Saturday, March 11, 2017

Dear Rabbi Cooper

A Rabbi David J. Cooper has published a piece entitled:

Rabbi Cooper has committed one error.

If it is a "may be", perhaps a vigorous review of the law and its exact meaning should have been his first responsibility?  Why leave your congregants and readers in doubt?  Either providing us with a 'yes' or a 'no' is your first job as a spiritual leader.

He writes that he prefers, at least "not knowingly", not

buying products from settlement industries in the West Bank...These words printed here may now possibly exclude me from visiting my beloved Israel..

Again, he leaves us with a doubt: "possibly exclude". 

What a Rabbi, sorry, Emeritus Rabbi as of last month.  What a flock of his in Piedmont, California.  Always in doubt. Always in a situation of a "may be".


the ban applies to any foreigner “who knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel that, given the content of the call and the circumstances in which it was issued, has a reasonable possibility of leading to the imposition of a boycott – if the issuer was aware of this possibility.” It includes those who urge limiting boycotts to areas under Israeli control, such as the West Bank settlements.  Some backers of the bill say it would be used only against those active in organizations that support BDS, and would not block an individual for something she or he might once have said.

Of course, one need take his personal background into focus to understand his positions.

Throughout high school, college, law school and several years of practice as an attorney, David was involved in anti-war, anti-sexist, pro-LGBT and affirmative action struggles while becoming increasingly involved in the embryonic Jewish Renewal Movement.

Is his approach to such an agenda influenced by his Judaism, or the reverse: his Judaism is affected by a radical, progressive liberal menu?  And he has the chutzpa to employ the Megilla's “if you remain silent in this moment” verse to justify his position.

I just saw this article which deals with another issue entirely but still points toa problem: the weakness of liberal Rabbis adopting stands on issues that are inimical to Jews, in one form or another and in varying degrees.  In this Beinart age of watered-down Zionism, this Rabbis and others attempt to save themselves, just the opposite of the meaning of the verse he quotes.

They are in the radical camp and are afraid that too much Jewish nationalism will harm them, image-wise, social-wise, reputation-wise, financially or even physically.  The Arabs of Eretz-Yisrael lfor over 100 years have killed, maimed, raped, pillaged and torched Jews and their property but these Rabbis seek to embolden and strengthen the negative forces in the Arab conflict with Zionism.  They reward their violence because nothing the Arab terror does will halt these Rabbis' support for their cause.  But growing agricultural produce on Jewish land (if Rabbi Cooper can quote the Megilla, the books of the Bible should be enough of a proof who owns this land, no?), creating wine, manufacturing, together with local Arabs all sorts of things, and having local Arabs study at a university in Ariel, for example, is to be boycotted.

Rabbi Cooper, when did you last boycott a product of Arab Palestine?  

You are concerned with my supposed illegality and a law of the Knesset?

I am concerned at your lack of morality.



Just caught this:

A note from Rabbi Lerner:We at Beyt Tikkun have been struggling internally about how to deal with the Jewish violence and revenge that is part of the Purim story. We will be talking about it at our Shabbat morning service this coming Shabbat of Remembrance March 11 at 951 Cragmont Ave, Berkeley Ca. starting at 10:30 a.m.and followed by a veggie pot-luck (and then at 7 that night we will be joining the Aquarian Minyan for reading the Book of Esther and their Purim play which undoubtedly will deal with Trump (will he be the evil Haman or the buffoon kind Ahashverus?)The question we struggle with is: Should we boycott this holiday entirely? Is there a way to challenge its hurtful parts without discrediting the legitimate joy our people feels when it is saved from the intended violence against us?

And also read Liel's analysis here.  A portion:

I soon realized that while my colleagues would, if asked, go to great lengths to denounce anti-Semitism as vile, they had little patience for anyone, myself included, who believed that Jews were people who deserved basic rights. When I emailed a fellow professor and asked to participate in a weekend seminar she was organizing to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—a subject I know a thing or two about—I was ignored, and eventually informed that the event was by invitation only, and that I wasn’t invited. It was, of course, dedicated to discussing the singling out of Israel for boycotts, divestments, and sanctions, a plot that would hardly benefit from the perspective of a proud Israeli-born Jew who insists his people have as much of a right to self-determination as everyone else in the world.
It was this kind of corrosive ideology—extolling the values of diversity while enforcing a crippling orthodoxy that had little patience for Jewish identity—that eventually drove me to get out of academia. It didn’t take long for me to learn the same lesson Chris does in the movie, namely that the point of this new strain of toxic liberalism isn’t really to help victims of racism or anti-Semitism or any other sort of discrimination; rather, it’s to reconfigure the identities of white people so that they may go on and enjoy the same exact comforts to which they’re accustomed. It’s the same prejudices wearing better clothes. And it works because it projects its disdain for the unruly lower orders onto poor whites—working stiffs like that hapless cop, schlubs who probably eat at Denny’s and listen to Toby Keith and vote for Donald Trump—while continuing to deny actual black people the right to cast themselves as the protagonists of their own dramas outside of the rigid scripts written for them by the white elite. The same is true for anti-Semitism, which the same elites can now project onto Israel: The Jewish State, our intellectual and moral betters insist, is the home of the bad Jews, murderous thugs who massacre innocent Palestinian babies and therefore can expect nothing less than the knife, the bomb, and the rocket, while the good Jews are those who nod in agreement, smile politely, think little, and say less.


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