the East Jerusalem Sheikh Jarrah protest website comes this:

On Tuesday, 7.12, Israel took another step down… an alarming… slope. 50… state-employed rabbies issued a Hallakaic ban on selling or leasing… apartments or lands to non-Jews.… … The following day some 300 Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement activists congregated outside of Jerusalem’s Great Synagogues to demand the immediate dissmisal of these openly racist rabbies. Read the Ynet report of the demonstration here.

Avrum Burg,… the former… Speaker of the Knesset and former… Chairman of the Jewish Agency, delivered the following words:

How has the faithful city become a prostitute. She was full of justice, righteousness dwelt in her”¦ and now, racists! We have come today to tell the difficult, painful truth, blood-drenched and shameful. Racists are over you, O Israel!

We are no longer willing to be party to laundered words or to obscuring the bitter truth:

Israel is mortally sick. Malignant lumps and racist metastases threaten the lives and existence of state and society. Don’t say these are foolish weeds, they are rabbis. They are not foolish, they are malicious. They are not the weeds, they are the gardeners themselves. Students and initiators train under them. They learn Torah from them and their words are thirstily drunk by the masses. They are followed zealously.

They must be told openly what everyone is whispering behind closed doors. You, who have put your name to this letter, you and all your supporters. You, leaders of the religious fundamentalist movement. The nationalist – yes, the nationalist – religious, Jewish, fundamentalist movement.

It is prohibited to claim “if they did the same to our Jewish brothers everywhere”¦”. This is not a Jewish issue, this is a universal human mission. That is the meaning of the greatest Torah principle of them all: “this is the book of human history”. It is forbidden for anyone to speak in such a way about anyone. Because there must be no equivocation in the all-out war against racism, hatred, xenophobia. These do us immense harm and we must fight them everywhere, without constraint.

We heard the Prime Minister speak. Mr. Prime Minister, racism is terror. It is the ideology of fear-inspired hatred and fanned passions. And, as you explained to us, terror is not fought with words but with deeds. So stop talking and start doing. Don’t speak: dismiss, condemn and isolate them, their like, their students and all involved with their ideology, both here and nationwide. Because they are not just a handful, many are with them. And they are not private individuals, they are public servants who symbolically represent all of us.

As long as they remain in power and are not dismissed, their rabbinate is not our rabbinate because their humanity is not our humanity, their Judaism not our Judaism. And as long as they are among us, our camp is unclean, not pure; racist, not moral.

We will pray for you, those like you and for ourselves: “Let sinners be consumed from the earth and the wicked such as you be no more”. And only then, “Praise the Lord, oh my soul, Halleluja”. (Psalms 104:35)

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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