Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Warren says he believes the Kajun Hippie made "a remarkable number of mistakes in a very short time."

About Israel, the Kajun Hippie wrote They want a theocracy. Seriously. They want to be Jewish state, they want to set up an official home for Jews. Peopled by Jews and run by Jewish law.

Warren responds "No, no, no, yes, sort of, and absolutely not."

Says Warren:
Israel is nothing like a theocracy. They are a democracy. They have elections in which Arab citizens' votes are every bit as valuable as Jewish votes.

Israel is not a "Jewish state." It is a soveriegn nation set up as a democracy on the ancient and historical homeland of the Jewish people, as a refuge for the many displaced people after WW II. Jewish homeland, yes, Jewish state, no.

So, an "official home for Jews" -- yes. "Peopled by Jews" -- sort of, because Israel is peopled by anyone who wants to live there, including Arabs. Those pesky "refugees" weren't chased out, remember -- they left willingly when Arab leaders warned them of the coming invasion in 1948.

Run by Jewish law? NO. The connection between Israel's government and the canon of Jewish law (the Torah and the Talmud) is no different from our government's basis in traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs. But for instance, you can buy a pepperoni pizza on Passover in downtown Tel Aviv -- that would seem to run counter to a lot of Jewish laws.

The Kajun Hippie seems to have confused the Muslims with the Jews. It was the Ayatollah and the Taliban, for instance, that set up actual governments based on their religious beliefs.

Most man-on-the-street Israelis are very non-religious. For them "Jewish" is an ethnicity and a culture worth fighting for. It would not be incorrect to term many Israelis as Agnostic. There is a noticeable (and growing) fringe of fundamentalist-type Ultra-Orthodox who might want a theocracy, but they are much like our own American religious fringes.

There you go. I rather agree with Warren on much of this. Although I think that fringe of Ultra-Orthodox folks have a growing power in Israel, partially due to the country's Parlimentary system of government which tends to amplify the voices of minority groups (a fact -which I feel is neither good or bad - that was pointed out to me by Warren in another letter).

Also, the refugee issue (which is tied into the Palestinian's claim for a Right of Return) is not so cut and dry. Israel has said, Hey, we didn't throw out those folks, they fled. They could have stayed and enjoyed being Israel citizens. But we can't take them back now because their numbers have swelled to millions and they would tip the balance of power in our tiny country.

That statement ignores one obvious point - had the Palestinians stayed in Israel in 1948 and produced the same number of children over the years, their numbers today would have grown at the same rapid rate and they would all be inside Israel as citizens. Following that line of logic, today Palestinian's could right now be installing an Arab Prime Minister of Israel.

Anyone believe Israel would ever allow that to happened?

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