Thursday, September 8, 2022

If Zionism Never Existed

Many Jews are anti-Zionist (extreme left-wingers, Satmar) or non-Zionist (most charedim). Those who object to Zionism on religious grounds can certainly point to many early Zionists who were anti-religious and who saw nationalism as replacing Judaism. They also claim that there are innate religious problems with creating a state. But would they prefer that Zionism had never arisen?

Let's imagine what the world would be like without Zionism. There would be no State of Israel, but what would be in its place? Some people seem to think that it would have been a region of the British Empire, like Stamford Hill. But the age of the British Empire is long over, and they would have pulled out by now even without Zionists pushing them out. Israel would be the State of Palestine, home to a few million Arabs along with a few hundred thousand Jews at most (since there would have been none of the mass immigrations).

What would life be like in the State of Palestine for these Jews? It wouldn't be like living in Brooklyn or Stamford Hill, where there is a generous welfare state and protection of rights (though note that patience is starting to run out in these countries for exponentially growing communities that live off welfare as an ideology and refuse to provide secular education). It would be like living in other authoritarian Middle Eastern Arab countries, which isn't so great, especially for Jews. There would be terrible poverty and occasional persecution. And forget about generous government grants and permissions for developing shuls, yeshivos, and holy sites.

The State of Israel has worked out very, very well for religious Jews. And, of course, were it to chas v'shalom disappear now as part of a war (or "peace deal") with the Arabs, the consequences would be absolutely catastrophic. Charedim might not have been happy with how it came into existence, but they certainly now should be appreciating its existence and understanding the necessity of enabling it to thrive. (And I do think that many of them would agree to this, at least in theory.)


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125 comments:

  1. Wrong. Without Zionism Moshiach would be here by now.

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    Replies
    1. Jews were in galut for about 1800 years without Zionism. Why didn't Mashiach come at any point then?

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    2. Hashem was waiting to see if they would past the test of Zionism. They didn't.

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    3. The "test" of Zionism? Seriously, look at the absolute increase in Torah learning in Eretz Yisrael. There is a far greater Torah culture that exists.

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    4. beurre de cacahuète et geléeSeptember 9, 2022 at 6:35 AM

      Nachum, Rami,

      I believe **** is being facetious. Or else he is incredibly stupid.

      Delete
  2. "It would be like living in other authoritarian Middle Eastern Arab countries, which isn't so great" I think you are overly optimistic.

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  3. Why exactly would you care if the Windsors or the Husseinis ruled Jerusalem?

    Is there a hierarchy of races I've not yet been privy to that you would like to share with us all?

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    Replies
    1. This is obvious as well as scientific to an evolutionist.

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    2. Yeah, here's a hierarchy for you: Jews take over a piece of land and within less than a century have a thriving, well-off, modern, free society.

      Arabs are in continuous control of lands for thousands of years and have...need I fill in the blank?

      The only real puzzler is why you side with the latter.

      Delete
    3. Resident race edgelord Nahum and dark basement resident Yaakov appear to have concluded that the Rabbi Doctor is a racist. Upsetting the Rabbi Doctor's immense ego is a banning offence, but doing so inadvertently is not.

      -

      Look what happened to Shanghai despite the near complete absence of Nahum's master race.

      Modernity has changed the entire world, but ignorant bigotry is timeless.

      Delete
    4. Hat, your self-delusion would be hilarious if it weren't sad. Now I get why people call you guys lib-tard! Look at the intolerance for others and the terrible human rights records in the Arab countries vs the Western countries!!! Seriously.

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    5. Justifying Haj amin Husseini's murderous anti-semitism because he was brown is highly racist.

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    6. Arab lands are 99% Jews free after having lived there for over a thousand years. Self hating Jew the Hat would blame that on the victims

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    7. I've been complaining about intolerance for others and terrible human rights, and apparently that makes me a libtard and a self hating Jew.

      -

      I have found that racists have illogical attitudes. They simultaneously deride racism in others, exult in their own supposed lack of racism, but regard anyone daring to challenge actual instances of racism of being a self hating Jew. Something like "we can be racist because we are better than them because they are racist."

      -

      Is Jordan highly racist because the ruling family is called Husseini? When I referred to the Windsors did you think I meant the not particularly famous lawyer Tom Windsor?

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    8. Peanut butter & jellySeptember 9, 2022 at 6:17 AM

      I think Hat overdosed on woke cool-aid.

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    9. Hat, I hate to break it to you, supposed expert on the Middle East, but the royal family of Jordan is not "called Husseni." There was a king named Hussein, but that's a common enough name. The royal family are called the Hashemites; the come from the Hejaz, which is now in Saudi Arabia, and claim descent from Mohammad. They are not Palestinians.

      The Husseinis are a prominent Palestinian clan. The Nazi Grand Mufti of the 1940's was a member of said clan. (By the way, Anonymous, he was pretty white.)

      The fact that you are unaware of this speaks volumes about where you're really coming from every time you criticize Israel, Jews, or any Jew on this blog, myself included.

      Oh, by the way, I'm also not sure you realize this, but your reference to Shanghai implies that you think that China is run by Arabs. Newsflash: It's run by, um, the Chinese. Who actually persecute Muslims horribly, not that you'd care if there wasn't some Jew-hating angle to exploit. But try, you'll find one.

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    10. Peanut butter and jam, surely, especially in the circumstances of her Brittanic Majesty's passing.

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    11. "he was pretty white"

      Some Nazis considered him Aryan. (Whatever that means)

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    12. Ephraim: JRR Tolkien had a fun time pointing out to the Nazis that "Aryan" means Persian and Indian. As it happens, even Indians were considered "white" back then, but the Nazis would have recoiled at the idea.

      Of course, Italians and- much more- Japanese are hardly Teutonic. (Which is what the Nazis really meant.) It didn't have to make sense.

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    13. I've been complaining about intolerance for others and terrible human rights, and apparently that makes me a libtard and a self hating Jew.
      ...

      the hat is silent and tries to justify terrible human rights of palestinians which makes him a libtard and self hating jew


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    14. محمد ابو درهامSeptember 11, 2022 at 8:04 AM

      Thank you Mr. Hat for defending my people against the evil fascist Zionists.

      From sea to shining sea, Palestine will be free!

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    15. Calling the hat a libtard for proposing that the the nazi supporting husseinis are as good as the windsors for running Israel, is over polite. The hat is either a moron or a nazi supporter.

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    16. "From 'sea to shining sea', Palestine will be free!"

      Sounds like a cross between an American folk song and the BDS movement!

      Anyhow Hat, all your guilty Jewish virtue signaling appears to have paid off! You attracted one of your clansmen, and he is not hiding what their end game is! Only YOU don't seem to get it.

      Delete
  4. I agree, more or less, but I also fully understand the old Yishuv's point of view, too. From their perspective, they were there first, long before the Zionist movement began at the end of the 19th century. The same God that watched over them before is still watching them now, with or without a Godless state of Israel. And while life had problems before, they have simply been substituted for different problems now. This is not my own perspective, but its a perfectly legitimate one.

    As to your wondering what would be had Zionism not arisen? Like all speculation, mere "whatiffery". Like asking, what would Israel or Jewry look like had there not been a bulwark of Charedim keeping the faith strong.

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    1. That self-image is a myth. Most charedim in Israel arrived after Zionism had already gotten started. The Old Yishuv was tiny, poor, and persecuted, and most of them became Zionists.

      So that may be their self-image, but the fact that it's a lie does matter to factual consideration of the situation.

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    2. Well, they may be the minority of the total Chareidim in Israel, but most of the raging kanoim in Yerushalaim and Beit Shemesh staging endless hafganos descend from the residents of the old Yishuv.

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    3. Nachum - commenter מכרכר above is correct. Further, most Israelis today, not just Charedim, came after Zionism got started. The fact is, the Charedim are the natural evolution of the old yishuv. They might not necessarily all be 10th generation yerushalmi, but how many Israelis are descendants of the 19th century chalutzim? What counts is how you "identify", pardon the leftspeak.

      I dont share their view, because I dont think even in the times of Tanach Israel was as "frum" as these Jews imagine it to be. You can't run an army or a state in accordance with halacha as it looks today. (They believe it never changed.) Many other reasons, too. But on their fundamental point, that we were here first, and don't preach to us how we should live our lives - they are 100% correct.

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    4. "From their perspective, they were there first, long before the Zionist movement began at the end of the 19th century. "

      So therefore they had the right to run the country? Sounds like אבק Zionism to me. The tragedy of the Old Yishuv was that they had no (non-messianic) vision for the future of the country. They refused to take any step to develop the land, preferring infighting over the scraps of חלוקה money. They opposed immigration of Jews fleeing pogroms because they were afraid there wan't enough money. And despite that, they still stubbornly refused to allow the land to be developed and become suitable for a place of refuge.

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    5. "but most of the raging kanoim in Yerushalaim and Beit Shemesh staging endless hafganos descend from the residents of the old Yishuv."

      Most of the "raging kanoim" are descendants of Hungarian chassidim who arrived after World War II. The Old Yishuv was mostly Litvak and Chabad.

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    6. "Further, most Israelis today, not just Charedim, came after Zionism got started."

      So? We're talking about the ones who reject the authority of the State.


      "The fact is, the Charedim are the natural evolution of the old yishuv."

      You can say "fact" but that doesn't mean it is. "Natural evolution" is pulling a lot of weight there. And, of course, "natural evolution" of a negative is not a positive.

      "They might not necessarily all be 10th generation yerushalmi, but how many Israelis are descendants of the 19th century chalutzim? What counts is how you "identify", pardon the leftspeak."

      No, you don't get to "identify" as being outside the general community.

      "But on their fundamental point, that we were here first, and don't preach to us how we should live our lives - they are 100% correct."

      Again, they weren't here first, as you concede, and of course people can be told how to live their lives. On that both Torah and secular society agree.

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    7. "From their perspective, they were there first"

      And that attitude is an example of Ashkenazi bigotry. There was a Jewish community in Jerusalem centuries before they got there.

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    8. That reminds me of a joke:

      It rained for days and days and there was a terrific flood. The water rose so high that one man was forced to climb on top of his roof and sat in the rain. As the waters came up higher a man in a rowboat came up to the house and told him to get in. "No thank you, the Lord will save me!" he said, and the man in the rowboat rowed away. The waters rose to the edge of the roof and still the man sat on the roof until another rowboat came by and another man told him to get in. "No thank you, the Lord will save me!" he said again, and the man rowed away.The waters covered the house and the man was forced to sit on his chimney as the rain poured down and a helicopter came by and another man urged him to get in or he'll drown. "No thank you," the man said again, "The Lord will save me!" After much begging and pleading the man in the helicopter gave up and flew away. The waters rose above the chimney and the man drowned and went to heaven where he met God. "Lord, I don't understand," he told Him, frustrated, "The waters rose higher and higher and I waited hours for you to save me but you didn't! Why?" The Lord just shook his head and said, "What are you talking about? I sent two boats and a helicopter!"

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  5. There would be few to no Jews in this State of Palestine, just as there are few to no Jews in Arab countries worldwide right now. Even Christians, who are less hated than Jews and have much better international protection, have been leaving Arab countries in large numbers over the last 100 years or so.

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  6. This is true and in the age of nationalism the rise of Jewish nationalism was inevitable. 200 years ago Rav Alkalai drew inspiration from the Balkan nations fighting for their national independence and revival. Today Eretz Israel produces superior quality of Jewish learning and scolarship. But Judaism has not been able to succesfuly fit into the modern world. This is a problem. I don't know what is the formula for doing so.

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    1. Judaism has been able to successfully fit into the modern world just fine, when the modern world isn't pushing Jews out. It may not be your preferred form of Judaism, but it's Judaism.

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  7. A few years ago I read the English translation of Eim HaBanim Smeicha by Rav Yassachar Shlomo Teichtal HY"D. He started out as a typical virulently anti-Zionist Hungarian Jew, had a complete turnabout on his opinion on the wrote, and wrote his sefer with a Charedi audience in mind. It is too bad it did not gain traction with his intended audience. I hear among other frum Jews, there is some interest. Amazing work. Highly recommended.

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    1. Yes, a huge Talmud Chochom with unbelievable בקיאות.
      He wrote the Sefer while in the Warsaw Ghetto, prior to being murdered by the Nazis. He quotes from a huge array of מאמרי חז"ל, mentioning that he is doing this by heart as he doesn't have his Sefarim with him in the Ghetto and the Sefarim that he refers to are not from his regular learning.

      Another important Sefer is התקופה הגדולה written by Rav Menachem Mendel Kasher in 1969.

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    2. Rav Teichtal's descendants remained charedi, Rav Kasher's somehow ended in DL camp, became very accomplished professors as would be expected from individuals with their superior genes, but when it came to Judaism the destinquished professor Assa Kasher: בשנות ה-70 הוריד את הכיפה כדי לבדל את עצמו מאנשי גוש אמונים You can read more about him in Wikipedia.

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    3. "Rav Teichtal's descendants remained charedi, Rav Kasher's ..."

      And among Rav Diskin's descendants are מחללי שבת בפרהסיא. Should I mention Rav Shach and R. Yitzchak Lichtenstein? Yigal and Yisrael Rosen?
      Genes, nature and nurture are nothing in the face of free will.

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    4. Ephraim: And that is why even though today it's a common snarky charedi point that Mendelssohn ultimately had no Jewish descendants, not a single gadol in the 1800's- obviously not those who defended him (or cited him without seeing a need to defend him) but also, tellingly, those who attacked him- used that fact as an attack. They all knew how common it was, often from personal experience.

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    5. The ponit here is that the path went through the DL Mizrachi education system. The same story with Rav Shach: a son faught in the Independence war, becme an accomplished professor and was shomer Torah and Mitzvos. His children went throgh the DL system and that was the end of כל התורה כולה.

      Free will can only help within the framework of one's genetic abilities. But regardless, you have to compare apples to apples.

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    6. Wow, the old charedi myth was that it was R' Shach's son who went off the derech. Now that it's pretty well known that that is completely untrue, I guess the myth has transferred to his poor kids. I hope shidduch prospects don't suffer. :-)

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    7. @Nachum

      https://www.facebook.com/SivanRahavNews/photos/a.208134799239366/918070514912454/?type=3

      This isn't accurate?

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    8. Wow. On you, not on her or him.

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    9. Mendelson's childern converted to Christianity. All of them.

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    10. No, they did not.

      And you seem to be really missing the point here.

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  8. What does this have to do with rationalist judaism?

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    1. 'Rationalist Judaism' seems to be a euphemism for bashing Chareidim (as evidenced by many posts on this site). In which case this post fits the theme of the site very nicely! Although I will say that this one is a pretty mild dig. There are plenty of Chareidim that would probably even agree.

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  9. Very well put. It's a point I've made with some charedi anti-Zionists: Even assuming that their most extreme arguments (violating the Three Oaths prevents Mashiach from coming, it's the work of Satan, blah blah) are true- which I do not for a moment believe- there are eight million Jews living in Israel *now*. Who cares how they got there- what do you want to do with them?

    This can, of course, lead to another uncomfortable question for them: The State of Israel has (to take some random examples) sanitation departments, a fire department, a water system, an electrical grid, roads, trains, and so on. If it's all pasul, with the arrival of Mashiach, will he tear it all up and start fresh? Will he retrain every, say, garbage man to be a fireman and vice versa? No, of course he won't. That would be silly. So his job just got at least 99% easier, no? How can you then passel Zionism?

    We can even take it one step further: Israel has a government. It would require very few if any tweaks- maybe some "personnel changes" only, so to speak- to make it "Mashiach friendly."

    So what, then, is Mashiach?

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    Replies
    1. Zionism in general is an incredibly cringe boomer ideology, but Religious Zionism specifically is so cringe that it threatens to cause a disturbance in the time-space continuum. Just a few changes to be Mashiach friendly! Any day now! It's a tahalich!

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    2. Every single statement of Chazal and Rishonim say it's a tahalich. That you mock it is on you.

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  10. for Nachum: what are the "Three Oaths" ?

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    1. An Aggadic statement in the Gemara that supposedly makes Zionism treyf. Look it up.

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    2. 'The three vows', is based on a Gemara in Kesubos 111a.

      To most Chareidi non-Zionists however, their opposition does not come from the שלוש שבועות, rather with the fact that Zionism was created by secularists as a means of casting off the Jewish identity of Torah and Mitzvos, and replacing it with a homeland and Zionist ideology, and the intense anti-religiousness and antagonism displayed by the Zionists towards religious people. The opposition based on the ג' שבועות was the Satmar Rebbe's chidush that he took and ran with.

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    3. If that helps you feel better, go right ahead, but it's false. A rejection of the very idea of Zionism lies at the heart of charedi rejectionism. They may not even know it themselves, but it's there.

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  11. Without taking sides on the actual debate the argument doesn't work so well with say the if you view the Zionist movement akin to the Mitzriyim: the bnei yisrael originally thrived but were then persecuted.

    Would we say we are better of _thanks_ to the Mitzriyim or do we have an entirely different perception of their contribution to the Jewish nation?

    Another Dave

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    1. There's one not-so-little difference: Zionism is a movement of the Jewish people, and Israel is our homeland. Egypt isn't. That's got to count for *something*.

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    2. Ultimately both groups can be viewed as tools of Providence, without attributing praise to the group and instead to God.

      Another Dave

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  12. I seriously wonder - for all the religious Jews who are anti-zionist, where do you believe God went for the last 75 years? If you can believe He is involved with every little detail, how about the success of the Jewish state?

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  13. Hat, you should be happy that Zionism exists! If not, you would have nothing to troll and be completely out of a job! It seems that you are one-track mind obsessed with it! You and Satmar. I sometimes wonder what their Judaism looked like before the creation of the state. Because now, it's 90% kanous and 10% Torah and Mitzvos.

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    1. I am a moderate Zionist, a Rav Lichtenstein Zionist, a Rav Shach Zionist, a Rabbi Dr Sacks Zionist, a Rabbi Jackobowitz Zionist. I support the existence of the state of Israel within bound of ordinary decent humane behaviours.

      It's a shame that thousands of one track minded obsessive cracks are literally terrorising civilians in the West Bank because of their manic, messianic extremist versions of Zionism.

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    2. A 'R' Shach Zionist' wouldn't be calling people racist for pointing out some very obvious facts about our cousins.

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    3. Rav Lichtenstein? Rav Shach? Rabbi Dr Sacks? Rabbi Jackobowitz? Get real Hat. None of these leaders were self-hating pseudo intellectual frauds like you are. Comparing yourself to them only confirms how delusional you are. (I've worked with Jack Kennedy - you sir, are no Jack Kennedy)

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    4. Well, you know what? Those people you hate actually live here, unlike you (and unlike the two esteemed chief rabbis you cited). So get in the game or shut up.

      (Oh, and by the way, people of your political derangement account for the low single digits of the Israeli Jewish population. So you're welcome to move here, but you'd probably be disgusted by pretty much every person you'd see.)

      I can criticize R' Lichtenstein all I want, but he actually got up and made aliyah. As to a "R' Shach Zionist"...you have no idea what you're talking about, do you?

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    5. "I am a moderate Zionist, a Rav Lichtenstein Zionist, a Rav Shach Zionist, a Rabbi Dr Sacks Zionist, a Rabbi Jackobowitz Zionist. "

      Y. Leibowitz would consider you an idolatror for following any of those (or other) rabbis instead of just observing Halacha because Hashem commanded you.

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    6. One cannot be both a “R Shach Zionist” (whatever that is) and a Rav Lichtenstein Zionist, any more than one can be both a Barack Obama American and a Donald Trump American.

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    7. Forget about your idol Leibowitz. What did Hashem command you to think? But I don't care. You're not my idol.

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    8. R Shach Zionist said that the arabs want to kill us. Only self hating Jews like the hat call it racist.

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  14. The counterclaim is that Jews lived relatively securely in Arab countries (as opposed to Christian ones) until Zionism became a significant movement.

    https://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/news/the-expulsion-of-jews-from-arab-countries-and-iran--an-untold-history

    Of course today that the State is already a reality, no sane person seriously wants it dismantled.

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    1. The word "relatively" is doing a lot of work there. Jews were horribly persecuted by Muslims, starting with Mohammed.

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    2. True. It's far from black and white.

      "Historian Mark R. Cohen proposes a comparative approach to understanding Jewish life under Islamic rule, noting that Jews in Islamic lands often experienced less physical violence than Jews under Western Christendom.[8]: 58  He posits that Muslims considered Jews less theologically threatening than Christians did, suggesting that the Christians wanted to establish a separate religious identity from Judaism, from which their faith split and diverged.[8]: 58  According to him, instances of persecution were occasional, more the exception than the rule,[8]: 59  and claims of systemic persecution at the hands of Muslim rulers are myths created to bolster political propaganda.[8]: 56 [dubious – discuss] The situation where Jews in the Muslim world both enjoyed cultural and economic prosperity at times, but were widely persecuted there at other times, was summarised by G. E. Von Grunebaum:

      It would not be difficult to put together the names of a very sizable number of Jewish subjects or citizens of the Islamic area who have attained to high rank, to power, to great financial influence, to significant and recognized intellectual attainment; and the same could be done for Christians. But it would again not be difficult to compile a lengthy list of persecutions, arbitrary confiscations, attempted forced conversions, or pogroms.[18]

      Recently, historian Mohammed Ibraheem Ahmed has posited a political-contingent view of Muslim-Jewish relations. He extends Cohen's point of there being neither an incessant utopia, nor total conflict between Muslims and Jews. He argues that Muslim-Jewish relations are hooked on the political situation of the time, and that is why it often changes between periods of conflict and coexistence.[19]"

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_under_Muslim_rule


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    3. Just ask any Jew whose family lived under Muslim rule a century ago. In most of the Muslim world, we were second or third class citizens. My evidence is anecdotal, but Jews whose families were living in Morocco and Turkey seem to have more positive family memories than those who lived in Iran or the Arab world.

      There was no Shoah in the Muslim world but that is an extremely low bar to have to pass.

      I just checked Freedom House's latest report. There is currently exactly one country with a Muslim majority that is rated "free" and most people would be shocked at which one it is. (Tunisia dropped out of the list of "free" countries last year. :( )

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    4. Charlie, I remember interviewing a Turkish RIETS student for the YU paper. He went on and on about how great it is for Jews in Turkey- this was well before Erdogan- and at the very end he suddenly got a lot more nervous and said, "Um, can I see this before you print it? I mean, we're safe and secure here and it's great, but, um, we have to make sure we're not misunderstood."

      I looked at the latest Freedom House map and see not a single free Muslim country, not even Bosnia. Is it some tiny island I'm missing?

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    5. Charlie Hall, don't keep us in suspense tell us which country is it?

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    6. I guess he means North Cyprus

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    7. Not really a country, but nu.

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  15. Why do you assume that in the absence of Zionism there would be a State of Palestine? It is likely that Britain would have called the territory the Palestine Mandate fro Christian theological reasons, but would the Arabs have referred to it as such without Zionism to oppose?

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    1. The only non-island held by Britain today is Gibraltar. Do you think that Israel would be the one small piece of land that the British would have held on to, even as they lost everything else? (Especially considering that Palestine was a mandate and not actually part of the Empire.)

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    2. On Yom HaAtzmaut, a friend of mine posted an article on WhatsApp about a meeting between the Lubavitcher Rebbe and the leader of the Bnei Akiva youth movement, Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Neriah. (I have my misgivings about many of the details of the story.). Rabbi Neriah asked why doesn't Chabad celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut.

      The Rebbe answered that he would like to be frank, but is afraid that Rav Neriah would fall off his chair! When pressed for an answer, the Rebbe said that the question should be why don't we fast on Yom HaAtzmaut!

      The Rebbe explained: There were two options at the time: that "Palestine" remain a British commonwealth, or that there be an independent Jewish state. The Arab nations said that if it is declared a British commonwealth, they won't do anything. But, if there will be an independent Jewish state, they can't allow such a thing, and they will attack.

      The Rebbe said that those who pushed for an independent Jewish state knew that it would cost Jewish lives, and nonetheless that's what they wanted. Therefore, it's not clear at all that Yom HaAtzmaut should be celebrated (so goes the version of the story as my friend posted it.)

      I'm a bit skeptical about the story: Did the Rebbe really believe the promises of the Arab nations at the time, that they wouldn't attack? There were attacks on Jews in Israel prior to 1948, despite being under British protection. They were quite vocal about wanting "to drive the Jews into the sea". And the Rebbe opposed giving back any of the territories captured in the Six Day War, and was a vociferous opponent of the Camp David Accords with Egypt, in the event that Sadat, or one of his successors, will actually plan another attack on Israel.

      And even if Israel would be a British commonwealth--how long would it remain like that? If it would dissolve within a few decades, then it wouldn't have been much of a solution.

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    3. It is amazing that one day after the death of the greatest decolonizing monarch in the history of the world, that anyone would suggest that the British would have any possessions in the Middle East today. I am old enough to remember Harold Wilson's massive retrenchment of the British military from commitments around the world and his dismantling of the colonial office. The UK couldn't afford it (despite taxes that were so high that the Beatles complained about them in the song "Taxman").

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    4. "the Lubavitcher Rebbe and the leader of the Bnei Akiva youth movement, Rabbi Moshe Tzvi Neriah."

      Which Lubavitcher Rebbe? The story could have been about 6-YY and not 7-MM. If the former, then much of your skepticism is taken care of.

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    5. @Nachum
      I'm not saying that Britain would have held on. I'm saying that the Arabs would not have distinguished between Palestine and the rest of the Levant after wresting it from the British. It would probably be under Arab rule, but it would not be an independent nation. Provincial boundaries might not even have anything to do with what is considered the boundary between "Palestine" and "not-Palestine" today, as the boundaries between velayets in the late Ottoman era did not. Thus, there might not even be a Province of Palestine.

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    6. Yehuda: I'm sorry, the Rebbe, if that story was true, was talking nonsense. The British were desperate to leave. (Mostly it was Arab violence they were sick of.) They *had* to leave, under international law. The options were Palestine being divided up between Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, with consequences for the Jews best not mentioned, or an independent Jewish state. Thank God we got the latter.

      Sar Shalom, see above. Of course it would have been carved up. (The Arabs didn't then and don't now really care about the Palestinians.) That doesn't mean it would have been any better for the Jews. Egypt and Jordan kicked out every Jew from the territory they did get.

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    7. @Ephraim: My friend wrote that the conversation took place in 5712, so it had to be the last Lubavitcher Rebbe.

      @Nachum: You're quite correct--I'm skeptical about the veracity of the content of the conversation. (My friend said that the Rebbe's secretary, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Groner, related the incident as Rabbi Neriah told it to him. Rabbi Groner was around 21 years old at the time. Rabbi Neriah spoke to the Rebbe in a private audience, and Rabbi Groner asked him what they spoke about.)

      The British Empire was downsizing at the time. And Jews weren't very well protected by the British even from 1917-1948. It was clear even then that Jews would protect Jewish lives more effectively. It may sound tribal, but it's simply a fact.

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    8. Yehuda: Skepticisim aside. The 1948 war did result in a tragic loss of life. The Rebbe who always was consistent in regards for the physical safety of all Jews, and could very well have been opposed to celebration because of that. (Consider that the Rebbe also held that the Yerushalmi's vision of a gradual redemption כך היא גאולתן ... קמעא קמעא was rejected by the Bavli, and we follow the latter. )

      Delete
    9. Ephraim: During the 1956 war, Rav Soloveitchik was musing aloud to his students about how Ben-Gurion could order men into war knowing some would be killed, the halakhic justification or lack thereof, and suddenly stopped and remarked that maybe this is why it's a good thing poskim aren't made prime ministers.

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    10. Rabbi Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane (Rabbi Meir Kahane's son) wrote that pikuah nefesh is not always a good barometer of what our course of action should be. There are times that we're required to go to war, and not to just appease the enemy by giving them land or money. We know that war will mean loss of Jewish lives, but the alternative could be losing many more Jewish lives.

      Delete
    11. Yehudah: Yes, that should be obvious: Outside of certain midrashim, war by definition involves risk to life, so of course war is an exception to pikuach nefesh.

      Delete
  16. If the state of Israel weren’t established, I’d imagine there would be less anti semitism in the world,so many Jews wouldn’t have been senselessly slaughtered, and the whole Benei Brak culture of living off welfare wouid t have come into being. So probably more lives wouid e been saved, and Orthodox Judaism wouldn’t have become as perverted as it is now. So yeah, I’ll stick to saying state of Israel is ultimately bad for Jews. Not from a religious standpoint. Just being a pragmatist

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    Replies
    1. Pragmatic? There are eight million Jews in Israel today. What's keep them alive, magic pragmatism?

      Delete
    2. "and the whole Benei Brak culture of living off welfare wouid t have come into being."
      So it's the Zionists fault?

      Delete
    3. "But would they prefer that Zionism had never arisen?"

      That the wrong question to ask. There is no place for any question, nor is there a place for debate. That's because there is no coherent anti-Zionist hashka. (The exceptions may be Chabad and Hirsch. Let the irony sink in.) So you can ask, but you won't get a real answer.
      Instead you get the following talking points:

      • That early entry in Herzl's diary
      • Uganda scheme
      • Rav Kook's speech at Hebrew Universty
      • Killing of Doctor To'eva De Haan
      • "One cow in Palestine"
      • "Only with blood!"
      • Perfidy
      • Yemenite Boy for Sale!

      Even if all of the above, were 100% true, free of distortion, and relevant to the history of Zionism, it would still not add up to a coherent ideological opposition to the Jewish State.

      The basic question asked here is: what kind of land would/should we have without a Jewish State? That's not a real question, because no answer to it can be coherent. Ask a typical Charedi whether there should be pig farms or buses on שבת. Should חגים be national holidays? Etc.. etc.. Any such policy which would promote a Torah civilization necessarily would require some sovereignty in order to execute such policies. That would be Zionism, wouldn't it? Is it possible for there to be Jewish sovereignty without a form of Zionism? Even if were conceivable to come up with non-Jewish sovereignty that would somehow follow דעת תורה, that would still mean that decisions effecting Torah life would still be made by Jews. That would be Zionism, wouldn't it?

      What you would have left then, is an anti-Zionist policy that refuses to accept any real power to execute decisions that would promote a Torah society. Any soveign power must be abrogated in deference to anti-Zionist ideology. No decision can be made, because in order for such a decision to be effective, it must accept some sovereignty and hence be a form of Zionism.

      And that's what leads to Jonathan Rosenblum's defense of דעת תורה's non-policy regarding expulsion from Gaza:

      "United Torah Judaism's decision not to join the anti-disengagement forces reflects the strong preference of the Torah leadership to avoid casting the decisive vote on matters of national security, and especially not against the will of the majority of Israeli citizens." (J.O. Sept. 2005)

      The question "what would be in its place?" is a klutz kasha. It's implicity asked towards those who either don't care, or due to ideology can't do anything about it.
      So what's there to talk about?

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    4. If the state of Israel weren’t established, I’d imagine there would be less anti semitism in the world,so many Jews wouldn’t have been senselessly slaughtered

      ....
      when do you think the anti-semitic holocust happened, before Israel's creation or after?

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    5. " thousands of one track minded obsessive cracks are literally terrorising civilians in the West Bank "

      None of the Rabbis you quoted would depict Jews living in the West bank in such an abusive way.

      That is on you.

      Delete
    6. "it's the Zionists fault?"

      Reminds me of how Israel got blamed for the Arabs who massacred other Arabs at Sabra and Shatila.

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    7. I wasn’t assigning blame to anyone. What I’m saying is, if the whole state of Israel wouldn’t have come into being, I think Fewer Jews would’ve been slaughtered and certain cultures wouldn’t have developed. Of course now you can’t just shut it down

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    8. Charlie: "Goyim kill goyim and they blame the Jews."- Begin.

      I'm afraid to say that even R' Soloveitchik seems to have fallen for it. He didn't quite grasp that the New York Times had shifted.

      Hillel: Slaughtered? Since 1860, just over 24,000 soldiers and just over 4,200 civilians have been killed in Israel. (Many of the soldiers, maybe half, were not killed in action but in accidents and the like.) That's over 28,200 too many, but the Nazis managed to killed well over that in only *two days* in Auschwitz.

      A pity there was no State of Israel in, say, 1938.

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    9. Nachum. What’s your point? Again, we’re taking hypotheticals here. If the state would’ve never been established, there wouldn’t be all the soldiers that were killed, all the terrorist victims etc. simple as that. What the heck does that have to do with Auschwitz? Yes there are many ways to kill Jews unfortunately. But my point is that the establishment of the State brought in a completely new way to kill Jews, and also created crazy ideologies. Imagine a world or a timeline where the state never was established. Are Jews in better shape than they are now. That’s the question.

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    10. First of all, Anonymous, there's more than a fair chance that had there been a Jewish State ten years earlier, a lot less people would have been killed in the Holocaust.

      Second, give me a break. Anti-Semites have been massacring Jews for over 3,000 years. You're going to blame Israel for that?

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    11. " Again, we’re taking hypotheticals here. "
      And yet you sounded so certain.

      Delete
  17. If there had been no Labor Zionists, the Vilna Gaon's efforts and vision would not have been thwarted by the likes of the tamei, the evil Shmad-man Ben Gurion, and all the other big "tzadikim" who condemned Jews in Europe to be dust under the wheels of history. The process of geulah was envisioned before Zionism and was going to happen one way or the other, and the Zionists ruined it and wrapped it in their filthy wrapping paper. Shmad, abortion, gay parades, corrupt mounds of money for the Reform and Conservative Apikorsim. Not to mention a deep insecurity as to the right of the State of Israel to even exist, as the Palestinian narrative is legitimate even in the eyes of Matan Kahana. They're a downright despicable bunch.

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    1. Make up your mind: If the State is so bad, why do you care if the Palestinian narrative is accepted?

      Meir Kahane used to say, "The State? The State has arrested me fifty-eight times. I obviously have my problems with the State. I still support it wholeheartedly."

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  18. "If there had been no Labor Zionists, the Vilna Gaon's efforts and vision would not have been thwarted..."

    The Gra's students pretty ended their program when the auspicious year 1840 came and went without redemption. The rest of your comment can be dismissed with the fact that those secular Zionists didn't "thwart" much of anything. It's not like there was a major effort by the Torah world to compete with the secular Zionists. And that was after the various proto-Zionist of quasi-Zionist efforts of the גר"א, the חתם סופר and the בית הלוי. The Torah world failed to heed the call of their Torah oriented Zionists. Today too, the Charedi world is also not very interested in ישוב הארץ. That why the Agudah allowed pork into the country in exchange for money.

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    1. "The Gra's students pretty ended their program when the auspicious year 1840 came and went without redemption.

      Wrong on two counts. 1840 was an auspicious year but not a decisive one in the Gra's thought. Moreover, the neighborhoods outside the walls of Yerushalayim were established by the Gra's students after 1840.

      The rest of your comment can be dismissed with the actual facts. Petach Tikva, Chadera, Rosh Pina, and many others. Look it up.

      Delete
    2. Considering that the Gra had been dead for seventy or eighty years when those settlements had been established (heavily by the Rothschilds or Montefiore, neither of whom had anything to do with the Gra), it's kind of a stretch to connect them to him.

      Delete
    3. "Wrong on two counts."

      I should be more clear. The פרושים didn't go anywhere, but the unique messianic aspect of the project was dropped and (according to Aryeh Morgenstern) covered up. Nachum exaggerates the time between the first aliya of the Gra's circle and the disappointment of 1840, but his point is essentially correct. By the time ירושלים expanded, and the other settlements like פתח תקוה were established, the פרושים had been joined by other Torah circles. So you had Hungarians in פתח תקוה and Rumanians in ראש פינה, and Yemenites in Silwan. (Let's not forget the strange career of the Chabad's Chaim Tzvi Sneersohn!) It was no longer the Gra's original vision anymore.
      All that is besides the point that I was making: the Torah world neglected to heed the call of Torah oriented Zionists. (And I use the term Zionists broadly.) Zionism was a convergence of many (and sometime contradictory) movements, and it was the numbers of those who participated which defined the nature of the State.
      Indeed, the first "Zionists" were from the Torah world. But they didn't follow through with sufficient numbers, despite the support of גדולי ישראל. The apathy and opposition would decades later give way to kvetching about how the impure secularists ruined everything.

      Delete
  19. Re the Satmar Rebbe and the 3 Oaths.Somebody above mentioned that it was a chiddush of the SR. It certainly was his raison d'etre, but 80 years or so before the SR, it was R.SR Hirsch's main objection to the Zionist movement. Of course he thought Germany was the epitome of human development. Well, he got that wrong. He also had contempt for "Eastern" Cheredim, especially those in Israel, that only survived by begging the diaspora.

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    1. "He also had contempt for "Eastern" Cheredim, especially those in Israel, that only survived by begging the diaspora."

      You say so.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous, erm, R' Hirsch himself says so. The places he said so have been censored in newer charedi editions.

      Delete
    3. The chiddush was actually- get this- Mendelssohn's. He's basically the first person to cite the Three Oaths after the original source, and for obvious reasons.

      Delete
    4. When someone states a flat falsehood, it's warranted. Congratulations.

