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Evie Gordon, in the Jerusalem Post, addresses the violence perpetrated by the teenage protesters at Amona.

One of the most troubling elements of the violence at Amona two weeks ago was the argument that rock-throwing teens used to justify their tactics: that the “establishment” – i.e. the government, courts, media and police – has so subverted the rules of the game that normal democratic politics have become pointless, whereas violence has proven to be effective. What makes these claims so troubling is that they contain a large element of truth.

Evie is always a good read and right far more often than not, at least in my opinion. In this case, I think she should have emphasized that violence is inexcusable, on whatever side. But her points about Israel’s frequent lack of democratic processes are perfectly accurate.

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16 Responses

  1. Bob Miller says:

    I’m suggesting that the theme of Malchut Beit David be the primary or only emphasis, not just tagged on at the end. If we need to refer to the current management team, which is (we hope) the Final Obstacle to Our Redemption, I’d suggest something like the prayer for the Czar from Fiddler on the Roof.

  2. David Litke says:

    To Bob Miller:
    Good that you mention Malchut Beit David, because this, too, appears in the Tfila L’shlom Hamedina (“ushlach lanu ben David Mashiach tzidkecha”).

  3. Ori Pomerantz says:

    David Litke,

    Yes, it’s a generalization, not meant specifically about you or anybody else. Maybe I shouldn’t have used the word prayer either, because I didn’t just mean religious Israelis. It just seems to me, living here in the US, that most Israelis of my generation do not consider the state of Israel, as imperfect as it is, as a blessing, but rather as something that restricts them – in contrast with our parents and grandparents.

    Note: I’m a libertarian, I think that we’d be able to live much better with a lot less government – but some government is required.

    As you can see from Hillel above, Mor’ah Shel Malchut is also going away. If the solution to a problem, such as Abu Kabir wanting to do an autopsy, is direct action, then how far is Israel from having direct action to solve other problems, such as returning stolen items, solving contract disputes, or deciding the level of religious observance required in public? This is commonly called Anarchy, which has a bad track record in countries as densely populated as Israel.

  4. Bob Miller says:

    The optimum prayer on this topic is for the restoration of Malchut Beit David, not merely for the placement of better officials inside the current system.

  5. David Litke says:

    To Ori Pomerantz:
    Which Israelis no longer pray for “shloma shel malchut?” That’s a pretty general and unproven declaration. I assume you refer to “Tfila L”shlom Hamedina?” If so, Israeli’s don’t say it at all. Those who identify with the tefilah stand while it is recited by the shat”z. Those who don’t identify remained seated in quiet protest (perhaps 1-2% of those present where I daven). (In my shul, we had a baal tefilah who began singing it in nigun echah after the Oslo accords were signed.) Though I have many issues with my government, I remain standing. This, because the tefila is, among other things, a supplication to Hashem that he will guide our leaders in good counsel and towards wise decisions. I submit that we need the tefila moreso every day. The fact that our leaders are greatly misguided does not grant us a ptur from asking Hashem to fix their priorities. Have we ever stopped saying the mi-sheberach l’cholim when are prayers were not answered? The medina is ill, very ill, in fact, and needs every tefilah we can conjure.

  6. Yaakov Menken says:

    Mycroft,

    Why do you put “fighting” in quotes? Is it not somewhat obvious that a trade-off needs to be made between monitoring international communications and privacy rights? I, for one, am extremely thankful that we have a President who knows good from evil.

  7. Steve Brizel says:

    Mykroft-RAL’s essay is available from the Virtual Beis Medrash. R Riskin’s is in this week’s Jewish Week.

  8. mycroft says:

    ” However, the concept of a limited government and individual rights that that government is not allowed to touch is a lot weaker than in the US.”

    Israel has always faced an existential challenge to its existence-see how civil liberties are affected in
    GWB’s regime “fighting” terrorism.

  9. mycroft says:

    “Once the Supreme Court of the US got involved, it had to come out with a decision”

    If one had asked in a law school exam a hypothetyical like the 2000 election-in 1999-99.99% of people would have answered the Supreme Court would have not taken the question-either as a political question-or stated it is the duty of the states to determine how their electors are picked. or Cpongress as a political body would have decided the issue.

