Thursday, February 13, 2014

An Unexplainable Love for Israel

I have an unexplainable devotion and loyalty to Israel. If you ask me why that is, my answer would be complex and would reveal more emotional ties and vagaries than rational explanation.
by Charlie Leck

I’d begin with the holocaust and the suffering of Europe’s Jews in the mid-twentieth century. Such loss of life and fortune! Such destruction of families! Such injustice! Such barbarism! The Jewish people deserved (deserve) a safe haven and Israel (the nation state of the Jewish people) appears to be that place of refuge.
A column in today’s New York Times, Israel’s Big Question, by Thomas L. Friedman, is remarkably good and clear. It will be helpful to any of you who, like I, are struggling with an understanding of just what it is Israel wants and can realistically have.
I find I’m always coming down on the side of Israel – of the Jewish people. I cannot clearly state my reasoning, however. There was a Jewish uncle who I admired greatly, liked and trusted without reservation. Married to my grandfather’s sister, he was one of the kindest men I ever knew. It caused me to have a raised antenna when it came to questions of Jewry and Jewish life. I cannot remember details of the early 40s and the years after the holocaust, but I can dimly remember how my family surrounded Uncle Arthur with its love, sympathies and support. The dimensions of the Nazi evils were far beyond the scope of a small child to understand, but I knew there was something incredibly nasty going on and that comprehension lasted well into the post-war years and into the creation of the nation state for the Jewish people.
My rather intense study of Old Testament scripture, as a young man, also pushes me more toward a solution in Israel that favors the Jewish people. Somehow such an extension would be an expression of the rewards of God upon his faithful people. Of course, that argument doesn’t hold up in court or in the real world of God’s various people.
Yet 1+1 only equals 2 if 1 is really 1 and not .56… yes?
That such a state was created is amazing. How fair it was, when now looked at it through more mature lenses, is another question. To treat the Jews mercifully and kindly and to establish a homeland for them meant that someone (some people) had to suffer. One’s sympathies as an adult are more understanding of complexity; and our sympathies begin to get divided as we begin to understand reality.
And always religion and faith seem to get in the way!
Yet, the situation remains one of the most complex and difficult in the history of the modern world. Mr. Friedman’s column has a clarity about it that will be helpful to you – as it was to me. I recommend it.


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1 comment:

  1. I don't believe that any appreciation of the State of Isreal need be based on the Old Testament or ruminations about good or bad Jews. Rather, it might be a little more fact-based on questions of Isreal's treatment of it's non-Jewish Isreali residents and their citizenship and it's former residents, who now live in poverty stricken Palistinian villages under the military control of a harsh occupying power.
    What has become of Isreal's humanity? I'm one of many Jews who's love of Isreal has become, instead, a shame of Isreal. It's not about religion...but government. How many Americans would support Isreal's actions if it's majority party wasn't named the Lachud Party, but the Nazi Party?

    Fred Kamm