      Delete
    5. I was the anonymous poster with the R.SRHirsch info above that accidentally hit publish. I apologise for that. The anonymous chappie that objected to my commented, perhaps should do to some research.
      mb

      Delete
  20. Another question to ask is why did the European rabbanim disregard Rabbi Alkalai's call to settle Palestine. If they had listened to Alkalai, they would have been the ones setting the agenda for Zionism instead of the secularists.

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  21. Concerning the 3 Oaths that the Satmar clans invoke to smear and denigrate our beloved מדינה, the following is in order. In accordance with Talmudic wordplay אל תקרא Oaths אלא Oafs. Presently we have 2 Satmar Oafs, Aaron and Zalman but the 3 Oafs triumvirate necessary to usher in ימות המשיח has not yet come to pass. We need one more Oaf. Anyone aware who that might be?

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    Replies
    1. Peanut Butter & JellySeptember 11, 2022 at 7:51 AM

      You!

      Delete
    2. Looks like we have a candidate, Uriah's Wife.

      Delete
  22. When you say no Zionism, you are saying no Herzel, no Zionist congress, no Maskilim-turned-Zionists advocating a new Jewish order devoid of anything Godly.
    Well, let's see.
    Frum Torah observant Jews continue to settle in Palestine through the 1800s, eventually starting colonies such as Mazkeret Batya and Petach Tikva. The observe the laws of Shmitta, TruM, Shabbos, give their kids a frum education.
    The local pasha is more than glad to welcome the jews and all the foreign currency they come with. The secular Zionists stay in Europe (why would the land of Israel mean anything to them?)
    No Zionist congress means Arabs don't feel threatened by colonial forces trying to take over their country. No Chevron massacre or Arab riots of the 30s. No White Paper, many more jews are able to escape the nazis.
    No Israel means that Jews living in Iraq, Egypt, Yemen etc. can continue living there as they did for generations. No maabarot or forced secularization.
    So, yes. It can definitely be argued that not only has the State of Israel been responsible for many neshamos lost to Yiddishkeit, but also more Jewish lives lost than saved.
    A fact is that more Jews have been killed in Israel than any other country in the world since the Holocaust (other than perhaps the USSR).
    The only argument that in the event of another Holocaust, Israel would be a safe haven. Assuming that this Holocaust won't specifically target Isreal

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    1. "The local pasha is more than glad to welcome the jews and all the foreign currency they come with."

      "Local pasha"? It was called the Ottoman Empire, and they didn't allow Jews in for centuries. They had to have their arms twisted by European powers.

      "The secular Zionists stay in Europe (why would the land of Israel mean anything to them?)"

      I'm not sure you realize this, but the secular Zionists began coming before Herzl, and of course during the Ottoman Era.

      "No Zionist congress means Arabs don't feel threatened by colonial forces trying to take over their country. No Chevron massacre or Arab riots of the 30s. No White Paper, many more jews are able to escape the nazis."

      So you're just going to take the Arabs at their word that they love Jews, just not the nationalist ones. (In point of fact, they don't even claim that.) Right. I'll put my trust elsewhere.

      "No Israel means that Jews living in Iraq, Egypt, Yemen etc. can continue living there as they did for generations."

      Yes, horribly persecuted.

      "A fact is that more Jews have been killed in Israel than any other country in the world since the Holocaust (other than perhaps the USSR)."

      "Since the Holocaust and USSR" is doing a lot of work there.

      Let me guess, you don't live here.

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    2. "Frum Torah observant Jews continue to settle in Palestine through the 1800s"
      What stopped them? (Aside from the Old Yishuv leadership who were against immigration of those fleeing pogroms, because חלוקה was insufficient.)

      "No Chevron massacre or Arab riots of the 30s."
      Not to mention the צפת riot of the 30s... oh wait, that was the 1830s! I guess the students of the גר"א were to blame.

      "No White Paper, many more jews are able to escape the nazis."
      That would imply that the Arabs would have been more hospitable to refugee Jews, than every other nation on earth. Where did you get such a notion? Had the Arabs allowed the immigration of just 10% of potential Holocaust victims, they would have lost their majority.


      "Assuming that this Holocaust won't specifically target Isreal "
      You just said, that Israel could have been a haven had it not been for the secular Zionists. Yet now, you express skepticism that Israel could be a safe haven. Make up your mind.

      Delete
    3. By the way, the Arabs' official excuse for the Chevron riot was a visit of the...anti-Zionist Rebbe of Chabad, in which he bribed his way into the Machpela.

      Their excuses for other riots were a mechitza at the Kotel.

      All obviously the fault of the secular Zionists.

      Delete
    4. @Nachum: "By the way, the Arabs' official excuse for the Chevron riot was a visit of the...anti-Zionist Rebbe of Chabad, in which he bribed his way into the Machpela."

      Ha'aretz actually published an article saying that a few years ago. It argued that Chabad was always messianic, so the Arabs felt threatened by the Rebbe's visit, that he'll attempt to build the Third Temple or something like that.

      One Charedi publication (I think it was בקהילה) wrote sarcastically: "Ha'aretz finally found out who was responsible for the Hebron Massacre".

      There also was a British commission of inquiry, which noticed that there was a demonstration at the Kotel the day before the Hebron Massacre, where Jews declared "The Kotel is ours!". Somehow that's a valid justification for murdering Jews in Hebron, who didn't even participate in the Kotel demonstration.

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    5. Oh, it's always been about "Al-Asqa," and extending to all Jews.

      Although I doubt the Arabs were that fine-tuned to Chabad ideology. Probably they just saw a Jew entering and used it as an excuse.

      Delete

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