    ‘actual voters in 2000 ‘
    No one seriously believes that more voters voted for Gore in 2000 than GWB-the question of Florida is tricky-according to everyone more people went to the polls in Florida intending to vote for Gore-the butterfly ballot where Buchanan and Gore got a lot of joint votes compared to Bush and Buchanan doomed Gore. Still if the votes were actually let to count-depending on the standard either Bush or Gore won. See results of consortium that the WSJ was involved in-why not more notice paid to if the votes were counted in Florida according to many standards including the one that Bush was arguing for Gore would have won-9/11 the results came just after 9/11 and we believed we were at war against rerorism and it would have sounded seditious to claim Bush didn’t win.
    I personally am happy Gore didn’t become Pres.-it would have meant Lieberman as VP-not good for Jews to have Jew -and a somewhat traditional one at that as VP.

  10. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Israelies no longer pray for Shloma shel Malchut. They no longer have Mora (= awe) of the government. How long until they start swallowing each other? Not that I know any other way to fix the Israeli government.

    http://www.torah.org/learning/pirkei-avos/chapter3-2.html

  11. HILLEL says:

    Here’s a question for all you cerebral theoretical thinkers:

    What do you do when an Orthodox old lady dies a natural death, and the Jerusalem Police show up to take to to Abu Kabir in order to dissect her body and prepare an autopsy report?

    Do you:

    1. Try to reason with the Police thugs, who couldn’t care less.

    2. Contact a Government Ministry who couldn’t care less.

    3. Assemble 500 people to block the Police physically from desecrating the body ating the body and (according to our tradition) causing unbearable pain to the deceased.

    This incident happened this week. Zaka (the Israeli hatzala group) arrived and tried options 1 and 2, with no effect. When 500 people arrived, determined to protect the Niftar with their bodies, if necessary, the Police realized that another Amona incident was in the offing and finally, relented.

    In an oligarchy, like Israel, direct action is, sometimes, the only recouse.

  12. Bob Miller says:

    Was Mycroft referring to the Florida Supreme Court in 2000? Then his statement about the US
    might have been accurate. The US Supreme Court and the actual voters in 2000 saved us from
    Al Gore, today’s unbalanced, seditious Saudi stooge.

    At any rate, the phenomenon of elected officials abandoning their promises and platforms
    after the election seems to exist everywhere, but to attempt to suppress the opposition
    as in Israel is not common in the West.

  13. Ori Pomerantz says:

    Is Israel anyless democratic than the US-so far Israel has not had a Supreme Court openly taking a one sided political stance in an election.

    Israel never had a disputed election that went up to the Supreme Court. Once the Supreme Court of the US got involved, it had to come out with a decision.

    Israel has the concept of rule of majority, which is the basis of democracy. However, the concept of a limited government and individual rights that that government is not allowed to touch is a lot weaker than in the US.

  14. Menachem Lipkin says:

    That’s the boldest justification for juvenile delinquency, ala Al Sharpton, that I’ve ever seen. According to Gordon,

    “Thus when violence has paid off so handsomely for Palestinians and Israeli Arabs, is it surprising that settler teens hope it will work for them as well?”

    So now our bright, well educated, Torah guided, youth are on the same level as the indoctrinated, morally depraved Palestinian terrorists? My answer to Gordon is, yes it is surprising! This is not the way we behave. This is not a kiddush Hashem.

  15. mycroft says:

    ” think she should have emphasized that violence is inexcusable,

    I agree 100%

    on whatever side. But her points about Israel’s frequent lack of democratic processes are perfectly accurate

    Is Israel anyless democratic than the US-so far Israel has not had a Supreme Court openly taking a one sided political stance in an election.

    Steve: Do you have links to the articles of Rabbis Lichtenstein and
    Riskin?

  16. Steve Brizel says:

    For two somewhat different but equally important perspectives, I highly reccomend the recently posted’
    views of R Aharon Lichtenstein and R Shlomoh Riskin. Both condemn the violence and rhetoric on both
    sides that led to Amona .