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Jewish Fundamentalism In Israel by Israel Shahak & Norton Mezvinsky, Pluto Press (1999).
following are excerpts from a new book by critics of Jewish supremacism. As a promoter of eugenics, nationalism
and futurism, I do not find fault personally with Jewish supremacism so much as
I reject the dual standards of this dogma as practiced in Israel while those who
support Israel likewise condemn Gentiles for wanting similar considerations for
themselves. I advocate as many
independent nations as possible, unencumbered by international law or outside
pressures, to follow their own paths to personal fulfillment for individuals of
the nation-state. Hopefully, as
Zionism is exposed for what it is, Jewish racism or supremacism, the West will
become more tolerant in allowing other peoples or nations in pursuing their own
aspirations for similar control over the racial make-up of their own nations. That is, if Israel is allowed racialist
standards for admittance, then other gentile racial groups have an equal right
to set up their own nations based on racial classifications as Israel now does. Jewish high intelligence and racial group
solidarity is a good starting point for other nationalist movements to copy the
best and most applicable parts for their own movements, while rejecting the more
hateful and intolerant aspects of Zionism.
Hopefully, the following excerpts will entice you to read the whole book
and other related readings with regards to eugenics, race and nationalism.] (Matt Nuenke)
ix--Defenders of the "Jewish interest" often attack persons who write critically about Jews and/or Judaism for not emphasizing in the same text positive features that may have nothing or little to do with the substance under focus. Some of these defenders, for example, attacked Seffi Rachlevsky after the publication of his best-selling book, Messiahs' Donkeys. In his book, Rachlevsky correctly claimed that Rabbi Kook, the Elder, the revered father of the messianic tendency of Jewish fundamentalism (who is featured in our book), said "The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews -- all of them in all different levels -- is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle." The Rachlevsky detractors did not attempt to refute substantively the relevance of the Kook quotation. Rather, they argued that Rabbi Kook said other things and that Rachlevsky, by neglecting to mention them, had distorted the teachings of Rabbi Kook. Rachlevsky pointed out that Rabbi Kook's entire teaching was based upon the Lurianic Cabbala, the school of Jewish mysticism that dominated Judaism from the late sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. One of the basic tenants of the Lurianic Cabbala is the absolute superiority of the Jewish soul and body over the non-Jewish soul and body. According to the Lurianic Cabbala, the world was created solely for the sake of Jews; the existence of non-Jews was subsidiary. If an influential Christian bishop or Islamic scholar argued that the difference between the superior souls of non-Jews and the inferior souls of Jews was greater than the difference between the human soul and the souls of cattle, he would incur the wrath of and be viewed as an anti-Semite by most Jewish scholars regardless of whatever less meaningful, positive statements he included. From this perspective the detractors of Rachlevsky are hypocrites. That Rabbi Kook was a vegetarian and even respected the rights of plants to the extent that he did not allow
The detractors of Rachlevsky and those who may level similar criticisms against our book and us are not the only hypocrites in this area. Shelves of bookshops in English-speaking and other countries groan under the weight of books on Jewish mysticism in general and on Hassidism and the Lurianic Cabbala more specifically. Many of the authors of these books are widely regarded as famous scholars because of the minutiae of their scholarship. The people who read only these books on these subjects, however, cannot suspect that Jewish mysticism, the Lurianic Cabbala, Hassidism and the teachings of Rabbi Kook contain basic ideas about Jewish superiority comparable to the worst forms of anti-Semitism. The scholarly authors of these books, for example Gershon Scholem, have willfully omitted reference to such ideas. These authors are supreme hypocrites. They are analogous to many authors of books on Stalin and Stalinism. Until recently, people who read only the books written by Stalinists could not know about Stalin's crimes and would have false notions of the Stalinists' regimes and their real ideologies.
The fact is that certain Jews, some of whom wield political influence, consider Jews to be superior to non-Jews and view the world as having been created only or primarily for Jews. This belief in Jewish superiority is most dangerous when held by Jews who love their children, are honest in their relations with other Jews and perform, as do fundamentalists in all religions, various acts of piety. This belief is less dangerous when held by Jews who are not overwhelmingly concerned about religion and/or corruption. A parallel worth citing here is that in a secular, totalitarian system, a dedicated party worker or a convinced nationalist is usually more dangerous and harmful than a corrupt member of the same ideological system.
Our final point in this preface is both personal and universal. As Jews, we understand that our own grandparents or great-grandparents probably believed in at least some of the views described in our book. This same statement may apply to other contemporary Jews. In the past many non-Jews, as individuals and as members of groups, held anti-Semitic views, which, especially when the circumstances were propitious, influenced the behavior of others towards Jews. Similarly, in the past, slavery was universally practiced and justified, the inferior status of women was a global phenomenon and the belief that a country belonged to an individual or family and was heritable was common. Jewish fundamentalists still believe, as they have in the past, in a golden age when everything was, or was going to be, perfect. This golden age is so much of a reality for them that, when faced with issues of pernicious beliefs and practices, they take refuge by invoking God's word, by falsely describing the past and by condemning non-Jews for harboring feelings of superiority and having contempt for Jews. The fundamentalists also justify their own belief in Jewish superiority and their feeling of contempt for non-Jews; they seek to reproduce the mythical golden age in which their views would dominate. We have written this book in order to reveal the essential character of Jewish fundamentalism and its adherents. This character threatens democratic features of Israeli society. We believe that awareness is the necessary first step in opposition. We realize that by criticizing Jewish fundamentalism we are criticizing a part of the past that we love. We wish that members of every human grouping would criticize their own past, even before criticizing others. This, we further believe, would lead to a better understanding between human groups and would be followed, perhaps slowly and hesitantly, by better treatment of minorities. Most of our book is concerned with basic beliefs and resultant policies in Israeli Jewish society. We believe that a critique of Jewish fundamentalism, which entails a critique of the Jewish past, can help Jews acquire more understanding and improve their behavior towards Palestinians, especially in the territories conquered in and occupied since 1967. We hope that our critique will also motivate other people in the Middle East to engage in criticism of their entire past in order to increase their knowledge of themselves and improve their behavior towards others in the present. All of this could constitute a major factor in bringing peace to the Middle East.
001--This is a political book about Jewish fundamentalism in Israel. It includes some original scholarly research but is based to a great extent upon the scholarly research of others. Hopefully, this book is analytical.
e have inserted in the text many and copious quotations from serious articles that have appeared in the Israeli Hebrew press. The majority of articulate Israeli Jews have learned about Jewish fundamentalism and some of the reactions thereto during the past ten to fifteen years from these articles. Some of these articles provided summaries of and analyses by leading scholars who have researched in-depth aspects of Jewish fundamentalism.
We have quoted and have usually explained texts from talmudic literature. Such texts have been and still are often used in Israeli politics and often quoted in the Israeli Hebrew press. We have concluded that in the usual English translations of talmudic literature some of the most sensitive passages are usually toned down or falsified -- as a result, we have ourselves translated all of the texts from talmudic literature that we have quoted in the book. The quotations from the Bible, however, follow the standard translations, sometimes in more modern English, except when specifically noted otherwise.
We realize that we have presented a number of lengthy quotations. We determined that this was necessary in order to explain our points adequately. We believe the quotations deserve to be and should be read in full. Instead of footnoting each quotation separately in the traditional scholarly manner, we decided to mention in the text from where each quotation was taken. Although this may at times appear to be a bit redundant, it makes the flow of understanding easier.
Although our book deals primarily with recent developments in Jewish fundamentalism, it is rooted in Jewish history. A brief overview of Jewish history, especially for readers who may lack adequate knowledge thereof, is necessary in order to provide the contextual framework for the subject matter. Fundamentalists of all religions wish to restore society to the "good old times" when the faith was allegedly pure and was practiced by everyone. Fundamentalists believe that in the "good old times" all the evils associated with modernity were absent. To gain an understanding of Jewish fundamentalism, it is imperative to identify the historical period that fundamentalists believe should be re-established. In order to do this, we must specify the various periods of Jewish history.
Jewish history is usually divided into four major periods. The first is the biblical period during which most of the Jewish Bible (Old Testament in the Christian tradition) was written. Although its beginning time is uncertain, this period lasted until about the fifth century BC. Judaism, at least in its major characteristics, did not exist in this time period. The Hebrew word "yehudim" ("Jews" in post-biblical Hebrew) and its cognates in the Jewish Bible only denotes the inhabitants of the small kingdom of Judea and is used to distinguish these inhabitants from all the other people, called Israelites or "sons of Israel" or, rarely, "Hebrews." The Bible anyway is not the book that primarily determines the practices and doctrines of Orthodox Jews. The most fundamentalist Orthodox Jews are largely ignorant of major parts of the Bible and know some parts only through commentaries that distort meaning. Controversies, moreover, consumed the biblical period. The majority of Israelites, including inhabitants of Judea, practiced idolatry throughout much of this period. Only a minority of Israelites followed those tendencies from which Judaism subsequently arose. In short, Judaism, as it came to be known, did not exist during the biblical period.
The second period of Jewish history, usually called the Second Temple period, began in the fifth century BC and lasted until the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in At 70. This was the formative period of Judaism with its subsequent characteristics. The term "Jews," which denotes those people who followed the distinctive religion of Judaism and the name Judea, which denotes the land wherein Jews lived, appeared in this period. Near the end of this period, after Jews had conquered most of Palestine, the Romans adopted the term "Judea" in describing Palestine. The two most important new Jewish characteristics that developed in this period were Jewish exclusiveness and the resultant separation of Jews from all other nations. For the first time the persons of other nations were referred to by the collective name of gentiles. The second new characteristic was based upon the assumption that the Jews must follow biblical law, that is, the true interpretation of the law. During most of this period, however, disputes centering upon differing and rival interpretations of the law occurred. At times, these disputes erupted into civil wars. The long-lasting quarrel between the Pharisees and Saducees was but one example of such disputes. Shortly after the beginning of this period, Alexander the Great conquered Palestine. States influenced by Hellenism ruled Palestine for almost a thousand years thereafter; even the short-lived independent Jewish state of the Hasmonean dynasty was in most essentials a type of Hellenistic state. Consequentially, Jewish society and the Hebrew language, even though keeping their Jewish characteristics were transformed by the influences of Hellenism. Hellenism influenced even more deeply the Jewish diaspora in Mediterranean countries. Jews in those countries often spoke and prayed in Greek. Unfortunately most of the Jewish literature in Greek, which was produced in this period, was subsequently lost by the Jews; only that part preserved by various Christian churches has remained.
Most historians date the beginning of the third period in AD 70 with the destruction of the Second Temple. Other historians prefer to date the beginning of the third period in AD 135, when the last major Jewish rebellion against the Roman Empire ended. This period ended at different times in different countries with the onset of modernity and the rise of modern nation states. Modernity began when Jews were granted rights as citizens equal to those granted to non-Jews and consequently when their autonomy, which entailed subjection to the rabbis, ended. This occurred in the United States and France, for example, by the end of the eighteenth century; this did not occur in Russia until 1917 or in Yemen until the 1 950s. The Jewish rebellions against the Romans resulted in a permanent loss of Jewish population in Palestine; the importance of the Jewish diaspora thus increased. This change became fully operative in the fifth century AD. Additionally, the failure of rebellions caused the Jews to lose hope that the Temple would be rebuilt and that the animal sacrifices performed in the Temple, previously the heart-center of the Jewish religion, would be restored before the coming of the Messiah. The repeated defeats caused most Jews to accommodate themselves to the ruling authority of Rome and of other states in return for the limited autonomy directed by the rabbis. Thus, in the Roman empire of the fourth century AD, in a system created much earlier, all the Jews were in religious matters subject to the Patriarch who had the power to punish them by flogging, by levying fines for religious offenses and by imposing taxes. The dignitary called Patriarch in Roman sources was called President ("Nassi" in Hebrew) in Jewish sources. He presided over the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish court, and in Palestine appointed court members and other religious functionaries. The Patriarch, whose post was hereditary, held a high official rank in the hierarchy of Roman state officials. A similar arrangement simultaneously existed in Iraq where the top official was called the head of the diaspora. Both the patriarch and the head of the diaspora claimed to have been descended from the family of King David. The office of the patriarch lapsed shortly after AD 429; the office of the head of the diaspora lasted until about AD 1100. Both offices provided the framework for models of Jewish autonomy. This autonomy, which persisted until the modern era, and later repercussions thereof, contributed to the rise of Jewish fundamentalism. The great abundance of literature produced in the third period, the longest in the entire course of Jewish history, was written mostly in Hebrew but also in Aramaic, Greek, Arabic, Yiddish and other languages. The major theme was religion; the minutiae of religious observances were mainly emphasized. Poetry, philosophy and science, predominantly of the Aristotelian variety, appeared at some times in some places but were neither universal nor continuous. In many diaspora areas, particularly in central Europe, the only literature produced until 1750 was religious. From the perspective of Jewish fundamentalism the most important occurrence in the third period was the growth of Jewish mysticism, usually referred to by the name of Cabbala. Jewish mysticism transformed Jewish beliefs without changing, except for a few details, Jewish observance. Between 1550 and 1750, the great majority of Jews in western Europe accepted the Cabbala and its set of beliefs. This was the end of the third period of Jewish history, which immediately preceded the rise of modern nation states and the beginning of modern influences. Mysticism is still accepted by and constitutes a vital part of Jewish fundamentalism, being especially important in the messianic variety. As shown in our book, the ideology of the messianic variety of Jewish fundamentalism is based upon the Cabbala. In spite of making occasional references to the Bible, Jewish fundamentalists generally have consistently pinpointed and described the last part of this third period as the golden age that they wish to restore. It is important to note that, beyond the spawning of Jewish fundamentalism, the wide circulation of religious literature in this third period created a strong sense of Jewish unity, based upon a common religion and the Hebrew language. (Almost all educated Jews, regardless of what language they spoke, understood and employed Hebrew as a written language for their religion.)
The fourth and modern period of Jewish history is the one in which we live. It began at different times in different countries; many Israeli Jews passed directly from pre-modern to modern times. As discussed in Chapter 3 of our book, this phenomenon has been especially important for Oriental Jews. Our book emphasizes that Jewish fundamentalism arose as a reaction against the effects of modernity upon Jews. The influence of Jewish fundamentalism upon the Israeli Jewish community can only be understood adequately within the context of the entire course of Jewish history.
005--Jewish Fundamentalism Within Jewish Society
Almost every moderately sophisticated Israeli Jew knows the facts about Israeli Jewish society that are described in this book. These facts, however, are unknown to most interested Jews and non-Jews outside Israel who do not know Hebrew and thus cannot read most of what Israeli Jews write about themselves in Hebrew. These facts are rarely mentioned or are described inaccurately in the enormous media coverage of Israel in the United States and elsewhere. The major purpose of this book is to provide those persons who do not read Hebrew with more understanding Of one important aspect of Israeli Jewish society.
This book pinpoints the political importance of Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, a powerful state in and beyond the Middle East that wields great influence in the United States. Jewish fundamentalism is here briefly defined as the belief that Jewish Orthodoxy, which is based upon the Babylonian Talmud, the rest of talmudic literature and halachic literature, is still valid and will eternally remain valid. Jewish fundamentalists believe that the Bible itself is not authoritative unless interpreted correctly by talmudic literature. Jewish fundamentalism exists not only in Israel but in every country that has a sizeable Jewish community. In countries other than Israel, wherein Jews constitute a small minority of the total population, the general importance of Jewish fundamentalism is limited mainly to acquiring funding and garnering political support for fundamentalist adherents in Israel. Its importance in Israel is far greater, because its adherents can and do influence the state in various ways. The variety of Jewish fundamentalism in Israel is striking. Many fundamentalists, for instance, want the temple rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem or at least want to keep the site, which is now a holy Muslim praying place, empty of visitors. In the United States most Christians would not identify with such a purpose, but in Israel a significant number of Israeli Jews who are not fundamentalists identify with and support this and similar demands. Some varieties of Jewish fundamentalism are clearly more dangerous than others. Jewish fundamentalism is not only capable of influencing conventional Israeli policies but could also substantially affect Israeli nuclear policies. The same possible consequences of fundamentalism feared by many persons for other countries could occur in Israel.
The significance of fundamentalism in Israel can only be understood within the context of Israeli Jewish society and as part of the contribution of the Jewish religion to societal internal divisions. Our consideration of this broad topic begins by focusing upon the ways sophisticated observers divide Israeli Jewish society politically and religiously. We then proceed to the explanation of why Jewish fundamentalism influences in varying degrees other Israeli Jews, thereby allowing fundamentalist Jews to wield much greater political power in Israel than their percentage of the population might appear to warrant.
The customary two-way division of Israeli Jewish society rests upon the cornerstone recognition that as a group Israeli Jews are highly ideological. This is best evidenced by their high percentage of voting, which usually exceeds 80 per cent. In the May 1996 elections, over 95 per cent of the better educated, richer, secular Jews and the religious Jews in all categories of education and income voted. After discounting the large number of Israeli Jews who live outside Israel (over 400,000), most of whom did not vote, it can be safely assumed that almost every eligible voter in these two crucial segments of the population voted. Most Israeli political observers by now assume that Israeli Jews are divided into two categories: Israel A and Israel B. Israel A, often referred to as the "left," is politically represented by the Labor and Meretz Parties; Israel B, referred to as the "right" or the "right and religious parties," is comprised of all the other Jewish parties. Almost all of Israel A and a great majority of Israel B (the exception being some of the fundamentalist Jews) strongly adhere to Zionist ideology, which in brief, holds that all or at least the majority of Jews should emigrate to Palestine, which as the Land of Israel, belongs to all Jews and should be a Jewish state. A strong and increasing enmity between these two segments of Israeli society nevertheless exists. There are many reasons for this enmity. The reason relevant to this study is that Israel B, including its secular members, is sympathetic to Jewish fundamentalism while Israel A is not. It is apparent from studies of election results over a long period of time that Israel B has consistently obtained a numerical edge over Israel A. This is an indication that the number of Jews influenced by Jewish fundamentalism is consistently increasing.
In his article "Religion, Nationalism and Democracy in Israel," published in the Autumn 1994 issue of the periodical, Z' Manim (no. 50-51), Professor Baruch Kimmerling, a faculty member of Hebrew University's sociology department, presented data pertaining to the religious division of Israeli Jewish society. Citing numerous research studies, Kimmerling showed conclusively that Israeli Jewish society is far more divided on religious issues than is generally assumed outside of Israel, where belief in generalizations, such as "common to all Jews," is challenged less than in Israel. Quoting the data of a survey taken by the prestigious Gutman Institute of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Kimmerling pointed out that whereas 19 per cent of Israeli Jews said they prayed daily, another 19 per cent declared that they would not enter a synagogue under any circumstances.1 Influenced by the Gutman Institute analysis and similar studies, Kimmerling and other scholars have concluded that Israel A and Israel B contain hard-core believers who hold diametrically opposed views of the Jewish religion. This conclusion is almost certainly correct.
More generally, the attitude towards religion in Israeli Jewish society can be divided into three parts. The religious Jews observe the commandments of the Jewish religion, as defined by Orthodox rabbis, many of whom emphasize observance more than belief. (The number of Reform and/or Conservative Jewish in Israel is small.) The traditional Jews keep some of the more important commandments while violating the more inconvenient ones; they do honor the rabbis and the religion. The secularists may occasionally enter a synagogue but respect neither the rabbis nor the religious institutions. The line between traditional and secular Jews is often vague, but the available studies indicate that 25 to 30 per cent of Israeli Jews are secular, 50 to 55 per cent are traditional and about 20 per cent are religious. Traditional Jews obviously belong to both the Israel A and Israel B categories.
Israeli religious Jews are divided into two distinctly different groups. The members of the religiously more extreme group are called Haredim. (The singular word is Haredi or Hared.) The members of the religiously more moderate group are called religious-national Jews. The religious-national Jews are sometimes called "knitted skullcaps" because of their head covering. Haredim usually wear black skullcaps that are never knitted, or hats. The religious-national Jews otherwise usually dress in the more usual Israeli fashion, while the Haredim almost always wear black clothes.
The Haredim are themselves divided into two parties. The first, Yahadut Ha'Torah (Judaism of the Law) is the party of the Ashkenazi Haredim who are of East European origin. Yahadut Ha'Torah itself is a coalition of two factions. The second is Shas, the party of the Oriental Haredim who are of Middle Eastern origin. (The differences between the two types of Haredim will be more specifically discussed in Chapter 3.) The religious-national Jews are organized in the National Religious Party (NRP). By analyzing the 1996 electoral vote and making some necessary adjustments, we can estimate the population percentages of these two groups of religious Jews. In the 1996 election the Haredi parties together won 14 of the 120 total Knesset seats. Shas won ten seats; Yahadut Ha' Torah won four. The NRP won nine seats. Some Israeli Jews admittedly voted for Shas because of talismans and amulets distributed by Shas that were supposedly valid only after a "correct" vote. Some NRP members and sympathizers, moreover, admittedly voted for secular right-wing parties. Everything considered, the Haredim probably constitute 11 per cent of the Israeli population and 13.4 per cent of the Israeli Jews; the NRP adherents probably constitute 9 per cent of the Israeli population and 11 per cent of the Israeli Jews.
The basic tenets of the two groups of religious Jews need some introductory explanation. The word "hared" is a common Hebrew word meaning "fearful." During early Jewish history, it meant "God-fearing" or exceptionally devout. In the mid-nineteenth century it was adopted, first in Germany and Hungary and later in other parts of the diaspora, as the name of the party of religious Jews that opposed any modern innovation. The Ashkenazi Haredim emerged as a backlash group opposed to the Jewish enlightenment in general and especially to those Jews who refused to accept the total authority of the rabbis and who introduced innovations into the Jewish worship and life style. Seeing that almost all Jews accepted these innovations, the Haredim reacted even more extremely and banned every innovation. The Haredim to date have insisted upon the strictest observance of the Halacha. An illustrative example of opposition to innovation is the previously mentioned and still current black dress of the Haredim; this was the dress fashion of Jews in Eastern Europe when the Haredim formed themselves into a party. Before that time Jews dressed in many different styles and were often indistinguishable in dress from their neighbors. After a brief time, almost all Jews except for the Haredim again dressed differently. The Halacha, moreover, does not enjoin Jews to dress in black and/or to wear thick black coats and heavy fur caps during the hot summer or at any other time. Yet, Haredim in Israel continue to do so in opposition to innovation; they insist that dress be kept as it was in Europe around 1850. All other considerations, including climatic ones, are overridden.
In contrast to the Haredim, the religious-nationalist Jews of the NRP made their compromises with modernity at the beginning of the 1920s when the split between the two large groupings in religious Judaism first appeared in Palestine. This can be immediately observed in their dress, which, with the exception of a small skullcap, is conventional. Even more importantly, this is evident in their selective observance of the Halacha, for example, in their rejection of many commandments regarding women. NRP members do not hesitate to admit women to positions of authority in many of their organizations and in the political party itself. Before both the 1992 and 1996 elections the NRP published and distributed an advertisement, containing photographs of various public figures including some women supporting the party, and boasted more broadly on television of female support. Haredim did not and would not do this. Even when Haredim, who ban television watching for themselves, decided to present some television election programs directed to other Jews, they insisted that all participants be male. During the 1992 campaign the editors of a Haredi weekly consulted the rabbinical censor about whether or not to publish the above-mentioned NRP advertisement. The rabbinical censor ordered the paper to publish the advertisement with all photographs of the NRP women blotted out. The editors did what the censor ordered. Outraged, the NRP sued the newspaper for libel and sought damages in Israeli secular courts, disregarding the rulings of Haredi rabbis prohibiting using secular courts to settle disputes among Jews.
The religious-nationalist Jewish compromises with modernity regarding women are exceedingly complicated in many ways. The Halacha forbids Jewish males to listen to women singing whether in a choir or solo regardless of what is sung. This is stated directly in the halachic ruling that a voice of a woman is adultery. This is interpreted by later halachic rulings stipulating that the word "voice" here means a woman's singing not speaking. This rule, originating in the Talmud, occurs in all codes of law. A Jewish male who willingly listens to a woman's singing commits a sin equivalent either to adultery or fornication. The great majority of NRP faithful members, nevertheless, listen to women singing and thus commit "adultery" routinely. Some of the most strict NRP members, especially among the religious settlers in the West Bank, have not only puzzled over this problem but at times have tried to solve the problem of how to adjust by developing creative approaches. In the early 1 990s some of the settlers founded a new radio station, Arutz, or Channel, 7. For their station to become successful and to appeal as broadly as possible to Israeli Jews, the settlers understood that the songs of the fashionable singers of the day, some of whom were women, would have to be broadcast. The rabbinical censor, however, has refused to allow a breach of the Halacha whereby male listeners would hear female singers and thus commit "adultery." After further consultation with the censor, the settlers devised an acceptable solution that is still being employed. Men sing the songs, made popular by women; the male voices are then electronically changed to the female pitch and are broadcast accordingly over Arutz 7. A part of the traditional public is satisfied by this expedient, and the learned NRP rabbis insist that no adultery is committed when men listen to the songs being sung.
The Haredim obviously have rejected and condemned this accommodation and to date have refused to listen to Arutz 7. Even more importantly, the Haredim, after increasing somewhat their political power in the 1988 elections, were able to impose their position in this regard upon the whole state by forcing a change in the opening of the new Knesset session. The opening ceremony previously began with the singing of "Hatikva," the Israeli national anthem, by a mixed male -- female choir. After the 1988 election, in deference to Haredi sensitivities, a male singer replaced the mixed choir. After the 1992 election, won by Labor, an all-male choir of the Military Rabbinate sang "Hatikva."
How can the Haredim, who altogether constitute only a small percentage of Israel's Jewish population, at times, either alone or even with the help of the NRP, impose their will upon the rest of society? The facile explanation is that both the Labor and Likud parties kowtow to the Haredim for political support. This explanation is insufficient. The kowtowing continued between 1984 and 1990 during the time that Labor and Likud had formed a coalition. Currying favor from the Haredim for alignment purposes was then politically unnecessary. The offered explanation, furthermore, does not adequately take into account the special affinity of all the religious parties, perceived since 1980 as fundamentalist, to Likud and other secular right-wing parties. This affinity, especially between Likud and the Haredi religious parties, based upon a shared world outlook, is at the crux of Israeli politics. (This affinity is analogous to that existing between Christian and Muslim fundamentalists and their secular right parties.) The relatively simple case of the NRP illustrates this well. The NRP recognizes, although does not always follow, the same halachic authorities as do the Haredi parties. The NRP also adheres to the same ideals relating to the Jewish past and, more importantly, to the future when Israel's triumph over the non-Jews will allegedly be secure. The differences between the NRP and the Haredim stem from the NRP's belief that redemption has begun and will soon be completed by the imminent coming of the Messiah. The Haredim do not share this belief. The NRP believes that special circumstances at the beginning of redemption justify temporary departures from the ideal that could help advance the process of redemption. NRP support in some situations for military service for talmudic scholars is a relevant example here. These deviant NRP ideas have been undermined since the 1 970s by the expanding Haredi influence upon increasing numbers of NRP followers who have resisted departures from strict talmudic norms and have favored Haredi positions. This process has been counter-balanced to some extent by the growth in prestige of the NRP settlers who are esteemed as pioneers of messianism even though the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin by a messianist may have momentarily increased Haredi prestige.
The religious influence upon the Israeli right-wing of Israel B is attributable both to its militaristic character and its widely shared world outlook. Secular and militaristic right-wing, Israeli Jews hold political views and engage in rhetoric similar to that of religious Jews. For most Likud followers, "Jewish blood" is the reason why Jews are in a different category than non-Jews, including, of course, even those non-Jews who are Israeli citizens and who serve in the Israeli army. For religious Jews, the blood of non-Jews has no intrinsic value; for Likud, it has limited value. Menachem Begin's masterful use of such rhetoric about Gentiles brought him votes and popularity and thus constitutes a case in point. The difference in this respect between Labor and Likud is rhetorical but is nevertheless important in that it reveals part of a world outlook. In 1982, for example, when the Israeli army occupied Beirut, Rabin representing Labor, although advocating the same policies as favored by Sharon and Likud, did not explain the Sabra and Shatila Camp massacres by stating, as did Begin: "Gentiles kill Gentiles and blame the Jews." Even if Rabin had himself been capable of saying this, he knew that most of his secular supporters in Labor, who distinguish between Gentiles who hate Jews and those who do not, would not have tolerated such a statement. They would have repudiated such rhetoric as being both untrue and harmful.
Religious influence is evident in the right's general reverence for the Jewish past and its insistence that Jews have an historic right to an expanded Israel extending beyond its present borders. More than other secular Israelis, members of the Israeli right insist upon Jewish uniqueness. During many centuries of their existence, the great majority of Jews were similar in some ways to the present-day Haredim. Thus, those Jews who today revere the Jewish past as evidence of Jewish uniqueness respect to some extent religious Jews as perpetuators of that past. An essential part of the right's emphasis upon uniqueness is its hatred of the concept of "normality," that is, that Jews are similar to other people and have the same desire for stability as do other nations. Some cultural affinities between secular and religious Jews of the Israeli right are not primarily ideological. Many Likud supporters, whether Sephardic or Ashkenazi in origin, are traditionalists; they view rabbis as glamorous figures and are affected by childhood memories of the patriarchal family in which education was dominated by the grandfather and the women "knew their place." Although most pronounced in those of the religious vanguard, such considerations also affect secular Jews of the right. The right often exaggerates the beauty and superiority of the Jewish past, especially when arguing for the preservation of Jewish uniqueness.
The religious and secular members of the right share fears as well as beliefs. In an October 6, 1993, article, published in Haaretz, Israel's most prestigious daily Hebrew-language newspaper, Doron Rosenblum, relying upon varied sources, illustrated this by quoting pronouncements of Likud leaders that were designed to show Israelis the grave nature and risks of the peace process and at the same time to continue the boasting that Likud had initiated the process.
Rosenblum quoted the following statement by Likud Member of the Knesset (MK) Uzi Landau, who after the 1996 elections was appointed chairperson of the Knesset Committee for Defense and Foreign Affairs: "If Rabin's policies toward Syria are followed, one morning they [Israeli Jews] will awaken to see columns of Syrian tanks descending from the Golan Heights like herds of sheep ... The settlements of the Galilee will then be attacked by fire-power stronger than that used in [the war of] 1973 ... Since the idea of extermination of Israelis remains a topic in the Syrian consciousness ... any [Israeli] withdrawal from the Golan Heights will only precipitate the moment that the Syrian knife will approach the throat of every inhabitant of the Galilee ... Syrian policies are fixed by a genetic code not subject to rapid changes."
Apparently keeping to its double-standard approach, the Western media, which would almost certainly have blasted any non-Jewish politician for attributing Israeli policies to a Jewish genetic code not subject to rapid changes, avoided commenting upon the Landau statement.
Rosenblum also quoted MK Benny Begin, a major Likud leader, who expressed the fear that Syria would make a frontal attack upon Israel. This fear is commonly expressed by members of most Israeli political parties. What is characteristic of Israel B, however, is that, as Benny Begin specifically declared, the aims of a Syrian invasion will be the same as "the aims of Pogromists of Kishinev to cut Jewish throats." Begin added that this time nuclear scientists would help in the Syrian venture. Comparing the unarmed Jewish community, a small minority in the Russian Empire, with Israel and its army illustrates a common attitude to the Jewish past held by the secular right-wing Israeli parties and the religious Jews. This attitude takes no cognizance of historical development. Jews in whatever condition are always the real or potential victims of Gentiles.
Rosenblum, who is a member of Israel A, perceived all such imagery as incongruous. Observing that Landau regarded the Syrians as sheep, he asked: "Can it be that he [Landau] means to say that we are wolves?" Rosenblum then offered his analysis of why this rhetoric has nevertheless been so persuasive: "The suspicion is long-standing that members of the national camps [that is, the secular right] use power-mad rhetoric to cover their subliminal existential fear of the entire world. This fear was not dispelled in the slightest when the state of Israel was founded. Labor, in spite of all its faults, has succeeded by whatever means to cast aside such fear and replace it with a constructive and pragmatic world outlook. Likud, which resumed its historical note with ease, has not."
Those chauvinistic Jews who speak with utmost confidence about Israel's power and ability to impose its will upon the Middle East are most susceptible to such fears. The same people who predict that a second Holocaust will almost immediately occur if Israel makes any concession to the Arabs also often state categorically that the Israeli army, if not restrained by politicians, by Americans, or by leftist Jews, could conquer Baghdad within one week. (Ariel Sharon actually made this claim a few months before the outbreak of the October 1973 war.) The fear and the self-confidence co-exist harmoniously. The belief in Jewish uniqueness enhances this coexistence. Most foreign observers do not realize that a sizeable segment of the Israeli Jewish public holds these chauvinistic views. The schizophrenic blend of inordinate fears and exaggerated self-confidence, common to the Israeli secular right and religious Jews, resembles ideas held by anti-Semites who usually view Jews as being at the same time both powerful and easy to defeat. This is one of the reasons why attitudes of Israeli right-wing individuals toward the Gentiles, especially toward the Arabs, resemble so closely the attitudes of anti-Semites toward the Jews.
The secular right and the religious Jews also share other fears. They fear the West and its public opinion. They fear and condemn Jewish leftists, a term sufficiently broad to include most Labor followers, for not being sufficiently Jewish, for preferring Arabs to Jews and for living lives of delusion. They view the left as dangerous because of its ability to attract new recruits, especially from the ranks of the country's intellectual elite.
The issue of normalcy most divides the Israeli right from the left. The left longs for normalcy and wants Jews to be a nation like all other nations. The entire Israeli right, on the other hand, is united in its resentment of the idea of normalcy and its belief, along the lines of the Jewish religion, that Jews are exceptional -- different from other people and nations. Reverence for the national past allegedly solidifies this uniqueness. Religious Jews believe that God made the Jews unique; many of the secular right believe that Jews are doomed by their past to be unique and have no free choice in the matter.
016--Subsequent political developments in Israel, including the election of Netanyahu in May 1996, have confirmed the truth of Professor Friedman's analysis. From another Haredi perspective Rabbi Ovadia Yoseph, the spiritual authority of the Shas Party, corroborated this article. Rabbi Yoseph argued in a September 18, 1989 article in Yated Ne 'eman that since Israel is too weak to demolish all Christian churches in the Holy Land it is also too weak to retain all the conquered territories. Using this reasoning, Rabbi Yoseph advocated that Israel make territorial concessions in order to avert a war in which Jewish lives will be lost. Rabbi Yoseph did not mention Palestinians nor even their most rudimentary rights. The Haredi world view is similar to the view held by the Israeli secular right. The world view of Likud politicians, enthusiastically supported by followers, is basically the classic world view of religious Jews; it has undergone significant secularization but has kept its essential qualities.
The alliance between the religious and secular parties of the right produced the Netanyahu victory in the 1996 election. This alliance was forged in spite of two deep political differences between the parties. The first difference concerns democracy, especially as illustrated by the structure of Israeli parties; the second difference revolves around Zionism.
All Israeli political parties except for the Haredi were and remain structured along the lines of parties in Western countries, especially those in the United States. Most of the Israeli parties, for example, introduced primaries in order to choose their candidates for the Knesset elections. The Haredi party structure, however, is different and peculiar, perhaps analogous only to what has happened in Iran. All the Haredi parties have a two-tier structure. The tier that is lower in importance includes the acting politicians, who, even if they are ministers or Knesset members, humbly profess in public that they are merely serving the party's rabbinical sage councils whom they consult for directions before making any decisions. None of the Haredi politicians of any one party accept direction from rabbinical councils of other Haredi parties. The councils' deliberations are kept secret; their decisions are not subject to any appeal since they are regarded as divinely inspired. The council members are not elected either by rabbis or lay people. If a council member dies, his successor is appointed by the remaining members. The rabbinical members of Haredi party councils, usually referred to by their followers as sages, make all decisions and view with suspicion the usual party structure, because it is viewed as innovative and modern. The modern political party structure, including membership, branches, internal elections and a host of other items that exist in the NRP, is totally absent in the Haredi parties. The disagreement and sometimes even hatreds of one another by Haredi parties stem from recognition of different rabbinical "sages" as final authorities. The Haredi political structure has preserved a male monopoly. To date, there have been no female Haredi politicians. Haredi disunity has prevented more rapid Haredization of parts of Israeli society. Structure similar to the Haredi was common in Jewish communities from the second century of the common era until the abolition of Jewish communal autonomy in modem nation states. The aim of Haredi practices has been and still is to preserve the Jewish way of life as it existed prior to modem times. Haredi parties, in their attempt to preserve an ancient Jewish regime, have to date constituted a political backlash directed against the tide of modernity that engulfed the NRP. The Haredi reaction, like many others, is often disguised as a romantic desire to return to a past that was allegedly happier and more emotionally secure for Jews than the modern life with its doubts and uncertainties. The Haredi-indoctrinated community strives to suppress all doubts of members and believes that happiness is thus achieved.
The disagreement between Haredim and most other Israeli Jews over Zionism is complex. The Haredim and the Zionists agree about the centrally important Zionist principle that anti-Semitism is an eternal quality common to all non-Jews and is different from xenophobia and/or any hatred of other minorities. This view is, of course, similar to that held of Jews by anti-Semites. (This similarity probably accounts for the political contact between some Zionists, beginning with Herzl, and "moderate" anti-Semites, who only wanted to rid their societies of Jews or limit the numbers of Jews in their societies without killing them.) The views concerning and the fears of anti-Semitism shared by the secular right and the Haredim accord with this central principle of Zionism better than do the views currently held by the left Labor and Meretz parties, which are frequently accused by Likud of not being sufficiently Zionist.
Haredi ideology nevertheless clashes with Zionism on certain other principles. Two major examples are the Zionist aims to concentrate all Jews, or as many as possible, in and to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. These aims or dogmas contradict the Haredi interpretations of the Talmud and talmudic commentaries. Because of the perceived contradiction, Haredim have consistently proclaimed, and still proclaim, their strong opposition to Zionism; they claim that the state of Israelis merely another diaspora for Jews, and they avoid using Zionist symbols. Every Israeli political party other than the Haredi, including the NRP, end or begin their conventions with the singing of "Hatikva," the Israeli national and the world Zionist movement anthem; the Haredi parties and organizations do not do this but instead recite Jewish prayers.
020--They refuted the NRP and Gush Emunim view that in accordance with the beginning of redemption no land of Israel should be given to non-Jews. Rabbi Yoseph and Shach argued that Jews still live in normal times when visible help of God cannot always be expected to save Jewish lives.
Rabbi Yoseph, renowned for his halachic erudition, presented in-depth analysis and correctly noted that Rabbi Shach here agreed fully with him. Rabbi Yoseph began by disagreeing with the NRP and Gush Emunim rabbis who argued that the beginning of redemption and God's commandment to conquer the land of Israel were more important than the saving of Jewish lives that would be lost in the war of conquest. Rabbi Yoseph acknowledged that in messianic times Jews would be more powerful than non-Jews and would then be obligated to conquer the land of Israel, to expel all non-Jews and to destroy the idolatrous Christian churches. Rabbi Yoseph, however, asserted that the messianic time of redemption had not yet arrived. He wrote: "The Jews are not in fact more powerful than the non-Jews and are unable to expel the non-Jews from the land of Israel because the Jews fear the non-Jews ... God's commandment is then not valid . . . Even non-Jews who are idolaters live among us with no possibility of their being expelled or even moved. The Israeli government is obligated by international law to guard the Christian churches in the land of Israel, even though those churches are definitely places of idolatry and cult practice. This is so in spite of the fact that we are commanded by our [religious] law to destroy all idolatry and its servants until we uproot it from all parts of our land and any areas that we are able to conquer . . . . Surely, this fact continues to weaken the religious meaning of the Israeli army's conquests [in 1967]. "
The quotation cited above illustrates well a part of Israel's realpolitik. Before the 1996 election, both Peres and Netanyahu regarded Rabbi Yoseph as an important political figure and often courted him openly. This was done in spite of Yoseph's publicly declared doctrine that Jews, when sufficiently powerful, have a religious obligation to expel all non-Jews from the country and destroy all Christian churches. Leftists and most peace advocates in Israel lauded Yoseph and Shach for agreeing to withdrawal from the occupied territories but neglected to mention and actually suppressed the major thrust of the Yoseph and Shach position. For the most part the Western media avoided reporting the most essential points of the Yoseph speech. The reality here is that the Yoseph-Shach view constitutes one part of the hawkish heart of Israeli politics.
In his speech Rabbi Yoseph also acknowledged the halachic prohibition of selling real estate to non-Jews in the land of Israel, but he limited this prohibition to a time when doing so would not cause the loss of Jewish life. In the same manner he dealt with the issue of whether Jews should trust only in the hope of God's help or should take their own precautions against danger or war. Yoseph contended that this issue is analogous to the question of whether a Jew who is ill on Yom Kippur should be given food to save his or her life. In the latter case, according to Rabbi Yoseph, the Jew who is ill should be given food even if the medical experts disagree with one another about the danger to life that would exist if the fast were observed. Following this line of reasoning, Rabbi Yoseph opined that, even if the military experts disagreed with one another as to whether withdrawal from the territories would avert war, the government should order withdrawal. Rabbi Yoseph, not influenced by the trusting-in-God argument, pointed out that Jews had been killed in previous wars and that the miraculous coming of the Messiah establishing God's rule over the world would occur without the loss of a single Jewish life. Rabbi Yoseph also noted that the state of Israel is filled with Jewish sinners who provoke God. He quoted numerous rabbinical authorities who agreed with him that the three oaths were still valid.
Rabbi Yoseph's view did not interest Rabin, Peres or Netanyahu. His dazzling display of erudition, occupying three large pages of small print, moreover, did not convince a single NRP rabbi. Rabbis Yoseph and Shach, who a bit later became enemies, continued to oppose Zionism and the beginning of redemption doctrine; they continued to advocate their variety of Jewish fundamentalism and to command the allegiance in 1996 of fourteen members of the 120-member Knesset. Rabbi Shach, who is more extreme in his opposition to Zionism than is Rabbi Yoseph, prohibited the Knesset members of his political party, Yahadut Ha'Torah, from becoming ministers in Netanyahu's Zionist government. Shach, however, ordered his party's Knesset members to support the Netanyahu government. Netanyahu rewarded Yahadut Ha'Torah by creatively giving it control of the ministry of housing. Netanyahu made himself the housing minister and signed almost blindly anything submitted by Deputy Minister Ravitz of the Yahadut Ha'Torah Party. This procedure was obviously employed to obviate the necessity of Yahadut Ha'Torah's formally joining a Zionist government while nevertheless enjoying its benefits. Contrary to Rabbi Shach, Rabbi Yoseph ordered members of his party to become ministers in the Netanyahu government. These facts illustrated the political importance of Rabbis Yoseph's and Shach's views.
025--Those students who are found to be less capable are directed to moneymaking pursuits and somewhat later to involvement in religious services as minor rabbis or as supervisors of religious kashrut rules in restaurants, hospitals, the army and other institutions. The more capable students proceed in their learning by going from one yeshiva level to another. After graduating from the highest yeshiva and marrying, the best of the students spend their lives in an institution called a kollel (a term derived from the word meaning "entire") and spend their time studying only talmudic literature. A few of the most capable are later appointed to high rabbinic positions or become heads of yeshivot or kollels.
As mentioned previously, traditional Jewish education, described above, does not include any secular or humanistic studies. It is worth re-emphasizing that this exclusion of secular subjects includes not only mathematics, all sciences and foreign languages but also Hebrew literature, which includes poetry dealing with religious subjects, grammar and Jewish history. It is thus no surprise that Hebrew religious poetry, even the medieval masterpieces, are unknown to the Haredim. Only the sacred studies (a pre-modem term in Judaism) are taught with the greatest possible intensity. The sacred studies consist mostly of the Talmud and some subsequent talmudic literature. At the highest yeshiva level, one out of twelve to fourteen hours per day of sacred studies may be devoted to the study of morality, which primarily consists of lurid descriptions of the punishment, inflicted by God either in the life of this world or in hell, for even the smallest deviations from religious commandments. The teachings of the biblical prophets, the books of Job and Ecclesiastes and numerous other parts of the Bible are studied neither in the heders nor the yeshivot and are therefore unknown to the Haredim. Except for the Pentateuch, Haredim know only those parts of the Bible quoted in the Talmud and then only within the context of talmudic interpretation. Haredim generally lack knowledge of major parts of the Bible; this lack of knowledge constitutes one source of the differences between the Haredim and some other religious as well as most secular Israeli Jews. Yeshiva students are often deprived of sleep. After reaching the age of sixteen, Yeshiva students devote at least twelve to fourteen hours per day to study. The classes are noisy, because the students shout about what they are studying. Studying in silence is considered to be a sin. Chaos is often the result in the classroom; different students often shout about different passages of texts. Students may ask questions about the internal matters of what is being studied but never about the assumptions upon which interpretations are made or about the external world. Students are most often isolated from the outside world, especially from the secular world. Students are prohibited from contact with unbelievers. The teacher's authority is extensive and almost absolute. The main teacher or the head of the yeshiva usually will select the wives for students.
The type of education described above has shaped human character. It also inevitably has produced dissenters. The first Jewish dissenters from Judaism in modem times rebelled against this type of education and became principled opponents of the religion that from their perspectives tried to subject them to such totalitarian controls. Other individuals, schooled in the Haredi tradition, have ultimately yielded to temptations of modernity, such as watching television and attending movies. This usually has resulted in a weakening of commitment to Haredi Judaism but seldom to its renunciation. In Israel such persons have been and still are called "traditional" or "Mesorati." These people have usually remained -- and still are -- outwardly uncritical of what they learned; they have continued to worship the charismatic rabbis without paying any price for renunciating the prohibition of forbidden secular pleasures. Others who have strayed but have not undergone self-emancipation have after a temporary break returned to sacred studies to be again indoctrinated by their education.
The Haredim emphasize the sanctity and predominant importance of the sacred studies; they believe that the virtue emanating from those engaged in sacred studies is responsible for all good happenings for Jews. For that reason those who engage in sacred studies are not required to make their own livings, are granted numerous privileges and are exempted from communal duties. All of this originated and became universal among Jews in talmudic times. Living in autonomous communities, in which they retained local rule, Jews could and did determine that individuals engaged in sacred studies be exempted from paying taxes and from most other obligations and burdens for which members of the community were responsible. Additionally, the disciples of the sages, those who reached a specified high degree of proficiency in the sacred studies, were granted special privileges in many areas of life over which the Jewish community had control. During talmudic times (c. AD 200 -- 500) in Iraq, for example, the disciples of the sages, who also were merchants, were granted the privilege of selling their merchandise before ordinary Jews were allowed to do so in the markets of Jewish towns. That meant that these disciples of the sages had no competition.
A burning issue in Jewish history, and in Israeli politics, is how rabbis and rabbinical students earn their livelihoods. In Israel the constantly increasing burden of support weighs heavily upon taxpayers, most of whom are not religious. This has provoked and continues to provoke resentment, especially when combined with the fact that a majority of rabbinical students do not have to serve in the army. Most Israeli religious Jews, especially the Haredim, attempt to justify state support and freedom from army service by arguing that the Jews and the Jewish state of Israel exist by virtue of their support of talmudic study. Their support is supposedly responsible in turn for God's support, which includes God's allowing Israel to win its wars. This argument, similar to arguments made by clergy of other religions and frequently emphasized in the Israeli media, alleges that God's help soldiers win wars. This argument specifies that God provides other benefits as well. He, for example, grants good weather because of rabbis and students who spend most of their time studying Talmud. Engaging in such study is the best way, better than reciting prayers, giving charity or performing other good deeds, to gain entrance into paradise. Those who engage in talmudic study make it possible for themselves, their families, their financial supporters and, to some extent, other Jews to enter paradise.
Direct financial support of rabbis and students of Talmud is, nevertheless, a relatively new innovation in Judaism. During the lengthy period of Talmud composition, approximately 50 BC to AD 500, and for centuries thereafter, rabbis and students received no salaries or any other forms of financial support for talmudic study. (Elementary teachers who taught Bible to small children were paid.) Indeed, the Talmud itself prohibited payments for talmudic study. Some talmudic sages were working-class people who had well-known professions and earned their livelihoods from their labors. The only form of financial reward that was allowed for a talmudic sage was a recompense for not working. This can be illustrated by a talmudic anecdote about one of the most important sages, Abaye, who lived in Babylonia in the fourth century AD. Abaye was a farmer and cultivated his farm by himself. If asked a question by someone while working, he told the questioner: "Work on this irrigation canal for me while I ponder your question." The last important rabbi who fully supported such behavior was Maimonides, who died in 1204. Maimonides' ruling in his Learning Torah Laws (chapter 3, verse 10) is often quoted by secular, Jewish Israelis: "Anyone supposing that he will engage in Torah [talmudic study] and not engage in labor, thus taking his livelihood from charity, should be considered a person who has extinguished the light of religion, put Torah to shame, caused evil to himself and lost his chance to enter paradise, since it is forbidden to make profit form the sayings of Torah in this world. The sages said: 'Everyone who makes profit from the sayings of Torah loses his life.'"
031--The tension between fundamentalist and secular Israelis, therefore, stems mostly from the fact that these two groups live in different time periods. Haredim often propound theories even more extreme than those mentioned previously. Many Haredi rabbis, for example, assert that the Holocaust, including most particularly the deaths of one-and-a-half million Jewish children, was a well-deserved divine punishment, not only for all the sins of modernity and faith renunciation by many Jews, but also for the decline of Talmudic study in Europe. The Haredim and their traditional Jewish followers attribute the death of every Jew, including each innocent child, not to natural causes but to direct action of God. The Haredim believe that God punishes each Jew for his or her sins and sometimes punishes the entire Jewish community, including many who are innocent, because of the sins committed by other Jews. In 1985, when twenty-two children, twelve and thirteen years of age, were killed in the town of Petah Tikva in a traffic accident involving their bus, Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz, one of the heads of the Shas Party and the then Minister of the Interior, stated in a television appearance that the children were victims, because a movie house was allowed to remain open on the Sabbath eve. Many members of the Hebrew press, predominantly representing secular Jews, attacked Rabbi Peretz mercilessly for making this statement. The Shas Party, nevertheless, in the next election did not lose but rather gained votes in various places, including Petah Tikva. The Haredim held and advocate similar beliefs about God's punishing and rewarding Jews in many areas of life on the basis of Jews' either committing sins or following God's word.
In the late 1990s, the primary concern of the Haredim is to expand their educational system, especially in poorer localities wherein they successfully offer material inducements such as hot meals. The Haredim strongly lobby the non-Haredi public schools with their propaganda. In some places these lobbying efforts are successful. In other areas the fierce opposition by parents who are educated and politically effective thwarts the Haredi propaganda and lobbying efforts. Haredi influence is sometimes extreme in specific places. In Netivot, one of the most religious towns in Israel, for example, the Haredim have successfully opposed any public high school, because it would be obligated to provide instruction in secular subjects. Netivot is the only Jewish town in Israel without a high school.
In order to proselytize and to spread their superstitions, Haredim often exploit the distress of people. Relatives of terminally ill hospital patients, especially if they are traditional, are often approached by messengers of a charismatic rabbi, who first reiterate that the doctors cannot help and then suggest that the relatives buy some sacred water, consecrated by a certain rabbi, and smear the patient with it. The messengers relate stories about miracles that occur after the use of this sacred water, which is never distributed without a non-returnable payment. The messengers, of course, never mention the failure of sacred water miracles. The secular Hebrew press at times will report on the failure of these miracles, especially when a large amount of money is known to have been spent for the sacred water. Such reporting, however, most often only deepens the chasm between those who read and those who do not read but loathe the secular Hebrew press. In their own press the Haredim not only attack the secular press but also display their general hostility towards secular Israeli Jews. Until the later part of the 1980s, most of the Israeli Jewish public paid little attention to the Haredi press. Since then, general public attention has increased considerably. Dov Albaum, one of Israel's foremost experts on Haredi affairs, focused upon this point in two Hebrew-language articles, one published in the August 30, 1996 issue of the newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, the other published in the July-August issue of the bi-monthly periodical, Ha'ain Hashvi'it (The Seventh Eye), which is published by the Israeli Democracy Institute and is devoted to analyzing the Israeli press. Albaum discussed the structure of the Haredi press in YediotAhronot and then proceeded to a discussion in Ha 'am Hashvi'it of the Haredi attitude as a whole towards secular Israeli Jews. According to Albaum, the violent attacks in the Haredi press upon Aharon Barak, the president of the Israeli Supreme Court, attracted increased public attention. The Haredi press called Barak "the most dangerous enemy ever to face the Haredi public." Albaum pointed out that the earlier Haredi press attacks upon the left-wing kibbutzim, the Israeli army, the secular media and many other secular institutions and figures aroused little general interest. The attack upon the Supreme Court, long regarded as the holiest symbol of Israeli secular democracy, piqued the interest of many secular Jews. The violent Haredi press attacks upon Yitzhak Rabin, while he was prime minister, did not have the same effect. Shortly before Rabin's assassination an article in one of the most popular Haredi weekly publications, Ha'Shavua (The Week) predicted: "The day will come when the Jews will bring Rabin and Peres to the defendant's bench in court with the only two alternatives being the noose or the insane asylum. This insane and evil pair have either gone mad or are obvious traitors. Rabin and Peres have guaranteed their place in the Jewish memory as evil Jews of the worst kind. They resemble the apostates or the Jews who served the Nazis."
Reiterating that secular Jewish interest in Israel heightened after the attack upon Barak and the Supreme Court, Albaum observed that increasing numbers of secular Israelis are insulted when they read in the Haredi press that their lives are garbage and their children are hallucinating, lifeless drug addicts. Albaum explained: "Haredi journalists deliberately exaggerate all marginal phenomena in secular society. They describe all murders, cases of alcoholism and hard drug situations as characteristics of secular Jewish society. In addition, they allege as facts incorrect statements, engage in the wildest forms of slander and often use the most derogatory terminology. Their aim is to condemn absolutely the secular, Jewish lifestyle." It is difficult to avoid considering such depiction as analogous to the Nazi methodology.
The structure of the Haredi press is significant. Albaum pinpointed as the main Haredi ideological trendsetter Yated Ne'eman (Faithful Tent-Peg), the official newspaper of the Degel Ha'Torah faction, headed and controlled by Rabbi Shach. Albaum explained that Yated Ne 'eman is strictly monitored by a committee of five rabbis, all appointed by Rabbi Shach and headed by Rabbi Natan Zohavsky. At least one of the committee's rabbis is in the newspaper's office each evening except the Shabbat. Every word of every article, advertisement and announcement must be approved for publication by the rabbi(s) on duty. certain words and expressions, such as aids or television, are not allowed to be printed. The term "Red Cross," supposedly associated with Christianity, is especially prohibited from usage.
Yated Ne'ernan articles often ferociously attack rival Haredi factions. One example is that all advertisements about social events of the Shas Party, which is despised by Rabbi Shach, are not allowed to be printed. The importance of this prohibition was highlighted when, after an apparent lull in the spiritual war between Rabbi Shach and Shas, one of the newspaper's editors dared to publish an advertisement announcing the bar-mitzvah of Aryeh Der'i's son. (Aryeh Der'i is a Member of the Knesset and an important Shas leader.) Upon learning of this, Rabbi Shach strongly reprimanded Rabbi Zochovsky, the head of the overseeing committee of rabbis.
Spiritual censorship committees exist and monitor everything printed in other Haredi newspapers. Albaum asserted: "Freedom of the press is an unknown concept in the Haredi press." Haredi editors, according to Albaum, proclaim a different kind of freedom: "the right of our public not to know certain things." The censoring rabbis decide what the public should not know.
041--"Rabbi Yehoshua Sheinberger, the head of the Medicine by Law Organization, requested what seemed to be an innocent request that, as a concession to the religious Jews, personal blood donations be permitted. Previously, a person who donated a unit of blood for a patient undergoing surgery received a document entitling the recipient of the donation to one unit of blood from the general reserves of the Blood Bank. This new request, if accepted, would create a situation in which blood donors would be able to demand that hospitals or first aid stations give their blood donations only to specific recipients."
Rabbi Sheinberger, supported by two other important rabbis, argued that Haredim usually refuse to donate blood but might change their attitude if this demand were accepted. Albaum in his article discussed the additional motivation behind this request: "Beneath the surface there is a completely different problem that led to the rabbis' approaching the [Israeli] Ministry of Health. Haredi religious law authorities have in recent years dealt with the following issue: "Is it permissible for a pious Jew to receive a blood transfusion from non-Jews or from Jews who do not observe Jewish religious laws?" Haredi rabbis fear that, receiving "tainted," secular blood, or non-Jewish blood might cause a pious Jew to behave badly and even, heaven forbid, harm his observance of the Jewish religious laws."
Several months before the above-mentioned request, Rabbi Ovadia Yoseph addressed this problem at length in his new book, Questions and Answers -- Statements: "Blood that comes from forbidden [that is, non-kosher] foods may cause a negative effect upon its Jewish recipients. It may produce bad qualities, such as cruelty and/or boldness ... Therefore, a pious Jew, who does urgently need a transfusion and who faces no danger in waiting to receive blood from a strictly religious Jew, should wait." Rabbi Yoseph offered similar advice for those pious Jews needing organ transplants; he advised them only to accept such donations from other pious Jews. This dictate erupted into a serious dispute among rabbis in Israel and astonished many secular Jews. In another published article, Albaum reported that Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, a former chief rabbi of Israel, disagreed with Rabbi Yoseph and stated: "When a secular Jew is born, he is born with kosher blood and all the forbidden foods that he later eats are dissolved and made marginal in his blood." In regard to non-Jews, however, Rabbi Eliyahu mostly agreed with Rabbi Yoseph and held that religious Jews should attempt to avoid blood donations from them. Rabbi Eliyahu did not totally forbid blood donations for Jews from non-Jews. He stated: "It is permitted at certain times that Jews receive blood, or in the case of sucklings mother's milk, from non-Jews, in spite of the fact that such blood is detrimental to their Jewish characteristics and spirit. This is because blood is transferred slowly and is made marginal in the cycling of Jewish blood in the body. Nevertheless, when possible, a Jew should avoid receiving such blood."
Rabbi Sheinberger finally admitted that such rulings constituted the primary reason for his request: "The Haredi community has a problem in this area. For the Haredim blood from a Jew who eats only kosher food is preferable to blood from a Jew who does not observe dietary laws." Other Haredi rabbis agreed. Rabbi Levy Yitzhak Halperin, the head of the Scientific Religious Institute for Jewish Law Problems explained: "Blood donations from non-Jews or from Jews who eat forbidden foods are a problem. Jewish religious law holds that a Jewish child should preferably not be breast fed by a non-Jewish woman because her milk consists of forbidden food and contaminates the Jewish child." Such positions and statements antagonized secular Jews and met great opposition from the great majority of members of the Israeli medical profession.
In 1994 Rabbi Sheinberger ignited another controversy and created scandal with a similar request. He met with senior physicians from the Israel Transplants Association and discussed with them the Jewish religious prohibition on organ donations. In Israel Haredi Jews refuse organ transplants from their and/or their relatives' corpses. On this issue the Haredi position influences many people for superstitious as well as religious reasons. Organ transplants in Israel are thus difficult to arrange. Surgeons frequently request Haredi rabbis to appeal to their followers to agree to organ transplants from corpses of their relatives in order to save lives. The surgeons' argument is based upon the Jewish religious law giving priority to saving Jewish lives. In his discussion Rabbi Sheinberger put the condition that only a Haredi rabbi could authorize such transplants. He explained: "Jewish religious law states that it is forbidden to transplant Jewish organs into either non-Jews or Jews who are not pious. It is obvious that it is prohibited under any circumstances to transplant Jewish organs into Arabs, all of whom hate Jews." Rabbi Sheinberger, when asked for his definition of a Jew who is not pious, replied that a rabbi must determine the status of every Jew. Sheinberger's request caused a huge commotion and was rejected.
Many non-Haredi rabbis allow an organ of a non-Jew to be transplanted into a body of a Jew in order to save the life of the Jew. They, however, oppose the transplant of an organ from a Jew into the body of a non-Jew. Some important rabbis go much further in discussing and ruling about differences between Jews and non-Jews on medical matters. Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh, an influential member of the Habad movement and the head of a yeshiva near Nablus, for instance, opined in an April 26, 1996 Jewish Week article, reproduced in Haaretz that same day: "If every single cell in a Jewish body entails divinity, and is thus part of God, then every strand of DNA is a part of God. Therefore, something is special about Jewish DNA." Rabbi Ginsburgh drew two conclusions from this statement: "If a Jew needs a liver, can he take the liver of an innocent non-Jew to save him? The Torah would probably permit that. Jewish life has an infinite value. There is something more holy and unique about Jewish life than about non-Jewish life." It is noteworthy that Rabbi Ginsburgh is one of the authors of a book lauding Baruch Goldstein, the Patriarchs' Cave murderer. In that book Ginsburgh contributed a chapter in which he wrote that a Jew's killing non-Jews does not constitute murder according to the Jewish religion and that killing of innocent Arabs for reasons of revenge is a Jewish virtue. No influential Israeli rabbi has publicly opposed Ginsburgh's statements; most Israeli politicians have remained silent; some Israeli politicians have openly supported him. The Haredi demand to establish the Halacha as the law of the state of Israel has in recent years received increased support from the more pious members of the NRP. Briefly summarized, the specifics of this demand are:
• God's political authority must be formally and juridically recognized. Ordained rabbis, God's certified agents, must be the decision makers.
• Rabbis must oversee all social institutions, adjudicate all issues that arise, make final judgments about all social services and censor all printed, pictorial and sound matter.
• Sabbath, other religious laws, physical separation of women from men in public places and "modesty" in female conduct and dress must be enforced by law.
• Individuals must be obligated legally to report all noticed offenses of others to rabbinical authorities.
The theocratic, totalitarian nature of the Haredi demand for the Halacha to be the binding law of the State of Israel is obvious.
044--The Two Main Haredi Groups
A brief consideration of the historical background should provide a basis for understanding the differences between the two major Haredi groups: the Ashkenazi and the Oriental, formerly called Sephardi. Throughout most of their history, Jews lived scattered in different countries. Not surprisingly, separate Jewish communities emerged, comprised of Jewish residents of a single country, of a cluster of countries or sometimes of different parts of a single country. Until about AD 1050 one particular community existed as a Jewish center, recognized by other communities as the authority for dictating rules and issuing instructions binding upon Jews throughout the world. The last such center was the Jewish community of Iraq. After the collapse of the last center in Iraq, the differences between Jewish communities deepened considerably. Different communities, for example, although keeping and using some of the ancient prayers common to all Jews, composed new prayers, used only in their own services. Even the chanting of prayers in different communities changed and thus varied. Religious rules of conduct in almost every conceivable area of life, to which pious Jews adhered, also changed to some extent and varied from one community to another.
The Ashkenazi community that emerged in northern France and western Germany between the tenth and twelfth centuries became more innovative and began to deviate more from previously established patterns than any other community with the possible exceptions of small communities in remote countries, such as Georgia. The Ashkenazi divergences became embedded and persisted. Until this day, for example, most pious Ashkenazi Jews refuse to eat meat or any foods containing meat that are prepared under supervision of non-Ashkenazi rabbis; pious members of other Jewish communities are content with dietary supervision of rabbis not belonging to their community. Thus, a pious Sephardi Jew, visiting a pious Ashkenazi Jew will eat food prepared by the latter, but a pious Ashkenazi Jew visiting a Sephardi Jew will refuse to eat any foods containing meat or often any food whatsoever. Ashkenazi exclusiveness is evident in many other aspects of their religious conduct. Sephardi Jews, on the other hand, developed as early as the twelfth century an exclusiveness of their own, based upon the consideration that they were superior in some ways to other Jews. The Spanish and Portuguese Jews, a part of Sephardi Jewry, especially developed a pride in the supposed "purity of descent." (In Hebrew Sephardi means Spanish.) Most of them not only refused to marry but also often despised being together with Ashkenazi Jews. Moses Maimonides, who lived until 1204 and was both a rabbi and the greatest medieval Jewish philosopher, moralized in a testament addressed to his son: "Guard your soul by not looking into books composed by Ashkenazi rabbis, who believe in the blessed Lord only when they eat beef seasoned with vinegar and garlic. They believe that the vapor of vinegar and the smoke of garlic will ascend to their nostrils and thus make them understand that the blessed Lord is near to them ... You, my son, should stay only in the pleasant company of our Sephardi brothers, who are called the men of Andalusia [or southern Spain, then ruled by the Muslims] because only they have brains and are clever."
Similar statements, in which members of a Jewish community express feelings of their superiority over other Jews, abound in Jewish literature and are common. Even as late as the 1 960s older Sephardi rabbis and other Jewish men in Jerusalem, when signing their names, would invariably add the Hebrew initials meaning "pure Spanish." Ashkenazi exclusiveness, as it developed and deepened over centuries, however, became more all-encompassing and extreme than Sephardi exclusiveness.
The developing exclusiveness had geographical, social and political causes. Prior to the formation of the Ashkenazi community, almost all Jews lived in the Mediterranean basin or in countries, such as Iraq, connected with the basin by trade routes. In the tenth century most Mediterranean countries were under either Muslim or Byzantine rule. The communications between this region and the emerging feudal Europe were tenuous largely because of the language barriers: Greek and Arabic, spoken on the one side, were largely unknown in Western Christian areas, while Latin was largely unknown in the Orient. Jews, who almost always spoke the language(s) of the people among whom they lived, encountered the same communication obstacle as did other people. The Ashkenazi community, therefore, framed its own life style without knowledge about or guidance from the older, Jewish communities. The Ashkenazi Jewish life style developed within the context of the emerging feudalism in Europe, which differed in many crucial respects from other regimes in other areas in that time period. In spreading eastward into the emerging states in central and eastern Europe, the Ashkenazi community solidified its cohesiveness and its identity: these have persisted to date but in more pronounced forms among religious rather than secular Ashkenazi Jews.
Expelled from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1498, Sephardi Jews not only settled in but also transformed other Jewish communities. In these communities the new Sephardi immigrants tended to maintain an exclusiveness and to remain aloof from other Jews. Having come from the relatively developed society of the Spain of the Renaissance and having settled in less developed countries, they soon became the wealthiest, best educated and most politically connected Jews in Mediterranean countries. The Sephardi Jews that settled in Saloniki (now in Greece but then part of the Ottoman Empire) received privileges from the Ottoman Sultan, because they manufactured the best cloth and provided textiles for the uniforms worn by members of elite units of the Ottoman army. The Saloniki Sephardi Jews kept this monopoly for 130 years, losing it only when more modern textiles were imported from England and the Netherlands. Spanish Jews mostly and Italian Jews to a lesser extent actually did most of the creative work in all areas of medieval Jewish culture. Largely because of their wealth and education, Sephardi Jews imposed their customs, language and name upon Jewish communities in all the countries to which they emigrated. One good illustration of this occurred in Jewish communities in the Balkans and what is now Turkey. The Jews in these communities called themselves "Romaniole," taken from the popular name of the Byzantine Empire "Romania." They spoke Greek until about 1550 at which time, influenced by the effects of the Sephardi immigration, began to call themselves "Sephardi" and to speak Ladino, an ancient form of Spanish. The fact is that no Sephardi communities existed other than those made up of the immigrants from the Iberian Peninsula, their descendents or those who assimilated themselves into Sephardi communities. European travelers and some Ashkenazi Jews have referred, and still refer, mistakenly to all non-Ashkenazi Jews as Sephardi. This is because the real Sephardi Jews established a lasting hegemony over other Jewish communities. Many other than Sephardi, non-Ashkenazi members of Jewish communities have more correctly defined themselves not only as Jews but also as Iraqis, Moroccans, Italians or another nationality.
Until the end of the seventeenth century, Ashkenazi Jews constituted a small minority of world Jewry. Their cultural advancement trailed far behind other Jewish communities, especially the Sephardi and Italian. Since the eighteenth century, the populations of Mediterranean countries, especially those in the Ottoman Empire, steadily declined economically and demographically. This trend greatly affected Jewish communities of those countries. Between 1700 and 1850, Jewish populations in these countries steeply declined and became increasingly impoverished. The modest increase in Jewish population between 1850 and 1914 did not to a significant extent offset the decline. From the beginning of the eighteenth century the political and technological advancements in Europe affected the Ashkenazi community. From the mid-eighteenth century the Ashkenazi population began to increase rapidly; by 1800 Ashkenazi Jews had become the majority of world Jewry; this increase and the majority percentage accelerated in the nineteenth century. Jews living in the European part of the Russian Empire, nearly all of them Ashkenazi, proliferated sevenfold between 1795 and 1914. Ashkenazi Jews developed a variety of innovations in Judaism, some of them secularist. By the first half of the twentieth century, Ashkenazi Jews had surpassed the relatively small, non-Ashkenazi minority in every major respect, including Talmudic studies. The current split between religious Ashkenazi Jews and non-Ashkenazi Jews stems from the fact that during the past two centuries, in contrast to what had previously been the case, almost all rabbis of distinction have been Ashkenazi. In non-Ashkenazi communities during this time period the quality of talmudic study, of books published and even of older books being reprinted has disastrously declined.
Until 1948, Zionism and the emigration of Jews to Palestine were predominantly Ashkenazi inventions. Most religious Jews viewed Zionism as being in opposition to Judaism; hence, only Jews emancipated from their religious past could become Zionists. Even so, few Ashkenazi Jews immigrated to Palestine because of Zionist convictions. The great majority of those who immigrated did so only because their lives were so difficult in their own countries of origin. The great majority of Jews in Israel in 1948 were those who had immigrated to Palestine after the increase in anti-Semitism in Europe after 1932 and especially after Hitler came to power in Germany. The number of non-Ashkenazi Jews in Israel at the time of the state's creation was relatively small. For most Jews in non-Ashkenazi communities, the religious influence, especially the messianic strain, was in the 1950s and early 1960s still potent. Living standards in Israel in the 1 950s, although below those throughout Europe, were superior to those in most of the Arab Middle East. The Israeli government, therefore, could easily persuade Jews from many countries, for example, Morocco, Yemen and Bulgaria, to immigrate to Israel. The Israeli government induced Jewish immigration from Iraq by bribing the government of Iraq to strip most Iraqi Jews of their citizenship and to confiscate their property. By contrast, few Jews immigrated to Israel from the more advanced countries of the eastern Mediterranean, such as Greece or Egypt.
The majority of the Israeli Jewish population shifted to the non-Ashkenazi. During the period from 1949 to 1965, Ashkenazi Jews in Israel declined to a minority that stabilized at about 40 per cent of Israel's population. The substantial immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union thereafter increased the Ashkenazi population to about 55 per cent. By virtue of their having come from more advanced countries, the bulk of Ashkenazi Jews were relatively modern in outlook and secular.
The non-Ashkenazi Jews, increasingly referred to as "Orientals" instead of "Sephardis," remained predominantly religious. Upon their arrival in Israel many Oriental Jews and their children were put through a cultural socialization directed by veteran Ashkenazi residents and advocated by members of the Zionist Labor Party then in power. This socialization included a considerable amount of coercive modernization and attempts to secularize the young. The results of this coercion were mixed during most of the first two decades of Israel's existence. The majority of Oriental Jews remained traditionalists, meaning that these people ignored the more exacting commandments of Judaism, such as the ban of Sabbath travel, but followed other commandments, especially those dealing with synagogue attendance. Even more importantly, it meant that they retained belief in the magical powers of rabbis and "holy men." To date, only a few Oriental politicians dare criticize a rabbi in public, even when the rabbi strongly opposes or curses them. Ashkenazi Jews of all political views in contrast criticize rabbis freely. Most Ashkenazi politicians despise any kowtowing to rabbis. Almost all Oriental politicians, including the Black Panthers of the early 1 970s and the members of tiny Oriental peace movements, commonly bow to and kiss the hands of rabbis in public.
The Ashkenazi religious minority, particularly its Haredi segment, has resisted secularization of Oriental Jews. They have succeeded to some extent, most particularly in persuading a minority to retain the strict observance of Judaism's commandments. They have established separate religious schools and yeshivot for the Orientals and have admitted, although in strictly controlled numbers, some of the most qualified Oriental youngsters to their own schools and yeshivas. After the passage of time, an Oriental Haredi elite group of rabbis and talmudic scholars emerged in Israel. Almost without exception, Ashkenazi Haredi rabbis trained members of this elite group.
By the beginning of the 1 990s, the confrontation between the unbending Haredi version of Ashkenazi exclusiveness and Oriental traditionalism, which previously was potentially explosive, erupted. The Ashkenazi Haredi movement insisted upon completely freezing the situation that existed in central and eastern Europe around 1860. The Oriental Jews, trained by Ashkenazi Haredi Jews, were forced to discard their traditional garb, wear the black Ashkenazi clothing and learn and speak Yiddish. Yiddish was the language of oral instruction in the Haredi yeshivot; Hebrew was reserved for writing. The Oriental traditionalists were also forced to adopt the Ashkenazi manner of praying, which differed in numerous ways from their former method. Revered rabbis, who commanded authority and encountered almost no opposition, imposed those radical changes. By contrast, the various attempts by the Labor movement to impose modernizing constraints upon the Orientals in the 1 950s sparked furious opposition among the Oriental masses, who would often criticize politicians but hardly ever criticize rabbis.
The Oriental students in Ashkenazi Haredi yeshivot, after years of docile submission to demands and after being ordained as rabbis, were not granted status equal to that of their fellow students and rabbis. They have continued to accept and even today seem to be content with their inferior treatment. An excellent illustration of this is the inequality in intermarriage with their Ashkenazi peers. All Jewish communities share the time-honored custom that the head of the yeshiva arranges all marriages of yeshiva students. He carefully picks the daughters of rich and pious Jews as wives for students. The better students are matched with the daughters of the wealthiest parents. (The head of the yeshiva also matches daughters of rabbis with sons of the wealthiest parents.) Yeshiva students have selflessly complied with this matchmaking; resisting has been -- and still is -- considered to be a grave sin. This practice was instituted so that yeshiva students, who had no marketable skills, and their families would be supported. Students could continue their sacred studies, and the entire supporting family would supposedly then be able to enter paradise. More recently, yeshiva heads, when unable to find wealthy, prospective fathers-in-law for students, find prospective wives that are previously trained in skilled professions suitable for Haredi women and are willing to support husbands engaged in "sacred studies." (Such support will supposedly bring the wives to paradise.) By being matchmakers, yeshiva heads have most often been able to control the livelihoods and thus the lives of yeshiva students and their families.
Ashkenazi Haredi Jews have never formally prohibited marriages with pious Jews from other communities. Such marriages, nevertheless, often have been -- and still are -- considered disgraces. Because of this, the heads of Ashkenazi Haredi yeshivot adopted the custom, still followed, of matching Oriental students, however distinguished in their studies, with either physically handicapped Ashkenazi brides or ones from poor families.
Not surprisingly, an unwritten rule developed whereby Oriental students, however distinguished, would not be appointed to any responsible teaching positions even in lower-rank yeshivot, attended solely by Oriental students. These teaching jobs were reserved for Ashkenazi rabbis, the underlying assumption being that Oriental Jews were not yet sufficiently mature to hold responsible religious positions. When Rabbi Shach, one of the foremost Haredi leaders, explicitly reiterated this assumption shortly before the 1992 elections, he was denounced as being racist by many Ashkenazi secular Jews; neither Oriental rabbis nor Oriental political activists uttered one word of public criticism.
No Oriental initiative was responsible for the creation of the Haredi political party, Shas. Rabbi Shach formed Shas before the 1988 elections, because he, in his rivalry with other prominent Ashkenazi Haredi rabbis, needed to have Knesset members that would be subservient only to him. He, therefore, ordered those rabbis that were his students and retained personal allegiance to him to form two new, separate, Haredi political parties: Degel Ha'Tora (Banner of the Law) would be purely Ashkenazi; Shas (an acronym for Sephardi List for Tradition) would be purely Oriental. After the formation of both parties, the party leaders publicly regarded Rabbi Shach as their highest spiritual authority and vowed to obey him unconditionally. In order to make Shas also attractive to non-Haredi Orientals, Shach handpicked a non-Haredi Oriental rabbi upon whom he could rely -- Rabbi Ovadia Yoseph, the former chief rabbi of Israel -- to act as the nominal party head. Shach, of course, retained authority. For Shach, Yoseph's greatest virtue was that, after failing to win re-election as chief rabbi due to the NRP's refusal to exert influence on his behalf, Yoseph hated the NRP as fiercely as did Shach himself. As is well known in Israel, hatred between secular Jews cannot match in intensity the mutual hatred between diverse groups of religious Jews, especially in the quarrels between rabbis representing those diverse groups. Shach had good reason to expect that, because of his wish to retaliate against NRP rabbis, Yoseph would remain loyal to him and be content with his subordinate role.
For a while everything worked as Shach had planned. The two parties, controlled by Shach, obtained eight Knesset seats altogether in the 1988 elections; Degal Ha'Tora had two seats; Shas, six seats. The Haredi party, Agudat Israel, against which Shach formed his parties, obtained only five seats. Degel Ha'Tora and Shas preferred a Likud government and after the 1988 elections supported Yitzhak Shamir as the prime minister. Their support may have been decisive. After 1990 Shamir would not have had a Knesset majority without their support. The self-demeaning attempts by the Labor Party leader, Shimon Peres, to reverse this situation failed. Peres spent months attending lessons of Talmud, given in his home by Rabbi Yoseph. Peres attempted unsuccessfully to be received by Rabbi Shach; Shach received many petty secular politicians but not Peres. Peres made repeated, public pronouncements about how deeply he respected Judaism in general and the Haredi rabbis in particular. Everything Peres attempted was in vain. Shach and his rival Haredi rabbis did not bend in their support for Shamir. Yitzhak Rabin's victory over Peres for the leadership position in the Labor Party primaries preceding the 1992 elections was largely due to Labor's rank-and-file disillusionment with Peres' attempts to ingratiate himself with Haredi Jews and to win their support. In spite of this experience, Peres repeated the same attempts that resulted in the same results in the 1996 elections.
The Haredi parties wielded political power after 1988, most especially in the 1988-90 period. Peres, still in the government after 1988, supported their demands; Shamir, while Prime Minister, was even more resolute with support. Haredi political success can best be measured by the amounts of money the two Haredi parties were able to obtain from the state through so-called "special money" grants, not subject to fiscal controls of the state. These special money grants were made through a voluntary association, formed to remain under the real control of a Haredi Knesset member or his friends. The ministry of finance made grants from the state budget to such associations, most often on the basis of flimsy purpose statements and with no control exerted over expenditures. The resultant corruption was enormous, reaching a scale unprecedented in the entire history of the State of Israel and finally causing the withdrawal of such special money grants.
The extensive corruption involved in the obtaining of this special money did not necessarily mean that the money itself was used illicitly. Shas spent most of this money to establish a network of institutions designed to exert a lasting influence and to train cohorts of militants that in the future could enable the party to maximize its control over its public. This network consisted of a chain of educational institutions designed to revive traditional Jewish education for boys with only sacred and not secular subjects taught. (Shas largely ignored the education of girls.) Adult males between the ages of 40 and 50 were encouraged to leave their professions or give up their businesses in order to enroll in institutions and study sacred subjects with guaranteed remuneration. The remuneration, that is, salaries for studying, were admittedly low, but numerous individuals considered the life of study preferable to their persisting to do menial work or to maintain decaying businesses. The recruits did more than study Talmud. They were required to do political work for Shas. These recruits soon constituted Shas' political cadre, which has been and remains instrumental in turning Haredi neighborhoods into electoral constituencies under almost any conceivable circumstances.
059--Rebbe," Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who headed the Chabad movement and wielded great influence among many religious Jews in Israel as well as in the United States. Schneerson and his Lubovitch followers are Haredim; nevertheless, they involved themselves in Israel's political life and shared many concepts with Gush Emunim and the NRP. The ideas of Rabbi Schneerson that appear below are taken from a book of his recorded messages to followers in Israel, titled Gatherings of Conversations and published in the Holy Land in 1965. During the subsequent three decades of his life until his death, Rabbi Schneerson remained consistent; he did not change any of the opinions. What Rabbi Scheerson taught either was or immediately became official, Lubovitch, Hassidic belief.
Regarding the non-Jew the Lubovitcher Rebbe's views were clear even if a bit disorderly: "In such a manner the Halacha, stipulated by the Talmud, showed that a non-Jew should be punished by death if he kills an embryo, even if the embryo is non-Jewish, while the Jew should not be, even if the embryo is Jewish. As we [the talmudic sages] learn from Exodus 22:21, beginning with the words 'and if any mischief will follow." This quoted verse is a part of a passage beginning in verse 21, describing what should be done "if men strive and hurt a woman with child," thus damaging the embryo. Verse 22, whose beginning is quoted by the Lubovitcher Rebbe, says in full: "And if any mischief will follow, then you shall give soul for soul." (Some English translations use the wording "life for life" instead of "soul for soul.") The above stated difference in the punishment of a Jew and a non-Jew for the same crime is common in the Talmud and Halacha.
The Lubovitcher Rebbe continued: "The difference between a Jewish and a non-Jewish person stems from the common expression: "Let us differentiate." Thus, we do not have a case of profound change in which a person is merely on a superior level. Rather, we have a case of "let us differentiate" between totally different species. This is what needs to be said about the body: the body of a Jewish person is of a totally different quality from the body of [members] of all nations of the world ... The Old Rabbi [a pseudonym for one of the holy Lubovitch rabbis] explained that the passage in Chapter 49 of Hatanya [the basic book of Chabadj: "And you have chosen us" [the Jews] means specifically that the Jewish body was chosen [by God], because a choice is thus made between outwardly similar things. The Jewish body "looks as if it were in substance similar to bodies of non-Jews," but the meaning ... is that the bodies only seem to be similar in material substance, outward look and superficial quality. The difference of the inner quality, however, is so great that the bodies should be considered as completely different species. This is the reason why the Talmud states that there is an halachic difference in attitude about the bodies of non-Jews [as opposed to the bodies of Jews]" "their bodies are in vain." ... An even greater difference exists in regard to the soul. Two contrary types of soul exist, a non-Jewish soul comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness. As has been explained, an embryo is called a human being, because it has both body and soul. Thus, the difference between a Jewish and a non-Jewish embryo can be understood. There is also a difference in bodies. The body of a Jewish embryo is on a higher level than is the body of a non-Jew. This is expressed in the phrase "let us differentiate" about the body of a non-Jew, which is a totally different kind. The same difference exists in regard to the soul: the soul of a Jewish embryo is different than the soul of a non-Jewish embryo. We therefore ask: Why should a non-Jew be punished if he kills even a non-Jewish embryo while a Jew should not be punished even if he kills a Jewish embryo? The answer can be understood by [considering] the general difference between Jews and non-Jews: A Jew was not created as a means for some [other] purpose; he himself is the purpose, since the substance of all [divine] emanations was created only to serve the Jews. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" [Genesis 1:1] means that [the heavens and the earth] were created for the sake of the Jews, who are called the "beginning." This means everything, all developments, all discoveries, the creation, including the "heavens and the earth -- are vanity compared to the Jews. The important things are the Jews, because they do not exist for any [other] aim; they themselves are [the divine] aim." "
After some additional cabbalistic explanation the Lubovitcher Rebbe concluded: "Following from what has already been said, it can be understood why a non-Jew should be punished by death if he kills an embryo and why a Jew should not be punished by death. The difference between the embryo and a [baby that was] born is that the embryo is not a self-contained reality but rather is subsidiary; either it is subsidiary to its mother or to the reality created after birth when the [divine] purpose of its creation is then fulfilled. In its present state the purpose is still absent. A non-Jew's entire reality is only vanity. It is written, "And the strangers shall stand and feed your flocks" [Isaiah 61:5]. The entire creation [of a non-Jew] exists only for the sake of the Jews. Because of this a non-Jew should be punished with death if he kills an embryo, while a Jew, whose existence is most important, should not be punished with death because of something subsidiary. We should not destroy an important thing for the sake of something subsidiary. It is true that there is a prohibition against [hurting] an embryo, because it is something that will be born in the future and in a hidden form already exists. The death penalty should be implicated only when visible matters are affected; as previously noted, the embryo is merely of subsidiary importance."
Comments concerning and partial summaries of the above opinions have appeared, but with insufficient emphasis in the Israeli Hebrew press. In 1965, when the above was published, the Lubovitcher Rebbe was allied in Israel to the Labor Party; his movement had already acquired many important benefits from the government then in power as well as previous Israeli governments. The Lubovitchers, for example, had obtained autonomy for their own education system within the context of religious state education. In the mid1970s the Lubovitcher Rebbe decided that the Labor Party was too moderate and thereafter shifted his movement's political support sometimes to Likud and sometimes to a religious party. Ariel Sharon was the Rebbe's favorite Israeli senior politician. Sharon in turn praised the Rebbe publicly and delivered a moving speech about him in the Knesset after the Rebbe's death. From the June 1967 war until his death the Lubovitcher Rebbe always supported Israeli wars and opposed any retreat. In 1974 he strongly opposed the Israeli withdrawal from the Suez area, conquered in the October 1973 war; he promised Israel divine favors if it persisted in occupying that land. After his death thousands of his Israeli followers, who continued to hold the views expressed in the above quoted passage, played an important role in Netanyahu's election victory by demonstrating at many cross-road junctions before election day; they chanted the slogan: "Netanyahu is good for the Jews." Although subsequently strongly criticizing Netanyahu for meeting with Arafat, signing the Hebron agreement and agreeing to a second withdrawal, the Rebbe's followers continued their overall preference for the Netanyahu government.
Among the religious settlers in the Occupied Territories the Chabad Hassids constitute one of the most extreme groups. Baruch Goldstein, the mass murderer of Palestinians, was one of them (Goldstein will be discussed in Chapter 6.) Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh, who wrote a chapter of a book in praise of Goldstein and what he did, is another member of their group. Ginsburgh is the former head of the Yoseph Tomb Yeshiva, located on the outskirts of Nablus. Rabbi Ginsburgh, who originally came to Israel from the United States and has good connection to the Lubovitcher community in the United States, has often expressed his views in English in American Jewish publications. The following appeared in an April 26,1996 Jewish Week (New York) article that contained an interview with Rabbi Ginsburgh: "Regarded as one of the Lubovitcher sect's leading authorities on Jewish mysticism, the St. Louis born rabbi, who also has a graduate degree in mathematics, speaks freely of Jews' genetic-based, spiritual superiority over non-Jews. It is a superiority that he asserts invests Jewish life with greater value in the eyes of the Torah. "If you saw two people drowning, a Jew and a non-Jew, the Torah says you save the Jewish life first," Rabbi Ginsburgh told the Jewish Week "If every simple cell in a Jewish body entails divinity, is a part of God, then every strand of DNA is part of God. Therefore, something is special about Jewish DNA." Later, Rabbi Ginsburgh asked rhetorically: "If a Jew needs a liver, can you take the liver of an innocent non-Jew passing by to save him? The Torah would probably permit that. Jewish life has an infinite value," he explained. "There is something infinitely more holy and unique about Jewish life than non-Jewish life.""
Changing the words "Jewish" to "German" or "Aryan" and "non-Jewish" to "Jewish" turns the Ginsburgh position into the doctrine that made Auschwitz possible in the past. To a considerable extent the German Nazi success depended upon that ideology and upon its implications not being widely known early. Disregarding even on a limited scale the potential effects of messianic, Lubovitch and other ideologies could prove to be calamitous.
The difference in the attitudes about non-Jews in the Halacha and the Cabbala is well illustrated by the difference expressed specifically in regard to non-Jews who have converted to Judaism. The Halacha, although discriminating against them in some ways, treats converts as new Jews. The Cabbala is unable to adopt this approach because of its emphasis upon the cosmic difference between Jews and non-Jews. The Cabbala explains that converts are really Jewish souls consigned firstly to non-Jewish bodies as punishments and later redeemed by conversion to Judaism either because the punishment ended or because a holy man interceded. This explanation is part of cabbalistic belief in metempsychosis, which is absent in the Halacha. According to the Cabbala, a satanic soul cannot be transformed into a divine soul by mere persuasion.
The ensuing discussion of Gush Emunim ideas and politics takes cognizance of the Lustick and Harkabi studies but relies primarily upon primary source material and upon analyses by Tal and other Hebrew-language writers. Tal described and analyzed Gush Emunim principles by quoting extensively from writings of Rabbi Yehuda Amital, an outstanding Gush leader who was appointed minister without portfolio in the Israeli government in November 1995, by then Prime Minister Peres and who served in that capacity until June 1996. Peres described Amital as a moderate. In explaining Amital's views, Tal relied heavily upon Amital's published article, "On the significance of the Yom Kippur War ." To illustrate Amital's emphasis upon spiritual yearning and the political-messianic stream of thought, Tal quoted the following: "The war broke out against the background of the revival of the kingdom of Israel, which in its metaphysical (not only symbolic) status is evidence of the decline of the spirit of defilement in the Western world ... The Gentiles are fighting for their mere survival as Gentiles, as the ritually unclean. Iniquity is fighting its battle for survival. It knows that in the wars of God there will not be a place for Satan, for the spirit of defilement, or for the remains of Western culture, the proponents of which are, as it were, secular Jews. "
Tal further interpreted Amital's and thus Gush Emunim's basic views: "The modern secular world, according to this approach, "is struggling for survival, and thus our war is directed against the impurity of Western culture and against rationality as such." It follows that the alien culture has to be eradicated because "all foreignness draws us closer to the alien, and the alien causes alienation, as is the position of those who still adhere to Western culture and who attempt to fuse Judaism with rationalist empiricist and democratic culture." According to Amital's approach, the Yom Kippur War has to be comprehended in its messianic dimension: a struggle against civilization in its entirety. "
Tal proceeded in his discussion to ask Amital a multi-faceted, serious question: "What is the point of all the affliction? Why do wars continue, if the Messiah has already come and if the Kingdom of Israel has already been established?" Amital replied: "The war initiates the process of purification, of refinement, the purifying and cleaning of the congregation of Israel." Tal continued to discuss: "We thus learn that there is only one explanation of the wars: they refine and purify the soul. As impurity is removed, the soul of Israel -- by virtue of the war -- will be refined. We have already conquered the lands; all that now remains is to conquer impurity. "
The followers of the two Rabbi Kooks have applied the above concepts to all other Israeli wars. Rabbi Shmaryahu Arieli, for example, explained, according to Tal, that the 1967 war was a "metaphysical transformation" and that the Israeli conquests transferred land from the power of Satan to the divine sphere. This supposedly proved that the "messianic era" had arrived. Tal also quoted the teachings of Rabbi E. Hadaya: "[The conquests of 1967] liberated the land from the other side [a polite name for Satan], from a mystical force that embodies evil, defilement and moral corruption. We [the Jews] are thus entering an era in which absolute sovereignty rules over corporeality." Tal emphasized that these statements constituted a warning that any Israeli withdrawal from conquered areas would have metaphysical consequences that could result in restoring to Satan sovereignty over that land. Other Gush Emunim leaders directly and indirectly expressed the same ideas in their public statements and writings.
There can be little doubt that Gush Emunim has seriously affected Israeli Jewish religious leaders and lay people. During the time of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, for example, the military rabbinate in Israel, clearly influenced by the ideas of the two Rabbi Kooks, exhorted all Israeli soldiers to follow in the footsteps of Joshua and to re-establish his divinely ordained conquest of the land of Israel. This exhortation of conquest included extermination of non-Jewish inhabitants. The military rabbinate published a map of Lebanon in which the names of Lebanese towns had been changed to the names of cities found in the Book of Joshua. Beirut, for example, was changed to Be'erot. The map designated Lebanon as land belonging to the ancient northern tribes of Israel, Asher and Naphtali. As Tal wrote: "Israel's military presence in Lebanon confirmed the validity of the Biblical promise in Deuteronomy 11:24: 'Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours; our border shall be from the wilderness, from the river Euphrates, to the western sea." The followers of the two Rabbis Kook viewed Lebanon as being delivered from the power of Satan with its inhabitants being killed in the process." Such a view is not exceptional; it has numerous ancient and modern parallels, both religious and secular. The idea of a murderous purification of land from the evil and defilement that provoke God is common. In her chapter, "The Rites of Violence," in the book, Society and Culture in Early Modern France, Natalie Z. Davis, for example, presented the same idea as being the rationalization for the massacres perpetrated by France in the second half of the sixteenth century. In his excellent book, The Pursuit of the Millennium, to cite another example, Norman Cohn discussed Christian religious movements that sought to bring about the millennium by the use of force resulting in the deaths of many people.
Three interpretative and interrelated comments about Tal's analysis of Gush Emunim should be made. First, the rabbis, cited as authorities by both Tal and the authors of this book, are not obscure or fringe rabbis but are important Israeli figures. As previously noted, Shimon Peres, when prime minister, regarded one of them, Rabbi Amital, as a moderate and appointed him minister without portfolio. Second, Tal was able to comprehend the real essence of what he termed the "political messianic trend." His expertise in German Nazism, particularly in Nazi ideology and its sources, almost certainly helped him in his study of Gush Emunim. (See Tal's book in Hebrew, Political Theology and the Third Reich, Tel-Aviv University Press, 1989.) The similarities between the Jewish political messianic trend and German Nazism are glaring. The Gentiles are for the messianists what the Jews were for the Nazis. The hatred for Western culture with its rational and democratic elements is common to both movements. Finally, the extreme chauvinism of the messianists is directed towards all non-Jews. The 1973 Yom Kippur War, for instance, was in Amital's view not directed against Egyptians, Syrians and/or all Arabs but against all non-Jews. The war was thus directed against the great majority of citizens of the United States, even though the United States aided Israel in that war. This hatred of non-Jews is not new but, as already discussed, is derived from a continuous Jewish cabbalistic tradition. Those Jewish scholars who have attempted to hide this fact from non-Jews and even from many Jews have not only done a disservice to scholarship; they have aided the growth of this Jewish analogue to German Nazism.
The ideology of the Rabbis Kook is both eschatological and messianic. It resembles in this respect prior Jewish religious doctrines as well as similar trends in Christianity and Islam. This ideology assumes the imminent coming of the Messiah and asserts that the Jews, aided by God, will thereafter triumph over the non-Jews and rule over them forever. (This, it is alleged, will be good for the non-Jews.) All current political developments will either help bring this about sooner or will postpone it. Jewish sins, most particularly lack of faith, can postpone the coming of the Messiah. The delay, however, will not be of long duration, because even the worst sins of the Jews cannot alter the course of redemption. Sins can nevertheless increase the sufferings of Jews prior to the redemption. The two world wars, the Holocaust and other calamitous events of modern history are examples of punishment. The elder Rabbi Kook did not disguise his joy over the loss of lives in World War I; he explained that loss of lives was necessary "in order to begin to break Satan's Power." The followers of the elder Rabbi Kook's pronouncements often have detailed in depth such explanations.
071--Quoting Fisch, Lustick stated that for Gush Emunim this classical idea "is the original delusion of the secular Zionists." The Gush Emunim argument is that secular Zionists measured that "normality" by applying non-Jewish standards that are satanic. The secular Zionists focused upon certain nations that they considered "normal" and asserted that the non-Jews in these normal nations were more advanced than were most diaspora Jews. Because of this, so argued the secular Zionists, Jews should try to emulate those non-Jews by becoming a "normal" people in a "normal" nation state. The Gush Emunim counter argument is: "Jews are not and cannot be a normal people. Their eternal uniqueness ... [is] the result of the covenant God made with them at Mount Sinai." Lustick further explained this Gush Emunim position by quoting one of the group's leaders, Rabbi Aviner: "While God requires other normal nations to abide by abstract codes of justice and righteousness, such laws do not apply to Jews." Haredi rabbis often cited this idea in their writings, but they strictly reserved its glaring consequences for the yet-to-come messianic age. The Halacha supports this reservation by carefully distinguishing between two situations in discussing codes of justice and righteousness. The Halacha permits Jews to rob non-Jews in those locales wherein Jews are stronger than non-Jews. The Halacha prohibits Jews from robbing non-Jews in those locales wherein the non-Jews are stronger. Gush Emunim dispenses with such traditional precautions by claiming that Jews, at least those in Israel and the Occupied Territories, are already living in the beginning of the messianic age.
Lustick failed to explain adequately the messianic age considerations and the distinctions between Jews and non-Jews. Harkabi's treatment was better. In discussing the halachic teaching and the Gush Emunim position regarding murders, Harkabi explained that the murder of a Jew, particularly when committed by a non-Jews, is in Jewish law the worst possible crime. He then quoted the Gush Emunim leader, Rabbi Israel Ariel. Relying upon the Code of Maimonides and the Halacha, Rabbi Ariel stated: "A Jew who killed a non-Jew is exempt from human judgment and has not violated the [religious] prohibition of murder." Harkabi noted further that this should be remembered when "the demand is voiced that all non-Jewish residents of the Jewish state be dealt with according to halachic regulations." Gush Emunim rabbis have continually reiterated that Jews who killed Arabs should not be punished. Gush Emunim members not only help such Jews who are punished by Israel's secular courts but also refuse to call those Jews "murderers." It logically follows that the religious settlers and their followers emphasize the "shedding of Jewish blood" but show little concern about the "shedding of non-Jewish blood." The Gush Emunim influence on Israeli policies can be measured by the fact that the Israeli government's policy on this matter has clearly reflected the Gush Emunim position. The Israeli government under both Labor and Likud leadership has refused to free Palestinian prisoners "with Jewish blood on their hands" but has not hesitated to free prisoners "with non-Jewish blood on their hands."
Another practical consequence of such attitudes is Gush Emunim's impact upon the conduct of the Israeli government in all matters concerning the territories. Gush Emunim continues to encourage Israeli authorities to deal cruelly with Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The refusals of Prime Ministers Rabin, Peres and Netanyahu to advocate the evacuation of even a single Jewish settlement is attributable primarily to the influence of Gush Emunim. Gush Emunim's influence upon all Israeli governments and political leaders of varying political persuasions has been significant.
The Gush Emunim attitude towards Palestinians, always referred to as "Arabs living in Israel," is important. Lustick mostly avoided this subject. Harkabi dealt with it honestly by extensively quoting the statements of Rabbis Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Shiomo Aviner and Israel Ariel. Kook, Aviner and Ariel viewed the Arabs living in Israel as thieves; they based their view upon the premise that all land in Israel was and remained Jewish and that all property found thereon thus belonged to Jews. Harkabi, who learned this when doing the research for his book, expressed his shock: "I never imagined that Israelis would so interpret the concept of historical right." Harkabi listed in sub-chapters of his book the numerous applications and extensions of this doctrine. He pointed out that for Gush Emunim the Sinai and present-day Lebanon are parts of this Jewish land and must be liberated by Israel. Rabbi Ariel published an atlas that designated all lands that were Jewish and needed to be liberated. This included all areas west and south of the Euphrates River extending through present-day Kuwait. Harkabi quoted Rabbi Aviner: "We must live in this land even at the price of war. Moreover, even if there is peace, we must instigate wars of liberation in order to conquer it [the land]." It is not unreasonable to assume that Gush Emunim, if it possessed the power and control, would use nuclear weapons in warfare to attempt to achieve its purpose.
For Gush Emunim, as Harkabi made clear and Lustick indirectly confirmed, the God-ordained inferiority of non-Jews living in the state of Israel extends to categories other than life and property. Gush Emunim has developed a foreign policy for the state of Israel to adopt. This policy stipulates that Arab hostility towards the Jews is theological in nature and is inherent. The conclusion drawn is that the Arab -- Israeli conflict cannot be resolved politically. This conclusion is supported by Lustick's quoting the prominent Gush Emunim leader and former Knesset member, Eliezer Waidman: ""Arab hostility springs, like all anti-Semitism, from the world's recalcitrance to be saved [by the Jews] " (pp. 77 -- 9). Lustick also quoted other Gush Emunim leaders who left no doubt about their refusal to enter into political agreements with "present-day Jewish inhabitants of the land who resist the establishment of Jewish sovereignty over its entirety." Lustick quoted Fisch who argued that Arab resistance could be attributed to Arabs' seeking "to fulfill their collective death-wish." Gush Emunim rabbis, politicians and ideological popularizers have routinely compared Palestinians to the ancient Canaanites, whose extermination or expulsion by the ancient Israelites was, according to the Bible, predestined by a divine design. This genocidal theme of the Bible creates great sympathy for Gush Emunim among many Christian fundamentalists who anticipate that the end of the world will be marked by slaughters and devastation. Gush Emunim has from its inception wanted to expel as many Palestinians as possible. Palestinian terrorist acts allow Gush Emunim spokespeople to disguise their real demand for total expulsion by arguing that expulsion is warranted by "security needs.""
Harkabi quoted the views of Mordechai Nisan, a lecturer at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, that were published in the August 1984 issue of Kivunim, an official publication of the World Zionist Organization (pp. 151 -- 6). According to Nisan, who relied upon Maimonides, a non-Jew permitted to reside in- the land of Israel "must accept paying a tax and suffering the humiliation of servitude." In keeping with a religious text of Maimonides, Nisan, according to Harkabi, demanded that a non-Jew "be held down and not [be allowed to] raise his head against Jews." Paraphrasing Nisan further, Harkabi wrote: "Non-Jews must not be appointed to any office or position of power over Jews. If they refuse to live a life of inferiority, then this signals their rebellion and the unavoidable necessity of Jewish warfare against their very presence in the land of Israel." Such views about non-Jews, published in an official publication of the World Zionist Organization, resemble Nazi arguments about Jews. Harkabi commented: "I do not know how many Jews share his [Nisan's] belief, but the publication of the article in a leading Zionist periodical is a cause for grave concern."
The three following examples of other articles that appeared in Hebrew-language newspapers provide additional analyses of NRP and Gush Emunim attitudes. One of these articles deals with the most extreme group within Gush Emunim, named Emunim (Being Faithful). Established after the formation of the Rabin government in 1992, Emunim is led by Rabbi Benny Alon, the son of retired Deputy President of the Israeli Supreme Court Menahem Alon.
Rabbi Alon, quoted by Nadav Shraggai in his September 18, 1992 Haaretz article, stated: "The method of the mid-i 970s will no longer work under a government whose moral profile is defined by the Meretz Party and whose members' hearts and minds are filled with scorn for the entire land of Israel and for Judaism. They not only want a Palestinian state without any Jews to be established in the very midst of the land of Israel. They also want a secular democratic state to replace the Jewish state of Israel. This government is spiritually rotten. "
Rabbi Alon then contrasted the 1992 government leaders with the Labor leaders of the mid-1980s and before, who "felt like warmhearted Jews feel" and were thus responsive to Gush Emunim's pressures. Alon continued, "But you cannot apply the same methods with the likes of [Meretz MK] Dedi Tzuker or [Meretz member] Moshe Amirav who coordinate their deeds with our enemies." In preparing his September 18, 1992 Maariv article, journalist Avi Raz questioned Alon further and discovered Emunim's tactics: "Emunim wants to discredit Rabin [the then prime minister] by forcing him to rely [for a Knesset majority] on the MKs from the Arab parties and thus to destroy the legitimacy of his government." Rabin and Peres made concessions but nevertheless insisted upon expanding Jewish settlements. In his article Raz quoted Alon further: "From the spiritual point of view Rafael Eitan is wrong and should be criticized when he justifies Jewish settlements on the basis of helping Israeli's security. Security considerations in favor of the settlements are not the point. As I see it, politics rest upon spirituality. A body politic needs a soul. Israel's security and even the survival of the Jewish nation are no more than material dimensions of the spiritual Jewish depth. When we say that we must prevent the formation of a Palestinian state in order to save the Jewish state from extinction, we are not talking about spiritual things. "
As Raz observed: "Blessed with profound spirituality, Alon and his associates go to the United States for five days in order to request Christian fundamentalists to support financially their activities." Alon and his associates succeeded in acquiring some of this requested funding. As Jewish fundamentalists who abominate non-Jews, they forged a spiritual alliance with Christians who believe that supporting Jewish fundamentalism is necessary to support the second coming of Jesus. This alliance has become a significant factor in both US and Middle Eastern politics.
The second example concerns the policies of Gush Emunim itself under the Labor and Meretz government of the i990s. In his October 5, 1992 Haaretz article, Danny Rubinstein quoted Gush Emunim leaders who believed the goal of Rabin's policies was "to destroy root and branch the [Jewish] settlements in the territories and all accomplishments of Zionism." Rubinstein carefully distinguished between the secular Golan Heights settlers and Gush Emunim. The Golan Heights settlers claimed that Rabin's policies were mistaken, because peace with Syria could be reached on Israeli terms. Gush Emunim claimed that "the Washington negotiations [with the PLO] amount to nothing else than a dialogue of human beings with a herd of ravenous wolves, aiming solely at turning the entire land of Israel into the entire land of the Arabs." This does not mean that Gush Emunim declined to take money for its own purposes from the government that negotiated "with a herd of ravenous wolves."
In his October 14, 1992 Haaretz article, Nadav Shraggai discussed a symposium, organized and underwritten by the ministry of religion in conjunction with the ministry of education, headed by Shulamit Aloni. The symposium's theme was: "Is autonomy for resident aliens in the Holy Land feasible?" Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the symposium's major speaker, explained: "Autonomy is tantamount to a denial of the Jewish religion." According to Goren, the Halacha considers the denial of Judaism to be the gravest Jewish sin and enjoins pious Jews to kill those infidels who deny Judaism. Rabbi Goren likened such infidels to those people who advocated autonomy. This indicated that an attempt to assassinate Rabin would occur for religious reasons. Goren argued further that Judaism prohibits "granting any national rights to any group of foreigners in the land of Israel." Goren also denied that a Palestinian nation existed. He asserted: "Palestinians disappeared in the second century ac, and I have not heard of their being resurrected." Goren reassured his audience that, undeterred by widespread infidelities, "the process of redemption, already underway for one hundred years, cannot be reversed when Divine Providence awaits us all the time." Another symposium participant, Rabbi Aviner, concurred with Goren that Judaism forbade granting even a small amount of autonomy to the Palestinians. Rabbi Zalman Melamed, chairman of the Committee of the Rabbis of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, made the same point even more clearly: "No rabbinual authority disputes that it would be ideal if the land of Israel were inhabited by only Jews." Rabbi Shlomo Min-Hahar extended the argument to Muslims and Christians specifically by claiming: "The entire Muslim world is money-grubbing, despicable and capable of anything. All Christians without exception hate the Jews and look forward to their deaths."
Israeli taxpayers, including Muslim and Christian Arabs, paid for this symposium, during which rabbinical leaders delivered such arguments. Prime Minister Rabin and the ministers of religion and education approved and did not utter publicly negative criticism of any of the views expressed. Rabin's approval might be understood as a part of his deliberate encouragement of political programs at variance with what he claimed to favor. Minister of Education Aloni's approval can be understood rationally only as another manifestation of her weakness, carelessness and foolishness. Both Rabin and Aloni visited Germany shortly before this symposium and fiercely condemned publicly the "German hatred of foreigners." They carefully avoided mentioning racist statements and recommendations made by rabbis in Israel about how foreigners should be treated. They did not mention, let alone condemn, Rabbi Melamed's advocacy of transfer, that is, the total expulsion of all non-Jews from the land of Israel. Such mention might have complemented their denunciation of German xenophobia.
The third example, also taken from the Hebrew press, stems from a book of responsa, published in 1990. The book, Intifada Responses, written by the important Gush Emunim rabbi, Shiomo Aviner, provides in plain Hebrew halachic answers to the questions of what pious Jews should do to Palestinians during situations that arise at times similar to the Intifada. The book is divided into brief chapters that contain answers to questions. The answers do not relate to Israeli law. Quotations from the first two chapters (pp. 19-22) illustrate the essence of the questions and answers contained in this book. The first exemplary question in Chapter 1 is: "Is there a difference between punishing an Arab child and an Arab adult for a disturbance of our peace?" The answer begins by cautioning people not conversant with the Halacha that comparisons should not be made between Jewish and Gentile underage minors; "As is known, no Halachic punishments can be inflicted upon Jewish boys below the age of thirteen and Jewish girls below the age of twelve ... Maimonides wrote that this rule applied to Jews alone ... not to any non-Jews. Therefore, any non-Jews, no matter what age, will have to pay for any crime committed." In providing his answer, Rabbi Aviner proceeded to quote another ruling by Maimonides that warned Jews not to punish a non-Jewish child who can be presumed to be "short of wisdom." Aviner concluded that determining whether a non-Jewish child is to be regarded as an adult depends upon whether that child, even if younger than thirteen, has sufficient understanding. According to what Aviner wrote in his book, any Jew is capable of judging whether a non-Jewish child should in this sense be considered and punished as an adult. The second exemplary question is: "What shall we do if an Arab child intends to threaten a [Jewish] life?" Rabbi Aviner explained that all prior responsa dealt only with the actual commissions of crimes by non-Jewish children. He explained in this answer that if a non-Jewish child intended to commit murder, for example, by throwing a stone at a passing car, that the non-Jewish child should be considered a "persecutor of the Jews" and should be killed. Citing Maimonides as his authority, Aviner maintained that killing the non-Jewish child in this instance is necessary to save Jewish life.
In the second chapter of his book Rabbi Aviner posed and answered a single question: "Does the Halacha permit inflicting the death penalty upon Arabs who throw stones?" His answer was that inflicting such a punishment is not only permitted but is mandatory. This punishment, moreover, is not reserved for stone throwers but can be invoked for other reasons. Aviner asserted that a rabbinical court or a king of Israel "has the power to punish anyone by death if it is believed that the world will thereby be improved." The rabbinical court or king of Israel can alternatively punish non-Jews and wicked Jews by beating them mercilessly, by imprisoning them under the most severe conditions and/or by inflicting upon them other extreme suffering. Gush Emunim spokespeople have argued that this power of the rabbinical court and king of Israel can devolve to the Israeli government, provided that government abides by the correct religious rulings. The punishments, mentioned here, should be invoked if the authorities believe that such punishment will deter other wicked people. Aviner made clear his preference was to invoke the death penalty and-/or severe flogging upon any non-Jew found guilty of intending to throw stones at Jews.
The discussion in this chapter should distinguish qualitatively the Gush Emunim-NRP form from the Haredi form of Jewish fundamentalism. The greater potential danger clearly rests with the Gush Emunim and the NRP, because their members have involved themselves in the state in order to sanctify Israel.
083--The messianic ideology, described in the prior chapter, and the many pronouncements of messianic rabbis and lay leaders show that the aim of Gush Emunim, unlike the aim of Israeli governments, is not limited to the strategic value of utilizing settlements to keep control of the Occupied Territories. The more important aim of Gush Emunim leaders is to create in their homogeneous settlements models of a new society. They hope this new society will spread until it finally absorbs the secular, traditional and Haredi Jewish population of the state of Israel into the collective Jewish identity that they envision. This identity will, they believe, be the religious, ethnocentric, anti-liberal and anti-universalist society ordered by God. In attempting to conceptualize their plan, Gush Emunim leaders can tolerate democracy only so long as it helps to create the divine Jewish kingdom. They believe that any values not consistent with Jewish values, as established by the Halacha and Cabbala, should be suppressed. Human and civil rights, as well as the concept of statehood, should be established by a specified divinely inspired group of rabbis. These views became more widely acceptable in Israeli society, especially among NRP members, after the October 1973 war. In that war secular Israeli militarism suffered a defeat. The widely perceived failure of generals led to the formation of an esoteric elite that supposedly derived its knowledge from a higher source than mere strategic considerations. Some of the leading generals in that war were regarded as hedonists who were careless with the military affairs entrusted to them; Gush Emunim rabbis and lay leaders appeared to many Israeli Jews to be endowed with dedication, a sense of mission, moral superiority, strict honesty in financial affairs and a sense of their own certitude. This characterization, similar to that of Hamas leaders in Palestinian society, continued thereafter. Gush Emunim leaders have remained dedicated to their principles and are financially honest. In a society pervaded by many kinds of corruption, this is most important. Gush Emunim has been and still is endowed, moreover, with a territorial base of its own, replete with dedicated followers who can expertly handle weapons and execute military operations.
The power of Gush Emunim increased significantly between 1974 and 1992. In addition to its own members it acquired a periphery of supporters with varying degrees of commitment. Perhaps its greatest achievement after 1974 was its ability to influence Israeli Jewish culture and collective identity during a period when ethnocentric ideas rose to the fore in Israeli society. Most of the political right wing, as well as many Labor Party supporters, remained sympathetic to Gush Emunim so long as Palestinians in the territories remained relatively docile.
099--Barnea made clear that the entire Israeli establishment, not just the army, was responsible for the leniency granted to Goldstein for his misdeeds. The leniency lasted until the massacre. Only after the massacre did the official line change to shock, coupled with assertions that Goldstein had acted alone. Thus, during the first three hours after the slaughter Rabin and his retinue insisted either that Goldstein was a psychopath or that he was a devoted doctor who happened to suffer a momentary derangement. Barnea reported: "Within hours a whole edifice of rationalization was built, according to which Goldstein had allegedly been under unbearable mental pressure, because he had to attend so many wounded and dead [persons], including Arabs." The men who propagated this lie knew that Goldstein had refused to treat Arabs. Barnea continued: "Thus, the Arabs were made guilty for what he could not avoid doing. The implication was that the Arabs assaulted him rather than the other way around and that he really acted for the benefit of the Arabs by letting them finally realize that Jewish blood could not be shed with impunity." This brazen lie was maintained as long as possible before being abandoned without apology. The propagation of such a lie reveals the influence of Jewish fundamentalism upon the secular parts of the Israeli establishment.
Goldstein represented Jewish fundamentalism in the extreme. Some of the Gush Emunim leaders at the time of the massacre were only a bit less extreme. Barnea compared Goldstein's attitude toward non-Jews with that of Rabbi Levinger, the Gush Emunim leader whom he interviewed on the day of the massacre: "Levinger was in a good mood; after arguing about how religious settlers should respond to the massacre, he shortly before had won the three hour debate at a session of the Kiryat Arba municipality. The secretary of the Council ofJudea, Samara and Gaza District, Uri Ariel, [who became director of the prime minister's office in 1998] proposed condemning the massacre. Levinger staked his authority behind the proposal that the [Israeli] government should instead be condemned [for putting Goldstein] under unbearable mental pressure [propelling him to action]. "
In the discussion the terms "murder," "massacre" or "killing" were avoided; instead the terms used were "deed," "event" or "occurrence." The reason is that according to the Halacha the killing by a Jew of a non-Jew under any circumstances is not regarded as murder. It may be prohibited for other reasons, especially when it causes danger for Jews. In many cases the real feelings about a Jew murdering non-Jews, expressed in Israel with impunity, correspond to the law. Levinger told Barnea that the resolution "expresses in passing" the sorrow about dead Arabs "even though it emphasizes the responsibility of the government." When asked by Barnea whether he felt sorry, Levinger answered: "I am sorry not only about dead Arabs but also about dead flies."
Goldstein on principle had refused to treat non-Jews for many years before the massacre. He worked as the municipal doctor of Kiryat Arba and treated Arabs only when he could not avoid doing so. Barnea quoted one of Goldstein's colleagues from the Kiryat Arba clinic who recalled that "whenever Goldstein arrived at a traffic accident spot and recognized that some of the injured were Arabs, he would attend to them but only until another doctor arrived. Then, he would stop treating them. 'This was his compromise between his doctor's oath and his ideology,' said his colleague."
The Halacha enjoins precisely the behavior of Goldstein's refusing to attend non-Jews. The Halacha dictates that a pious Jewish doctor may treat Gentiles when his refusal to do so might be reported to the authorities and cause him or other Jews unpleasantness. There is reason to believe that whenever doctors as pious as Goldstein were forced to treat Arabs they behaved as did Goldstein. In his previously cited Yediot Ahronot article, Arych Kizel added that the Israeli army found that Goldstein's conduct did not require any disciplinary measures. A Maariv correspondent wrote in his March 8, 1994 article that Goldstein's military service record was sufficiently distinguished to earn him a ceremonial promotion from the rank of captain to that of major. The president of Israel would have officially awarded this promotion on April 14, 1994, Israel's independence day. Only Goldstein's death, which occurred at the time of the massacre, prevented what would have been a revealing promotion.
An even greater example of Jewish fundamentalism's influence upon the secular part of the Israeli establishment can be detected in the official arrangement of Goldstein's elaborate funeral at a time that the deliberate character of the massacre could not be denied. The establishment was affected by the fact, widely reported in the Hebrew press but given little place in the foreign press, that within two days of the massacre the walls of religious neighborhoods of west Jerusalem (and to a lesser extent of many other religious neighborhoods) were covered by posters extolling Goldstein's virtues and complaining that he did not manage to kill more Arabs. Children of religious settlers who came to Jerusalem to demonstrate sported buttons for months after the massacre that were inscribed: "Dr Goldstein cured Israel's ills." Numerous concerts of Jewish religious music and other events often developed into demonstrations of tribute to Goldstein. The Hebrew press reported these incidents of public tribute in copious detail. No major politician protested against such celebrations.
President Weizman expressed more extravagantly than others his sorrow for the massacre. Weizman, as reported by Uzi Benziman in his March 4, 1994 Haaretz article, was also engaged in lengthy and amiable negotiations with Goldstein's family and Kach comrades concerning a suitably honorable funeral for the murderer. Kiryat Arba settlers, many of whom had already declared themselves in favor of the mass murder in radio and television interviews and had lauded Goldstein as a martyr and holy man, demanded that General Yatom, the commander responsible for the Hebron area, allow the funeral cortege to parade through the city of Hebron, in order to be viewed by the Arabs even though a curfew existed. Yatom did not object outright to the demand but opposed it as something that could cause disorder. Tzvi Katzover, the mayor of Kiryat Arba and one of the most extreme leaders of the religious settlers, telephoned Weizman and threatened that the settlers would make a pogrom of Arabs if their demands were not met. Weizman responded by telephoning the chief of staff and asking why the army opposed the demand of the settlers. According to Benziman, Chief of Staff Barak answered: "The army was afraid that Arabs would desecrate Goldstein's tomb and carry away his corpse." In further negotiations involving Barak, Yatom, Rabin, Kach leaders and Kiryat Arba settlers, Weizman assumed the consistent position, as stated by Benziman, that "the army should pay respect to the desires and sensibilities of the settlers and of the Goldstein family." Ultimately, the negotiated decision was that a massively attended funeral cortege would take place in Jerusalem and that the police would close some of the busiest streets to the traffic in Goldstein's honor. Afterwards, the murderer would be buried in Kiryat Arba along the continuation of Kahane Avenue. According to Benziman, Kach leaders at first rejected this compromise. General Yatom had to approach the Kach leaders in person and beg them abjectly for their agreement, which he finally secured. Yatom also had to obtain consent from the notorious Kiryat Arba rabbi, Dov Lior. As reported in the March 4, 1994, issue of Yerushalaim Lior declared: "Since Goldstein did what he did in God's own name, he is to be regarded as a righteous man." Benziman explained the conduct of Weizman and his entourage: "After the fact the officials of the presidential mansion justify those goings on by the need to becalm the settlers' mood." After the funeral the army provided a guard of honor for Goldstein's tomb.
The tomb became a pilgrimage site, not only for the religious settlers but also for delegations of pious Jews from all Israeli cities.
The details of Goldstein's funeral as arranged through the office of President Weizman are significant. The facts below were taken mostly from the Ilana Baum and Tzvi Singer report, published in Yediot Ahronot on February, 28 1994. The funeral's first installment took place in Jerusalem. Among the estimated thousand mourners only a few were settlers from Kiryat Arba. Baum and Singer noted: "Without having met Goldstein personally, other mourners most of whom were Jerusalemites, were enthusiastic admirers of his deed. Many more were Yeshiva students. A large group represented the Chabad Hassidic movement, another group [consisted of anti-Zionist] Satmar Hassids." Other Hassidic movements were also well represented. (Not mentioned in the English-language press, Goldstein, a follower of Kahane, was also a follower of the Lubovitcher rabbi.) Baum and Singer continued: "People awaiting the arrival of the corpse could be heard repeating: "What a hero! A righteous person! He did it on behalf of all of us." As usual in such encounters between religious Jews, all the participants tuned into a single, collective personality, united by their burning hatred of the Israeli media, the wicked Israeli government and, above all else, of anyone who dared to speak against the murder. "
Before the start of the procession well-known rabbis eulogized Goldstein and commended the murder. Rabbi Israel Ariel, for example, said: "The holy martyr, Baruch Goldstein, is from now on our intercessor in heaven. Goldstein did not act as an individual; he heard the cry of the land of Israel, which is being stolen from us day after day by the Muslims. He acted to relieve that cry of the land!" Toward the end of his eulogy Rabbi Ariel added: "The Jews will inherit the land not by any peace agreement but only by shedding blood." Ben-Shoshan Yeshu'a, a Jewish underground member, sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and amnestied after a few years spent under luxurious hotel conditions, lauded Goldstein and praised his action as an example for other Jews to follow.
Border guards, police and the secret police protected the funeral cortege. Baum and Singer related: "An entire unit of border guards precede the cortege; they were followed by young Kahane group members from Jerusalem who continuously yelled: "death to the Arabs." While obviously intending to find an Arab to kill, they could not spot one. Suddenly, a border guard noticed an Arab approaching the cortege behind a low fence. The border guard immediately jumped over the fence, stopped the Arab and, using force, led him away to safety before anyone could notice. He [the border guard] thus saved him [the Arab] from a certain lynching. "
Behind the young Kahane group members was a coffin, which was surrounded by leaders of Kahane splinter groups, some of whom were wanted by the police. (The police and the secret police claimed later that they did not recognize these wanted leaders. The press correspondents easily recognized them.) Baum wrote: "Tiran Pollak, a Kahane group leader wanted by the police, granted me an interview near the coffin. "Goldstein was not only righteous and holy," he told me, "but also a martyr. Since he is a martyr, his corpse will be buried without being washed, not in a shroud but in his clothes. The honorable Dr Goldstein has always refused to provide medical help to Arabs. Even during the war for Galilee he refused to treat any Arab, including those serving in the army. General Gad Navon, the chief rabbi of the Israeli army, at that time contacted Meir Kahane to ask him to persuade Baruch Goldstein of blessed memory to treat the Arabs. Kahane, however, refused to do so, because this would be against the Jewish religion." Suddenly the crowd began yelling: "Death to the journalists." I looked around and realized that I was the only journalist inside the crowd of mourners. I clung to Tiran Pollak and begged him to "please protect me." I was scared to death that the crowd might recognize me as a journalist. "
Military guards transported Goldstein's coffin to Kiryat Arba through Palestinian villages. A second round of eulogies was delivered in the hail of the Hesder Yeshiva Nir military institution by a motley of religious settlers, including the aforementioned Rabbi Dov Lior. Lior said: "Goldstein was full of love for fellow human beings. He dedicated himself to helping others." The terms "human beings" and "others" in the Halacha refer solely to Jews. Lior continued: "Goldstein could not continue to bear the humiliations and shame nowadays inflicted upon us; this was why he took action for no other reason than to sanctify the holy name of God."
Tohay Hakah reported in Yerushalaim on March 4, 1994 upon another Lior eulogy of Goldstein a few days after the funeral. He recalled that Lior several years ago was excoriated in the press for recommending that medical experiments be performed on the live bodies of Arab terrorists. The outcry against this recommendation influenced the attorney general to prevent the otherwise guaranteed election of Lior to the Supreme Rabbinical Council of Israel. The attorney general, however, did not interfere with Lior's current rabbinical duties. The press reported upon other eulogies, delivered not only in religious settlements but in religious neighborhoods of many Israeli towns during the days immediately following the slaughter. The Hebrew press reportage of these eulogies suggests that the most virulent lauding of Goldstein and the calling for further massacres of Arabs occurred in the more homogeneous religious communities.
The approval of Goldstein and his mass murder extended well beyond the perimeters of the religious Jewish community. Secular Israeli Jews, especially many of the youth, praised Goldstein and his deed. That Israeli youth were even more pleased by the massacre than were the adults is well-documented. The concern here nevertheless will be with the adult population, which in many ways is the most significant. According to Yuval Katz, who wrote an article published in the March 4, 1994 issue of Yerushalaim, it is not true that "with the exception of a few psychopaths, the entire nation and its politicians included, has resolutely condemned Dr Goldstein, even though, luckily for us, all major television networks in the world were last week still deluded by this untruth." Katz told how a popular television entertainer, Rafi Reshef, who was not controlled as tightly as the moderators in sedate panels, "could this week announce the findings of some reliable polls." Katz continued: "It is important that according to one poll about 50 per cent of Kiryat Arba inhabitants approve of the massacre. More important is another poll that showed that about 50 per cent of Israeli Jews are more sympathetic toward the settlers after the massacre than they were before the massacre. The most important poll established that at least 50 per cent of Israeli Jews would approve of the massacre, provided that it was not referred to as a massacre but rather as a "Patriarch's Cave operation," a nice-sounding term already being used by religious settlers. "
Katz reported that the politicians and academics interviewed by Reshef failed to grasp the significance of those findings. Attributing them to a chance occurrence, they refused to comment upon them. He tended to excuse them: "I presume that those busy public figures, along with everybody else who this week exerted himself to speak in the name of the entire nation simply did not have time to walk the streets in the last days. Yet, with the exception of the wealthiest neighborhoods, people could be seen smiling merrily when talking about the massacre. The stock popular comment was: "Sure, Goldstein is to be blamed. He could have escaped with ease and have done the same in four other mosques, but he didn't." "
The impression of many other Israelis corresponded to the Reshef findings. People were rather evenly divided into two categories: in one category the people were vociferous in cheering the slaughter; in the other category the people mostly remained silent and condemned the massacre only if encouraged to do so. Katz continued: "Therefore, this was the right time to draw finally the obvious conclusion that we, the Jews, are not any more sensitive or merciful than are the Gentiles. Many Jews have been programmed by the same racist computer program that is shaping the majority of the world's nations. We have to acknowledge that our supposed advancement in progressive beliefs and democracy have failed to affect the archaic forms of Jewish tribalism. Those who still delude themselves that Jews might be different than [people ofJ other nations should now know better. The spree of bullets from Goldstein's gun was for them an occasion to learn something. "
The wise comments of Katz were not heeded in Israel except by a minority. It may be that had more Israeli Jews paid attention and heeded the words of Katz the murder of Yitzhak Rabin would have been averted. In the view of this book's authors, the important difference between the real shock caused by Rabin's murder and the lack of shock caused by Goldstein's massacre lies in the fact that Goldstein's victims were non-Jews.
Although less direct than Katz, many other commentators in the Israeli Hebrew press have focused upon that part of the Israeli Jewish public who were shocked by the rejoicing over the massacre of innocent people and disturbed by the apologia offered by many politicians and public figures. Some of those people who were shocked described the backers of and apologists for Goldstein as "Nazis" or "Nazi-like." These same people, who can be considered moderate hawks rather than Zionist doves, had before the massacre reacted negatively to the use by a few Israeli Jewish critics of such terminology in describing a part of the Israeli Jewish population. These "moderate hawks" had habitually labeled many Arab organizations, such as the Abu Nidal group and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, "Nazi" or "Nazi-like." They did not repudiate their views about these Arab organizations; they merely concluded that some Jewish individuals and organizations also merit being so labeled on equal terms with some Arabs. The prestigious journalist, Teddy Preuss, reflected upon all of this in a most severe but substantially representative manner in his March 4, 1994 Davar article: "Compared to the giant-scale mass murderers of Auschwitz, Goldstein was certainly a petty murderer. His recorded statements and those of his comrades, however, prove that they were perfectly willing to exterminate at least two million Palestinians at an opportune moment. This makes Dr Goldstein comparable to Dr Mengele; the same holds true for anyone saying that he [or she] would welcome more of such Purim holiday celebrations. [The massacre occurred on that holiday.] Let us not devalue Goldstein by comparing him with an inquisitor or a Muslim Jihad fighter. Whenever an infidel was ready to convert to either Christianity or Islam, an inquisitor or Muslim Jihad fighter would, as a rule, spare his life. Goldstein and his admirers are not interested in converting Arabs to Judaism. As their statements abundantly testify, they see the Arabs as nothing more than disease-spreading rats, lice or other loathsome creatures; this is exactly how the Nazis believed that the Aryan race alone had laudable qualities that were inheritable but that could become polluted by sheer contact with dirty and morbid Jews. Kahane, who learned nothing from the Nuremberg Laws, had exactly the same notions about the Arabs. "
Really, Kahane had the same notions about non-Jews. Although less scathing than Preuss, other Israeli commentators suggested the same consideration.
In contrast to the above criticism were the even more numerous comments about the harm caused to Israeli Jews by the Goldstein massacre. The lament in the February 28, 1994 Haaretz Economic Supplement, for example, was headlined: "Goldstein's massacre caused distress on the Tel-Aviv stock market." Other papers voiced similar sentiments. More importantly, Shimon Peres and other senior dovish politicians presented a typical political apologia in their criticism of the massacre, which they delivered in a meeting of the Knesset Committee for Foreign and Defense Affairs. Specific detail of this meeting is included below to illustrate the real opinions of most Israeli politicians and their general disregard of a major massacre of non-Jews except as it affected the interests of Israel and its allies. A March 8, 1994 Haaretz article reported the discussion at this meeting. Peres wasted no time expressing heartfelt shock about the murdered Palestinians but spoke instead about the harm to Israel caused by the "pictures of corpses that the entire world could watch." Peres did not condemn the armed religious settlers for their public rejoicing and shooting; he deplored the harm caused to Israel and to themselves by the pictures of them.
111--About one year later the Kiryat Arba municipality obtained a permit from the Civil Administration of the Occupied Territories to build a large and sumptuous memorial on Goldstein's tomb, which has become a place of pilgrimage. Thousands of Jews from all Israeli cities, and even more from the United States and France, have come to light candles and pray for the intercession of "holy saint and martyr," now in a special section of paradise close to God and able to obtain for them various benefits, such as cures for diseases from which they suffer, or to grant them male offspring. The visitors have donated money for Goldstein's comrades. No Orthodox rabbi has criticized this.
The well-publicized worship of the new saint has brought increasing opposition from secular Jews. (The opposition of Palestinians, especially those living in Hebron, to the hero-worship of Goldstein and to the monument to this mass murderer are not within the scope of this book but should be obvious.) After a long campaign in the press, Knesset members passed a piece of legislation in May, 1998, that prohibited the building of monuments for mass murderers and ordering removal of existing ones. The Israeli army should have removed the monument immediately after passage of the law in the Knesset. Instead army spokesmen announced that negotiations over the Goldstein monument were on-going with Goldstein's family and local rabbis.
The book in praise of Goldstein, titled Blessed the Male, was published in 1995 and sold in many editions. Most of the readers were from the religious public. The book contained eulogies of Goldstein and halachic justifications for the right of every Jew to kill non-Jews. Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh, the then head of the Kever Yosef (tomb of Joseph) Yeshiva, located on the outskirts of Nablus, wrote one chapter of that book. The essence of Rabbi Ginsburgh's views were presented in Chapter 4. His and other such ideologies, even if expressed more cautiously, explain Goldstein's massacre, the considerable support Goldstein and later his followers have received from religious Jews and the ambiguous attitude of Israeli governments to this crime. Those people, especially Germans, who were silent and did not condemn Nazi ideology before Hitler came to power are also, at least in a moral sense, guilty for the terrible consequences that followed. Similarly, those who are silent and do not condemn Jewish Nazism, as exemplified by the ideologies of Goldstein and Ginsburgh, especially if they are Jews, are guilty of the terrible consequences that may yet develop as a result of their silence.
114--The violence between Jews did not end with the loss of Jewish independence and the ceasing of Jewish rebellions. (The last Jewish rebellion occurred in AD 614.) From the Middle Ages until the advent of the modem state, Jewish communities enjoyed a great degree of autonomy. The rabbis who headed and had the authority in these communities were most often able to persecute Jews mercilessly. The rabbis persecuted Jews who committed religious sins and even more harshly persecuted Jews who informed upon other Jews to non-Jews or in other ways harmed Jewish interests. The rabbis generally tolerated violence committed by some Jews against other Jews, especially against women, so long as the Jewish religion and their own interests were not harmed. The relevancy of this aspect of Jewish history to the Rabin murder is obvious. The assassin, Yigal Amir, is a talmudic scholar who was trained in a yeshiva that inculcated its students to believe that this violence committed by rabbis over a lengthy time period was in accordance with God's word.
132--Because of the relatively tolerant and more modem Dutch regime, the Jewish community of Amsterdam could only excommunicate Spinoza. As much as members of that community desired to do so, they could not flog or kill Spinoza; they could not compel Spinoza to make public confession in the synagogue that he had sinned in his commentaries and statements about Judaism. The Jewish community could only excommunicate Spinoza and forbid him from attending the synagogue. A few years before Spinoza's excommunication, the Jewish community of Amsterdam excommunicated Uriel D'Acusta for similar reasons. D'Acusta, however, was not endowed with Spinoza's firmness and could not stand his exclusion from the synagogue and from Jewish community life. D'Acusta asked the rabbis to reinstate him. The rabbis sentenced him not only to the usual confession but also to lie at the synagogue entrance so that congregation members could trample on him before praying to God. D'Acusta accepted the conditions and, after both confessing and being trampled upon, was duly forgiven. He, however, again came thereafter to have heretical views. Fearing another excommunication and something even worse than being trampled underfoot as a recurrent sinner, he committed suicide. A comparison between the fates of Spinoza and D'Acusta suggests two lessons for contemporary Jews who do not wish to submit to the tyranny often prevalent in Jewish orthodoxy: 1) An intellectual compromise with Jewish orthodoxy is no more possible than is an intellectual compromise with any other totalitarian system. 2) An apologetic approach to the Jewish past, which is in reality false beautification and falsification of one part of Jewish history and is intended to remove the horrors and persecutions that Jews suffered at the hands of their own authorities and rabbis, only increases the dangers of a developing Jewish "Khomeinism." In Israel such compromise increases the danger of a Jewish state that could become dominated by rabbis who will not hesitate to punish other Jews as did their revered predecessors when not prevented from doing so by an outside power.
We have seen that formal and legal infliction of severe punishments depended upon the amount of Jewish autonomy that existed in specific places at specific times. Russia, Prussia and Austria, as previously noted, after their conquest of Poland, abolished Jewish autonomy and subjected Jews to the ordinary criminal law of their countries. As bad as that criminal law was, it was on balance better and more humane than the Jewish law as applied by the rabbis. Jewish communities that were suddenly deprived of their power to persecute heretics found it difficult to accustom themselves to a new situation. The relatively lax police supervision that existed in Tsarist Russia during most of the nineteenth century allowed Jewish authorities to persecute religious innovators through riots, which were similar to what were called "pogroms" when committed by non-Jews against Jews. Until 1881 in Russia, the number of riots by Jews against other Jews probably exceeded the number of pogroms by non-Jews against Jews. The previously persecuted Hassids were the major and worst persecutors; they were especially active against the emerging Hebrew press of that time that appeared before the rise of the Yiddish press. The Hebrew press antagonized the Hassids mainly by reporting and protesting against the religious persecution by rabbis and their followers. In order to avert persecution by Jewish rioters, most of the Hebrew papers were printed and issued in St. Petersburg or behind the Prussian border, where the police were strong and the small Jewish communities mostly consisted of educated individuals.
139--The reason for the willful ignorance of this danger, shared by many Israeli Jews, including Rabin himself, was in our view Jewish chauvinism, which is so prevalent among Jews. The chauvinists falsify the history of their nation in order to make it appear better than it really was. They also falsify the current situation by claiming that their nation is the best. This claim, often made by too many Jews, is especially dangerous when reinforced by a combination of religious fanaticism and willful ignorance. Jewish chauvinism is especially virulent, because the identification between Jewish religion and Jewish nationality has prevailed for so long and still prevails among many Jews. It should not be forgotten that democracy and the rule of law were brought into Judaism from the outside. Before the advent of the modern state, Jewish communities were mostly ruled by rabbis who employed arbitrary and cruel methods as bad as those employed by totalitarian regimes. The dearest wish of the current Jewish fundamentalists is to restore this state of affairs.
146--The new Israeli historians have presented evidence showing that until the 1 880s the killings of Jewish informers by Jews in the Tsarist Empire were numerous. In his article dealing with the new Israeli historians Rosen quoted the writer, Shaul Ginzberg, who wrote in his autobiography that during the nineteenth century hundreds of Jewish informers were drowned in the Dnieper, the largest river flowing in the "Pale." These informers were charged and convicted under the law of the informers simply because they were suspected of informing the authorities about something. Rosen wrote: "Like Avraham Cohen, some of them acted because of ideological reasons such as the wish to bring the Jewish community to a modern way of life." Dr David Asaf researched some of those affairs and said: "Some of the informers were professionals who gave the authorities information about tax concealment, but even in such cases, judging them by what amounts to rabbinical martial courts and their execution by what amounts to lynching help us to understand the conflict between the enlightened Jews and the Orthodox, particularly the Hassids." As previously shown, a Jewish informer was condemned to death in secret without being able to say anything in his own defense. This mode of execution was employed for hundreds of years until the recent time. Rosen asked Asaf if the Jewish community regarded those informers as traitors. Asaf responded: "They were not so regarded by the enlightened Jews. More than this, the enlightened Jews wanted the Jews to be citizens of the state. This included in their view paying taxes and serving in the army. Giving information to authorities was in many cases a necessary thing in their view. If you compare the situation to the one existing [in Israel] now [one year after the assassination of Rabin] then, with some changes, the present conflict is similar to what went on then. "
To show what was involved, Asaf recounted an affair he had researched involving a famous Hassidic rabbi from the town of Rozin, Israel Friedman, who was known as the "holy man of Rozin." Friedman as a major Hassidic personage was important, because the Hassidic movement played a major role in those assassinations. Asaf related, as reported by Rosen: "Friedman was one of the greatest Hassidic leaders. In Jewish history books he is represented as a person of small scholarly knowledge but also as a man of power who enjoyed the delights of life. He was instrumental in the issuing of the law of the pursuer against some informers from the town of Oshitz in the Podolia district of the Ukraine. In February, 1836; a corpse of one of the persons, Yitzhak Oxman, was found beneath blocks of ice on the frozen river. The corpse was so mutilated, apparently as a result of torture, that it was difficult to identify. Only some time thereafter, when the corpse was taken out of its grave, were new witnesses able to identify it. The corpse of the other murdered person, Shmuel Schwatzman, disappeared. We now know that he was strangled while praying in the synagogue. His corpse was cut into pieces and burned in the oven that heated the community bath. Following a police investigation, in which even Tsar Nicolai I was interested, it was established that the Jews of the community where the murder was committed, including relatives of the murdered persons, knew perfectly well what had taken place and how it was carried out. Everyone stayed silent either because of strong discipline or because of fear. This case was one of the few in which a secret rabbinical court, which issues unwritten verdicts of the law of the pursuer and death punishments, was discovered. Yosef Perl, one of the chiefs of the enlightened Jews of Galicia, secretly supplied information to the Russian authorities in order to bring about the conviction of Rabbi Yisrael of Rozin. "
Asaf, who also described other Hassidic murders, said that Perl, who hated the Hassids, acted for reasons that he believed to be ideological. Rosen, in interviewing the new historians, discovered that the various Hassids also struggled violently with one another mainly because of economic interests. He wrote: "Since the Hassids gave money to their holy men and some of the latter adopted a nineteenth century way of life that rivaled the luxuries of contemporary kings, they were interested in the places from which their incomes came."
Pre-modern Judaism was characterized by many cases of inter-Jewish violence, of which the few cases mentioned above are merely representative. These few cases, however, are sufficient to show that Jewish fundamentalism in Israel, both in its messianic and Haredi forms, is a reversion to a situation that existed before the onset of modernization and the loss of the type of Jewish autonomy with its arbitrary powers that allowed killing or otherwise severely punishing informers. What occurred in Jewish fundamentalism is not dissimilar to what occurred in other forms of fundamentalism. Some innovations have been made, largely to disguise true intent. The predominant wish ideologically is to return to the supposedly "good times" when everything was seen and kept in proper order. In the case of the Jewish messianic variety of fundamentalism, the idea is to use modern methods to achieve the power to re-establish the traditional way of life in an effectual manner. The dangers of Jewish fundamentalism being established in Israel as at least part of the ruling power are great. For non-Jews in the Middle East, the Arabs and especially the Palestinians, the main danger is in and with the messianic variety of Jewish fundamentalism. This is most apparent in the role of the Jewish religious settlers in the Occupied Territories. For Israeli Jews who will not accept the tenets of Jewish fundamentalism, however, all varieties are dangerous. The Jewish fundamentalist attitude towards heretics is much worse than is the attitude towards non-Jews. This is analogous to the situation in other religions. A contemporary example is the attitude of the Iranian regime to Baha'ists, regarded as Muslim heretics, which is much worse than the attitude towards Christians and Jews. Our firm belief is that a fundamentalist Jewish regime, if it came to power in Israel, would treat Israeli Jews who did not accept its tenets worse than it would treat Palestinians. This book is an attempt to provide wider understanding of Jewish fundamentalism and hopefully help avert the danger from becoming a reality.
150--Note on Bibliography and Related Matters
Serious books describing a social phenomenon usually contain a bibliographical listing or essay, detailing and perhaps briefly discussing the primary and secondary sources consulted by the authors. For some years we have read a significant number of books in English and Hebrew that are concerned with Judaism and the state of Israel. In our book we decided to refer only minimally to those books in English; we relied primarily upon the Israeli Hebrew press, basic Jewish religious (and in a few cases literary) texts and some learned Hebrew articles, published in Israeli journals and magazines. We identified these in our text. Our first reason for doing this is that Hebrew sources are, with few exceptions, the most pertinent in dealing with Jewish fundamentalism in Israel. We are nevertheless aware that the number of books that focus on aspects of or background to our topic, published in English and languages other than Hebrew, is large. We wish to offer an explanation about why we did not cite, and most often ignored, much of this voluminous literature.
We believe that the great majority of the books on Judaism and Israel, published in English especially, falsify their subject matter. The falsification is sometimes a result of explicit lying but is mostly the result of omission of major facts that may create what the authors consider to be an adverse view of their subjects. Many of the books that fit into this category are comparable to much of the literature produced in totalitarian systems, whether religious or secular and whether or not embodied in a state. We do not deny that books on Israel and Judaism published in English have value; they may, and often do, contain correct and valuable information. Books about the USSR under Stalin or his successors written by Stalinists, books about Iran written by followers of Khomeini, books on Christian fundamentalism written by its adherents often contain correct and valuable information. Many other analagous examples exist. What usually makes such books unreliable are not so much the lies but rather the purposeful omissions. Regarding Judaism and Israel, the omissions are more blatant and numerous in books published in English outside of Israel than they are in Israel's Hebrew literature. The omissions pertinent to our subject of Jewish fundamentalism exist for the same apologetic reasons as do the literary omissions in any totalitarian system. The information freely available in Hebrew can and should be used to redress apologia by omissions in English. The coverage in Hebrew of Jewish fundamentalism is more complete and is not riddled with omissions, because, as our book shows, Jewish fundamentalism poses an immediate threat to the beliefs and style of life of a majority of Israeli Jews. Jewish fundamentalism, if it increases in strength, could destroy Israeli democracy; this danger does not exist in the diaspora where Jews, even when supporting the worst aspects of Jewish fundamentalism, benefit from democracy and pluralism. In our view the state of Israel has faults that have been and still are caused by the nature of Zionism and by the open and hidden influences of Jewish fundamentalism. To exchange the present reality of the state of Israel for a Jewish fundamentalist state of either the Haredi or messianic variety would create a far worse situation for Jews, Palestinians and perhaps the entire Middle East. We believe that our book, based primarily upon Hebrew sources, correctly points out this danger for the first time in English.
