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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Israeli soldiers say army rabbis framed Gaza as religious war

That's the headline of an online McClatchy Newspapers story by Cliff Churgin. This is a followup to testimony by Israel soldiers who "served" in Gaza reported by the daily Ha'aretz, which I have commented on previously.

Churgin writes:

Rabbis affiliated with the Israeli army urged troops heading into Gaza to reclaim what they said was God-given land and "get rid of the gentiles" — effectively turning the 22-day Israeli intervention into a religious war, according to the testimony of a soldier who fought in Gaza.

Literature passed out to soldiers by the army's rabbinate "had a clear message — we are the people of Israel, we came by a miracle to the land of Israel, God returned us to the land, now we need to struggle to get rid of the gentiles that are interfering with our conquest of the land," the soldier told a forum of Gaza veterans in mid-February, just weeks after the conflict ended.

I'm beginning to think it's a good thing that right-wing racist/nationalist Avigdor Lieberman is likely to be foreign minister in a Netanyahu-led government. The world needs to see the true face of Israeli intentions, and the Obama administration needs a good excuse for changing America's coddling, indulgent policy towards the "Jewish state."

Christopher Hitchens weighs in on the rabbis. A good piece in Slate.

Zionism is the problem. I had been meaning to link to this opinion piece by Ben Ehrenreich in the Los Angeles Times several days ago, but better late than never. I find it very encouraging that such things can now be printed in the mainstream media; it is only very recently that it has become possible, as Israeli actions are too much for honest Jews to bear.

1 comment:

Anne Gilbert said...

I don't want to comment on what Zionism is or isn't, because I'm not of the Jewish tradition, and therefore don't feel qualified to do so. For the record, though, I think that in this day and age, a state or government set up solely on the basis of ethnic, national, religious, etc., identity really ends up not very viable, because it will always end up excluding some group within its borders. And I do feel that anyone, of any background, has a perfect right to criticize the actions of the Israeli government,without being labeled an anti-Semite,(or any other government,for that matter), for the simple reason that, while a lot of people may support that government for whatever reason, these don't necessarily represent everybody in Israel, nor do they represent every Jew in the world. Nor should it. It's only what I call the "screaming supporters of Israel" that won't understand this.
Anne G