Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Gross Hypocrisy by the Boston Jewish Community Relations Council

How striking the hypocrisy in this statement by the JCRC in this morning's Boston Globe.

The statement, issued by the Jewish Community Relations Council on behalf of 17 organizations, said Jews have a religious obligation to help “the stranger,” beginning with their experience in ancient times as slaves in Egypt. “Why should you not hate the stranger? — asks the Torah,” the statement said, quoting Jonathan Sacks, the chief rabbi of Britain. “Because you once stood where the stranger stands now.”

Well, of course, the definition of “stranger” for the JCRC apparently does not include Palestinians or else the JCRC would not have filed the unconstitutional, undemocratic, un-American pro-apartheid anti-BDS bill that would punish anyone who supports a movement that DOES believe that a core value of Judaism is set forth in Exodus 22:20-21 “You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

Be careful not to point this out to a lawyer supporter of the JCRC. He or she would likely say that the Palestinians are not strangers. We know them quite well and they are all terrorists..

More on the JCRC from my last Memorandum


I read the following statements of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) the organization responsible for pushing this proposed law:

November 4 “Our commitment to justice and equality in our nation remain steadfast”;

On the election of Donald Trump “We ..remain vigilant in promoting our nation’s commitment to civil liberties, equality under the law, and social justice, the mighty pillars on which our nation stands” and

Regarding the Trump nominee for Ambassador to Israel “Whether President-Elect Trump supports a two-state solution, or believes that an ambassador who does not share his commitment to same can still carry out U.S. policy, is a matter of vital concern.”

O, Hypocrisy, where is thy sting?

Have I shared with you some of the other violations of the core values of Judaism the JCRC condones when they file the unconstitutional, undemocratic, un-American pro-apartheid anti-BDS bill?

The Government of Israel, its military, its civil authority and Jewish squatters have, for close to half a century, regularly violated not only UN actions, international civil and human rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also many of the fundamental and core values of Judaism:

Israel has violated one of the 10 Commandments, You Shall Not Steal, by transferring Jewish Israelis into occupied territory, by stealing the land of Palestinians in the West Bank, and by taking a myriad of actions aimed at making life so miserable for Palestinians that they

Israel has violated Exodus 22:20-21 - You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” by demolishing Palestinian homes and structures and by the building of the wall.

Israel has violated Deuteronomy 20:19 “When you besiege a city … you shall not destroy its (fruit) trees .. for you may eat from them, and you shall not cut them down”.

Israel has violated Exodus 12:49 saying there shall be one law for the citizen and for the stranger who dwells among you by meting out justice unfairly and more harshly for Palestinians than for squatters, by  often arbitrarily restricting movement for Palestinians but not for squatters, by creating separate and unequal legal systems including apartheid roads in the West Bank, by grossly unequal distribution of water and also by killing those “suspected” but not charged with crimes by assassination when capital punishment is banned in Israel.

Israel has violated Micah.6:8 “He has told you, O man, Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God” by allowing the daily restrictions on movement and by allowing limited access to water and electricity provided amply to Jewish settlements.

Israel has violated Isaiah 1:17,27 “Learn to do well – seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow .. Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and they that return of her with righteousness” by arbitrarily arresting over the years thousands of Palestinians and holding them in administrative detention often for more than a year without being charged or brought to trial for any crime.

Israel has violated the basic definition of Judaism “What is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor” through its 48 year brutal oppression and occupation of the West Bank and Gaza;

One might wonder what Jewish people who attend Yom Kippur services at Temples and Synagogues think when they read this Haftarah called Acharey Mos which includes the following from Ezekiel XXII, 3-8

“O city that sheddest blood in the midst of thee, that thy time may come and that makest idols unto thyself to defile thee. …therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the nations, and a mocking to all the countries.  Those that are near and those that are far from thee, shall mock thee, thou defiled of name and full of tumult. Behold the princes of Israel, every one according to his might, have been in thee to shed blood.  In  thee have they made light of father and mother; in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the stranger; in thee have they wronged the fatherless and the widow… thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by oppression, and hast forgotten Me, saith the Lord God… And I will scatter thee among the nations, and disperse thee through the countries; and I will consume thy filthiness out of three. And thou shalt be profaned in thyself in the sight of the nations and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.”  

Taken together the illegal, immoral, demonizing, dehumanizing, racist, humiliating actions of the Government of Israel and those acting on its behalf can best be summarized as a gross violation of perhaps the most fundamental value of Judaism

Deuteronomy 16:20 “Justice, Justice shall you pursue, that thou may live and inherit the land which the Lord has given you.

Here are excerpts from the extensive footnoted material to this section in Pentateuch & Haftorahs, edited by J.H. Hertz, The Soncino Press, Second Edition, 1980:

Justice is not the only ethical quality in God and man, nor is it the highest quality; but it is the bases for all the others. Where there is no justice, no proper and practical appreciation of the human rights of every human being as sons of the one and only God of righteousness – there we have a negation of religion. The oppressor, the man who tramples on others, and especially on those like the orphan and the stranger who are too weak to defend themselves, is throughout Scripture held forth as the enemy of God and man.

Nor is justice limited to the relation between individuals.  It extends to the relation between group and group, and it asserts the claims of the poor upon the rich, of the helpless upon them who possess the means to help. And even as there is social justice, prescribing the duties of class to class, so there is international justice, which demands respect for the personality of each and every national group, and proclaims that no people can of right be robbed of its national life or territory, its language or spiritual heritage. The pure administration of justice is thus one of the conditions of Israel’s existence as a nation. Our teachers, from the first of them to the last, brand the perversion of the course of justice as the most alarming sign of national decay.

No comments: