Rethinking Jewish Faith: The Child of a Survivor Responds

By Steven L. Jacobs | Go to book overview
3
Oppression of Jews, on the other hand, leads not to diversity but to uniformity, orthodoxy and orthopraxy.
4
I choose to put the word "Palestinian" in quotes because I am not at all convinced that this is the best term to describe those native Arabs who do not wish to be governed by the Israelis and whose claims to the land itself are equally valid and equally of long-standing. Not all but some.
5
The admittance of so large a number of non-Jews from the West as to "threaten" the very Jewishness of the State of Israel is unrealistic in our time. Those who presently opt for living there do so because of its very Jewishness and Jewish character.
6
Sadly enough, we have already seen during the years of the ArabPalestinian intifada abuses of state power.

Addendum

The "historic handshake" between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairperson Yasir Arafat, following the signing of the "Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements" in Washington, DC, on 13 September 1993, in the presence of President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, and PLO Executive Committee member Mahmoud Abbas, does not change the focus of this chapter. "Cautious optimism" continues to be present in the Jewish communities of both Israel and the United States, as well as throughout the world. The 'sina qua non' of this Agreement will be the commitment of the PLO towards guaranteeing and participating in the safety and security of the State of Israel and the willingness of additional Arab nation-states to enter into peaceful agreements and negotiations with Israel. [The signing of the "IsraeliJordan Agenda" by Israeli chief negotiator Elyakim Rubenstein and Jordanian chief negotiator Fayez Tarawneh at the State Department, Washington, DC, on 14 September 1993, is such a first step.]

A cautionary note: Only the most naive among us, it seems to me, would regard the signing of the above 'Arrangements' as not, ultimately, leading to the creation of an independent sovereign Palestinian State in the not-too-distant future. What this will mean in concrete detail will be the coming confrontation between Israel and her neighbors. Likewise the continuing issues surrounding the city of Jerusalem. Such a creation, however, does not absolve Israel and the Jewish People, both within and without, of their responsibilities inside Israel towards her non-Jewish citizens.

Theologically and religiously, what the reality of two sovereign nationstates, an Israeli state and a Palestinian state side-by-side, means may very well be a rethought understanding for Jews and Arabs of the "other." At this point, we will have to wait and see what the ensuing years bring.

-88-

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