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Israel's Elections — The Negative Is Positive

04/29/2021 12:37:47 PM

Apr29

Rabbi Weill

Dear Friends,

Israel held its fourth election in two years this week and again the results are inconclusive! This may lead to a fifth election later this year. There is something fundamentally cockeyed and broken about an electoral system that repeatedly fails to yield decisive results.

On the other hand, let us bear in mind that Israel is, in fact, a democracy. It holds regular elections. Its Palestinian citizens participate in those elections. In fact, Arab political parties can be significant players in the often frenetic effort to build ruling coalitions.

(Let us also bear in mind that the Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have not held elections since 2006. That is impossible to justify, and it has led to deep cynicism among Palestinians toward their leaders.) 

Some Jews harbor a compulsive negativity toward the Jewish state. I understand that there are problems within Israel. Its policies toward the Palestinians present complicated moral and legal problems.

But just as I would expect no American to turn from the United States because of our myriad flaws, no Jew should turn from the Jewish state because of its flaws. Moral ambiguity and even immoral policies inevitably accompany self-rule. But do we want to relinquish our autonomy? No! That’s the mark of an embarrassing self-abnegation, and we’ve seen where a lack of national autonomy leads.

So let’s be proud of the democratic State of Israel. And let us embrace its well-deserved and well-earned autonomy just as we support efforts and organizations that seek peace and justice. Let us be devoted Jews, committed to the Jewish state and proud of its achievements.

Wishing you and yours a zissen Pesach.

Rabbi Jeffrey Weill

Tue, August 3 2021 25 Av 5781