Saturday, January 07, 2017

Kerry's "Jewish" and "Democratic" State

In his remarks on December 28, 2016, John Kerry, United States Secretary of State addressed the Arab-Israel conflict and the lack the the achievement of peace.

Paying close attention to his words, I noticed that he mentioned the term "Jewish" twelve times and "democratic" nine times and together, as the "Jewish and democratic state", twice and once as "Jewish democratic".

I picked them out:

That’s what we were standing up for: Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state

if the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both – and it won’t ever really be at peace. 

Is ours the generation that gives up on the dream of a Jewish democratic state of Israel living in peace and security with its neighbors? Because that is really what is at stake.

And here are mention of Israel's Jewish identity:

Israelis are fully justified in decrying attempts to legitimize [sic. that should be delegitimize'] their state and question the right of a Jewish state to exist.

Nearly 70 years ago, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 finally paved the way to making the State of Israel a reality. The concept was simple: to create two states for two peoples – one Jewish, one Arab – to realize the national aspirations of both Jews and Palestinians. 

Principle two: Fulfill the vision of the UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of two states for two peoples, one Jewish and one Arab

Recognition of Israel as a Jewish state has been the U.S. position for years

That’s why it is so important that in recognizing each other’s homeland – Israel for the Jewish people and Palestine for the Palestinian people – both sides reaffirm their commitment to upholding full equal rights for all of their respective citizens.

There is one odd, even strange, use of 'democratic':

And we understand that in a final status agreement, certain settlements would become part of Israel to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 49 years – we understand that – including the new democratic demographic realities that exist on the ground. 

That, I think could be a result of Kerry's meandering of mind and tongue although it could indicate that Kerry is quite well aware that the decisions to revitalize Jewish life in the historic regions of the Jewish homeland was done through a very democratic process in that election after election, governments were established, except in very short time periods, that all supported, encouraged and engaged in activities that increased the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria and, until 2005, in Gaza as well.

Incidentally, refugees are mentioned in a formulation that actually disengages the issue from the existence of Israel in this way:

Provide for a just, agreed, fair, and realistic solution to the Palestinian refugee issue, with international assistance, that includes compensation, options and assistance in finding permanent homes, acknowledgment of suffering, and other measures necessary for a comprehensive resolution consistent with two states for two peoples...The international community can provide significant support and assistance. I know we are prepared to do that, including in raising money to help ensure the compensation and other needs of the refugees

That set off the PLO's Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi who declared on television: 
"The six principles that [US Secretary of State John] Kerry presented are undeniable Zionist principles that serve Israeli interests...he said 'a Jewish state,' giving them [Israel] a great prize. We have refused and still refuse to say that Israel is a Jewish state... Even on the issue of the refugees, he [Kerry] automatically denied them the right of return, and said that it is necessary to reach a just solution of compensation and resettling and the like. In other words, there is no right of return."  [Official PA TV, State of Politics, Jan. 3, 2017]

Of course, Jewish refugees were not included in his speech.

But getting back to the issue of Kerry deciding for Israel what "Jewish" and "democratic" mean and why they are important, we can note there also her words

he said 'a Jewish state,' giving them [Israel] a great prize

Prize?  Or a simple recognition of what Israel is?

On January 6, in an interview, Kerry returned to that matter and expounded:

I believe in the state of Israel’s dream to be the democracy and the Jewish state it wants to be. But the simple reality is you cannot be a unitary, one state, with more non-Jews than Jews and remain a democracy or a Jewish state. It’s impossible. You can’t do it. David, Ben Gurion, the first president of Israel, said that. Rabin said it... moving towards a single state without resolving this two-state issue, which is why everybody has supported it until today, is leading Israel to a very dangerous place of perpetual conflict and it will not be a Jewish state.

Besides being contradicted by Ashrawi, I would wish to point out the chutzpah of someone defining for us Jews what is 'Jewish" and how that state is to be as a 'democratic' one.  I am sure Kerry is predicating himself of J Street's ideology, among other left-wing Jewish groups, as well as Peter Beinart's thinking, most more radical than the next.

I could argue that the demographic outlook is not as Kerry thinks it is and that his projected minority status or threatened minority status are in error.

But is think it could be summed up so:

Dear American Jewish Liberal-Progressives:
You Can Be Either Jewish
or Liberal.
You Cannot Be Both.

Let's make that a poster:

Of course, that is as true as they intend their slogan of "Israel can either be Jewish or democratic – it cannot be both" is.  They cannot have it both ways.

They have moved far off the Jewish quotient scale and have supplanted their liberalism, what is actually a universal assimilationist progressivism, as have Jews before them, for a foreign ideology which is destructive to Zionism, the Jewish national movement.

Those who join them risk losing their Judaism, no matter how they define it in practical religious terms.  They are 'lost at sea'.  They do not realize, or refuse to do so or worse, reject, that Israel and its Zionism is their anchor.


Tangentally, here is Melanie Phillips on "Real liberals must shun Palestinian colonialism".



Anonymous said...

Please encourage your many Hasidim brothers and sisters to return to Israel and leave the States of New Jersey and New York to remain secular. It seems there can be no compromise or accommodations which will allow Hasidim to coexist peacefully with non Jewish neighbors. Perhaps they would be happier and better able to serve G_d in the Levant.

YMedad said...

Sorry but am no Admor (Grand Rabbi) with such authority to do so.

You'll just have to be liberal enough to tolerate a bit of difference in your world. We're doing okay with 20% Arabs here in Israel.

Jewlicious said...

Seems to be a common theme among Conservatives: