Not such a light unto the nations

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Haaretz, May 12:

Unfortunately, whether drawing upon secular nationalist or religious foundations, Israel’s Jews have done a remarkably bad job of this task, creating a society that has become a pariah among nations that never had any history of anti-Semitism, but which nevertheless have watched Israel treat the Palestinians with such ruthless disregard for their human rights as to make it unique among the economically advanced societies (though, in my view, far less a shonda [shame] than many other economically underdeveloped societies, and Russia and China). Nor has Israel been a light unto the nations when it comes to the treatment of its own poor, with such wealth disparities as to render it among the worst in the developed world. The scientific and technological advances in Israel are worthy of admiration. However, it is important to remember that Jews have been at the forefront of such achievements in whatever country they have lived for almost 200 years.

The fact remains that Jewish nationalism has reached a pinnacle of extremism in Israel, and has come to epitomize the political paradigm that humanity needs most to transcend. It is a disgrace for Jews everywhere that Israel is the best example of a society with utopian ideals that degenerated into the opposite of those ideals, and which conservatives use to demonstrate that humanity will always be involved in irresolvable ethnic conflict.… 

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

Site by Common