K A H A N E
The Magazine of the Authentic Jewish Idea
Spring 5744 – 1984
BUT WHAT ABOUT ISRAEL?
On the 79th anniversary of the death of the founder of political Zionism, the leaders of the State of Israel went up to the grave to pay homage to Binyamin Zev (Theodore) Herzl. And among the speakers was the President of the State of Israel, Chaim Herzog, who called for the saving of the Jews of the exile – the raison d’etre for Herzl’s state – but then added:
“We must also save the Jews of the west where the threat of assimilation and mixture has grown recently.” And the President then suggested deepening the Jewish education in the exile to strengthen Jewish identity.
I am always impressed by the special pain felt by Israeli leaders for the threat to Jewishness in the EXILE. There was hardly a speech by former President Navon which did not bemoan assimilation in the EXILE. Golda Meir made a moving plea to combat it when she addressed the ZOA convention in Jerusalem a decade ago. Every large and small functionary of the Jewish agency and the Israeli government raises his voice of warning over the threat to Jewishness in the EXILE. And so, as is my wont, I must muddy the placid waters a bit. I must ask the politicians and now President Herzog.
“But what about Israel?”
What about a state that never remotely succeeded in becoming a Jewish one but rather a state of Jews which increasingly looks like a Hebrew-speaking Greece-Portugal-Italy-France? If one moans over the mixture and assimilation of Jews and non-Jews in the exile, is it not time also to speak up concerning the problem of the thousands upon thousands of Jewish girls who, every night, date and bed Arabs throughout the State of Israel? Is it not long overdue to speak out against the thousands of Jewish women who have married Arab men and live in Arab villages, their children being raised as Moslems?
Shall we hear the voice of the government raised against the cancer of Jewish women eagerly bedding (and hopefully wedding) United Nations soldiers, Multinational force solders, Portuguese and other foreign laborers in the Negev, and German, Swedish and every other kind of gentile volunteer on the kibbutzim?
Is assimilation worse when it is in the Dees Moines than in Tiberias? Are intermarriage and sexual relations with gentiles hallowed in the holy land when they are to be condemned in Chicago, Paris and London?
And so, on the day that I am freed from army reserve duty, I intend to lead a group to the Presidential Mansion to see President Herzog, son of the late, sainted Chief Rabbi of Israel, and ask him to condemn intermarriage and assimilation between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs. Let us see whether the condemnation on Mount Herzl will once more sound its powerful voice.
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