To document our above comments, we shall present a short list of important issues in Israel and in Jewish history of the diaspora before the modern period, which are relevant for Jewish fundamentalism but are nevertheless omitted from the literature in English about Israel and Judaism. We shall first consider two issues, closely connected to Jewish fundamentalism, that are not specifically mentioned in our book. We shall thereafter present some issues that, although discussed in our book, are not mentioned in the voluminous literature in English. During the Labor Party primaries of the 1999 Israeli election campaigns, accusations appeared in the Hebrew press claiming that fraud in the vote counts occurred in Druze and Arab sectors of the party. The use of such expressions should raise concern. Political parties in the United States and Britain do not specify Jewish, non-Jewish or similar sectors. Readers of the Israeli Hebrew press know that an Arab or Druze, that is, a non-Jew who is an Israeli citizen, even if living in Tel-Aviv or Haifa, cannot belong to the Labor Party branch of her or his neighborhood; that person must belong to one of the two sectors that exist for Druze and Arabs respectively. Jews cannot belong to one of those sectors. Consequently, an Arab living in Tel-Aviv votes in the primaries of the Israeli Labor Party only as a member of the Arab sector and not together with her or his neighbors. Other types of sectors also exist, based upon social structure in the Labor Party. The kibbutzim sector is one example. In these other sectors membership fluctuates according to the natural movements of population, not according to racist criteria. A kibbutz member of the Labor Party who leaves the Kibbutz to settle in Tel-Aviv becomes a member of the party branch of that person's new neighborhood; conversely, a Tel-Aviv member of the Labor Party who joins a kibbutz automatically becomes a member of the kibbutz sector. In contrast, an Arab member of the Labor Party remains an Arab wherever that person lives, confined ethnically or more precisely religiously. Such a proposal for the operation of political parties in the United States or Great Britain would be quickly labeled and condemned correctly as anti-Semitic. Such a proposal would be roundly discussed in the press and in other literature concerned with the United States and/or Great Britain. In the voluminous descriptions in English of Israel, this phenomenon, although known in Israel, is almost never mentioned.
The probable reasons for the above omission are most likely the same as those for other similar omissions. The first and most important probable reason is that many Jews and those who sympathize with them wish to avoid comparisons between what rights Jews as a minority in the diaspora demand for themselves and what rights Jews deny to non-Jews in those areas where Jews are a majority and wield the power. We believe that Jewish fundamentalism justifies, explicitly and unconsciously as a believed survival tactic, both the discrimination and its cover-up. As noted in our book, Jewish fundamentalism in Israel influences most of society. Its influence is especially significant in regard to the principles of Israeli state policies, but its hidden and often clear-cut influence upon a majority of Jews in the diaspora is strong. Two additional reasons in our view account for omissions of vital facts in the English discussion of phenomena in Israel that could be disturbing to many people. A hidden, and sometimes not so hidden, assumption made in much of the English literature about Judaism and about Israel as a Jewish state is that Jews are morally superior to all other nations. This is the most important belief of Jewish fundamentalists who condemn almost everything "not Jewish" mostly because it is non-Jewish. Any discussion of the fact that many Jews, when they are able, practice the same kind of discrimination against non-Jews that some non-Jews practice against Jews could be detrimental to the theory of Jewish moral superiority. Although we believe this is part of racist theory, which we oppose, we understand that unfortunately human beings, including Jews, often have xenophobic tendencies influenced by historical circumstances. Thus, Jews can and should be viewed within the same context as other human beings and should in this regard work to eradicate Jewish xenophobia by exposing it in its present and past forms. The second reason emanates from writers who are apologists for and from other advocates of the Israeli political left. The Labor Party is Israel has consistently practiced blatant racism. Likud, the most important party of the Israeli right, has not practiced racism so severely and generally as has the Labor Party. As opposed to the Labor Party situation, Arabs have been, and still are, able to be members of Likud in their own neighborhood branches. The idea that the Israeli right wing is in this particular case better than the Labor Party is abhorrent to the dogmatists of and apologists for the left just as in the 1930s the idea that many practices in Great Britain were better than those of Stalin was abhorrent to fellow travelers. The refuge in both cases was and is a consistent omission of facts that do not fit into the dogma.
A similar case in point is kibbutz membership in Israel. The kibbutz is one of the most admired, especially by leftist apologists, Israeli phenomena. It is a fact, widely known and discussed in Israel, that only Jews can be kibbutz members. Non-Jews who wish to become kibbutz members must not only acquire the approval of the kibbutz members; they must, as a condition of joining, convert to Judaism. The Israeli Chief Rabbinate has established conversion schools for non-Jews who wish to join kibbutzim. One of the conditions for conversion to Judaism of women in this as in other situations is that the female convert must be observed naked in a purification bath by three rabbis. Some of the other conditions for conversion of those non-Jews desirous of joining kibbutzim are lighter than are conditions for other potential converts. The Israeli Hebrew press has often focused upon the degree of difference in conversion procedures and has also mentioned repeatedly that to date not one Palestinian has become a kibbutz member. This specific, clearly influenced by Jewish fundamentalism, is almost always omitted in English language books published about and media coverage of Israel. We need not emphasize the wide discussion that would ensue if a British or American institution allowed Jews to become members only if they converted to Christianity.
Scholars and news media people who purport xo describe Israel authoritatively have, as previously indicated, systematically ignored by omission critical phenomena, discussed in our book. Some examples of this follow. In Chapter 1 of our book we mentioned that the concept of Jewish blood bound together the Israeli secular right wing and religious Jews. This concept, which deems the blood of a killed or wounded Jew to be infinitely greater in value than the blood of a killed or wounded non-Jew, is of supreme importance in Israeli politics. The Netanyahu government in 1998 refused, even when pushed by the United States government, to release Palestinian prisoners who had killed Jews, whether they were soldiers killed in a clash or civilians murdered in a terrorist attack. The Jewish blood concept was the only possible reason. The same Netanyahu government, as well as some previous Israeli governments, have not objected to freeing Palestinian prisoners who had killed other Palestinians. The Palestinians killed were usually presumed to be agents of the Israeli secret police. The same situation has existed in regard to the Israeli security zone in southern Lebanon and to the South Lebanese Army. The main reason for creating those entities, which have prevented a cease-fire occurring between Israel and Lebanon, was the Israeli desire, influenced by Jewish fundamentalism, to save "Jewish blood." A majority of Israeli Jews have paid little attention to Lebanese, who have been killed, whether they were members of the South Lebanese Army or simply inhabitants of this zone. Bursts of anguish and even protests, on the other hand, have accompanied almost every Jewish casualty. Israeli protesters demanding that Israel leave Lebanon have mentioned only the Israeli casualties. Usually, only those Israeli Jews who have openly opposed Jewish fundamentalism in all its aspects, such as Israel Shahak, one of the authors of this book, have mentioned the Lebanese casualties. The politically important distinction between Jewish blood and non-Jewish blood is well-known to most Israelis but is ignored by almost all those who write about Israel and its policies.
As also noted in Chapter 1, Rabbi Yoseph, who commands the unquestioned allegiance often Shas members of the Knesset, argued in a published article that Israelis not sufficiently strong to destroy Christian churches on its territory and should therefore return some of the occupied territory to the Palestinians. Otherwise, Rabbi Yoseph contended, Jews might be killed in a war that could erupt. We pointed out that most writers who discussed Rabbi Yoseph's alleged dovish leanings falsified by omitting his reasons for advocating concessions. In addition to emphasizing Israeli weakness, Rabbi Yoseph expressed willingness to command the destruction of idolatrous, Christian churches if Israel and the Jews were sufficiently strong to do this without serious damage to Jews. Rabbi Yoseph thus illustrated the fierce and visible hatred of Christianity and Christians so evident among fundamentalists Jews and, to a lesser extent, among many other Israeli Jews of the political right. Although discrimination against and persecution of Jews in Christian countries has helped to persuade some secular Jews to accept this fundamentalist attitude, it is not the sole explanation. Oriental Jewish rabbis, and to a lesser extent their followers who came from Muslim countries wherein they were generally not persecuted by Christians, have expressed more hate of Christianity and its symbols than the fundamentalist European rabbis and their followers who were persecuted by Christians. In dealing with political factors in our book, we did not specify many of the often petty forms of hatred of Christianity that are officially approved. One case in point is that Israeli educational authorities removed the international plus sign from the textbooks of elementary arithmetic used in the first grades of Israeli schools. Allegedly, this plus sign, which is a cross, could religiously corrupt little Jewish children. Instead of the offending cross, the authorities substituted a capital "T." This substitution was made some years after Israel became a state; the influence of Jewish fundamentalism was responsible. If this substitution had been made by the Taliban in Afghanistan, by the Iranian regime or by China during the cultural revolution, it would probably have been discussed at length. In contrast, this easily discoverable fact has been omitted in English-language articles and books concerned with Israeli Jewish society and Judaism. This omission is but one piece of the existent evidence that most books of this genre are unreliable.
In Chapter 2 we pointed to specific acts of discrimination against and abuse of women perpetrated by Jewish fundamentalists. Seemingly unimpressed by the Israeli Hebrew discussion of and the Israeli Jewish feminist criticism of this discrimination and abuse, writers of English-language books and articles about Israel have rarely mentioned this phenomenon. They have not acknowledged that until modern times most Jewish women were kept illiterate and denied education by command of the rabbis. They and others have condemned abuses of women in Iran and other countries but have refused to specify the even more abusive acts against women in Israel. Jewish feminists have instead celebrated in their writings the few important Jewish women mentioned in the Bible and the one woman mentioned in the Talmud, Bruria, the wife of the second-century AD sage, Rabbi Meir. The diaspora Jewish feminists and other English-language writers have neglected any reference to the disparaging stories about women in talmudic literature; they have also failed to admit that from the time of Bruria until the advent of modern influences upon Jews in western Europe in the seventeenth century not one Jewish woman was sufficiently important to be emphasized as a leading figure in Jewish history. (This can be compared to the numerous women who became leading figures in many areas, including religion, in Western Christendom in the same time period, in spite of Christianity's well-known discrimination against women.) The inescapable conclusion is that English-language sources are unreliable, not only in the study of the Jewish fundamentalist attitude towards women but also in the more general study of the status of women in historical Judaism.
In discussing the topic of Jewish blood in Chapter 2, we quoted both the previously mentioned Rabbi Yoseph and the former chief rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, both of whom ordered pious Jews not to accept blood donations from non-Jews unless their lives were at risk. These two eminent rabbis, as well as others inside and outside of Israel who agree with this view did not invent this opinion. This and other similar opinions, existent from the beginning of blood transfusions, are based upon a talmudic prohibition that does not allow a non-Jewish nurse to breast feed a Jewish child. The cited reason for this prohibition is that the milk from a non-Jewish woman would have an adverse effect upon a Jewish child. In Chapter 2 we quoted the discussion of the Jewish blood topic that was published in 1995 not only in Israel's most widely read daily Hebrew newspaper but in other Hebrew newspapers as well. We can assume that readers of this book who are not literate in Hebrew and who were not previously told about such discussion in the Hebrew press would be unaware of this prohibition of pious Jews accepting blood transfusions from non-Jews and sometimes even from secular Jews. This prohibition is not to be found in English-language articles or books about Judaism or Israeli Jewish society. (Some fundamentalist Jews may discuss this topic among themselves, but they limit that discussion to their own groupings and do not write about it for publication in English.) It would be absurd to suggest that in the last years of the twentieth century scholars, writers and others from around the world would not discuss and attack an analogous edict, issued by highest ranking Christian Church leaders, prohibiting Christians from accepting blood transfusions from Jews. The prohibition is not a secret; it has been openly discussed in the Israeli Hebrew press. This is yet another example of distortion by omission, which makes English-language coverage of various aspects of Israeli Jewish society unreliable.
In Chapter 3 we briefly discussed how followers of Rabbis Yoseph and Shach attempted to use magic against one another. This occurred after the struggle between these two leading rabbis became intense. The political significance here transcended the Yoseph -- Shach disputation; the alleged use of magic is part of the deep division between Israel A and Israel B, which are defined previously in both our text and glossary. Members of Israel B, following some historic Jewish customs, believe in magic and witchcraft; they often practice it themselves or follow directives supposedly derived from it by rabbis and cabbalists. (Books in Hebrew detailing instructions for spells and witchcraft recipes have been best sellers in Israel for many years.) Individuals who are reputed to achieve success by use of magic frequently obtain political power in Israel. Most Israeli political pundits are agreed that one of the important reasons for Netanyahu's victory in the 1996 election was the exclusive blessing he received during the campaign from the cabbalist Rabbi Kaduri, and the firm refusals of many Jewish magicians and cabbalists to bless Peres. (Only the Hassidic Beizer rabbi said that he was neutral regarding Peres.) Rabbi Kaduri has remained to date a widely reported, highly visible Hollywood type star in the Israeli Hebrew press. He was at the center of media attention when he descended below the surface of the sea in Eilat in a device, usually used to allow tourists to see underwater sea life, and supposedly instituted spells in order to avert an earthquake that was predicted by scientists. He claimed to have diverted the earthquake from Jews to non-Jews. Many Israeli Jews believed this claim, because the predicted earthquake was light in Eilat but was much more severe in upper Egypt.
Another example of the popularity in Israel of magic was evident in the circumstances surrounding the 1999 trial in the District Court of Jerusalem of a major Shas Party politician, Aryeh Der'i. Der'i was convicted and sentenced for taking bribes in spite of tens of amulets hung on his body and blessed by the most outstanding cabbalists, who additionally engaged in other magic ceremonies on Der'i's behalf. At the same time of this trial a scientific congress on the use of magic and witchcraft in Judaism was held in Jerusalem. Tom Segev, a columnist for Haaretz and one of Israel's best known authors, wrote that the use of magic by Jews was nothing new in Judaism. In his March 26, 1999, Hebrew-language Haaretz article, Segev transcribed a magical recipe found in a book, composed in talmudic times (AD 200 -- 500) but still popular in the Diaspora in the eighteenth century. This recipe, which was devised to confuse a judge and cause him to acquit unjustly a person who used magic, called for the following: "Slaughter a lion cub with a copper knife. Gather its blood; tear out its heart and put the blood into it. Then, write the names of angels on the cub's face, and wipe the names with three year-old wine. Mix the wine with the blood. Next, take three heaps of perfume (names omitted). After purifying yourself, stand before the planet Venus at night with the perfume and the blood, which must be put on fire." This act would supposedly compel the bewitched judge to acquit. Segev reported that the Israeli scientists participating in this Congress believed magic to be "an inseparable part of Judaism -- used in past intrigues involving rabbis." To support this view, Segev quoted a saying in the Palestinian Talmud attributing the large number of High Priests during the Second Temple period to the fact that High Priests often killed one another by using witchcraft. This opinion expressed in the Palestinian Talmud is probably incorrect; the large number of High Priests during this period should most likely be attributed to bribery and other political actions of secular (mostly Jewish) authorities of time connected with making appointments. This opinion, which is not quoted in English-language writings on Judaism, nevertheless indicates the wide use of witchcraft by Jews' attempting to kill one another in this time period. The typical picture, presented in English-language works, of the pious Jews of the third period of Jewish history is on balance invalid. The picture of the pious Jew of talmudic times, standing at night before a planet and attempting to perform magic rites, is more accurate and can help us understand the reality of Israeli Jewish society better than the fictional description offered by apologists. The use of magic in everyday life is also common in certain Jewish neighborhoods of New York, London, Paris and other cities.
In spite of its obvious political importance and social significance, this aspect of Judaism in modern times remains as widely unreported in English, and thus as unknown to those who do not read Hebrew, as the past use of magic and witchcraft. In all known societies some individuals have indulged, and still do indulge, in magic. The misguided attempt to hide this past and present tendency, which is widespread in Israel, has infested the English-language histories of the Jews. The substitution of apologetics for historical fact renders these history texts at least unreliable and perhaps unfit for study.
In Chapters 4 and 5 we dealt with the religious Jewish settlers in territories occupied by Israel since 1967 and with Gush Emunim, the movement that produced the settlers. Despite the attention given to the issues of Israeli settlements in the territories, English-language coverage has almost totally neglected the two major considerations, without which proper understanding of this overall topic is impossible. The first consideration is that the urge to settle has been theologically motivated and is a manifestation of Jewish fundamentalism. In discussions of the obligations that people must obey in countries ruled or influenced by Muslim fundamentalists the religious reasons are highlighted. In most English-language discussions of Jewish religious settlements, however, the religious reasons are usually either totally missing or are replaced with biblical quotations, uttered by the settlers. In our text we showed that the real motivating factors for the religious settlers, some of whom have moved to improbable sites, have minimal connections to the Bible. The real reasons emanate instead from a special idea of Jewish fundamentalism. This idea asserts that the messiah will arrive soon and postulates that the world is already in the messianic age.
We began Chapter 4 by asserting that messianic ideology, as a radical part of Jewish fundamentalism, is based upon the differences and opposition between Jews and non-Jews rather than simply between Jews and Arabs (or Muslims). Writers of English-language books, articles and book reviews have rarely mentioned this basic tenet, the major exceptions being those writers who have composed the invalid, out-of-context, virulent and poisonous anti-Semitic literature. The published reviews of Yehoshafat Harkabi's book, Israel's Fateful Hour, provide a good illustration of this point. The original Hebrew edition of this book was first published in Israel; the English edition was published thereafter in the United States in 1988. Harkabi's book received wide attention in the United States because of its analysis of Israeli politics in the 1980s and its emphasis upon differences between the Labor Party and Likud in foreign politics. In one crucial chapter, from which we quoted and paraphrased in our text, Harkabi analyzed some major issues of Jewish fundamentalism and stressed the importance of messianic ideology within that context. Harkabi's book was extensively reviewed in American publications, but only one reviewer in a small circulation progressive publication referred to this crucial chapter. The other reviewers in American publications avoided any mention of this chapter and/or its substance. Reviewers in Israel emphasized this chapter in their comments. The difference in reviewing between the United States and Israel is telling.
In maintaining that differences and opposition exist between Jews and non-Jews, messianic ideology continues to be the primary motivating factor for Gush Emunim and its major supporter, the National Religious Party. Those who have written about Israeli Jewish society and about Judaism but have avoided mention of this have distorted understanding. The significance here is most striking when the broad support, both direct and indirect, for Gush Emunim is considered. About one-half of Israel's Jewish population supports Gush Emunim. The support, especially monetary, from Jews in the diaspora is also of great importance. Many Orthodox and other Jews as well in New York City and elsewhere have been and are encouraged to assist Gush Emunim by what they read in the largest circulation American Jewish weekly newspaper, the Jewish Press. Published in Brooklyn, the Jewish Press has been and continues to be an editorial advocate of Gush Emunim, often presenting op-ed articles written by leading Gush Emunim spokesmen. New York City and New York State politicians regularly seek backing of the Jewish Press during electoral campaigns. Not only have Jewish Press editorial writers advocated messianic ideology; they have also expressed admiration of Yigal Amir, the assassin of Yitzhak Rabin. The New York Times, which is read and probably influences many American Jews, has published in-depth analyses of Christian and Muslim fundamentalism but has refrained from presenting similar articles describing Jewish fundamentalism or even advocacies printed in the Jewish Press. Even so-called liberal American periodicals, such as the Nation and the New York Review of Books, which have published editorial comments and articles upholding and advocating Palestinian rights, have neglected to present analyses of Jewish fundamentalism in their own country. Readers of these and most other periodicals in the United States, and in other countries as well, would not know, unless they read books and articles published in Hebrew in Israel, that Gush Emunim's goal is to build a "sacred society" whose nuclei are the Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. It is insufficient, if not folly, to advocate Palestinian rights without understanding and referring to the principal cause of the denial of those rights: Jewish fundamentalism in general and the messianic variety in particular.
The Goldstein massacre, discussed in Chapter 6, was inadequately covered in the English press. That Israeli Jewish society was divided in its attitude towards the massacre was evident in the Hebrew but not in the English press and literature. Before the massacre, Goldstein's refusal as a doctor on religious grounds to treat non-Jewish patients, including soldiers serving with him in the army, was, although mentioned briefly, treated lightly in the English coverage. Goldstein clearly derived his views from fundamentalist interpretations of sacred Hebrew texts. The English coverage indicated that he merely followed the teachings of Rabbi Meir Kahane, a whipping boy of the American press. In reality, Goldstein's views were more broadly based and centered in Jewish fundamentalism. Having immigrated to Israel as an adult, Goldstein, prior to his arrival in Israel, had been influenced by the "Lubovitcher Rebbe" and his influential disciple, Rabbi Ginsburgh. His attitude, moreover, was condoned by important, Israeli politicians and the Minister of Defense. Articles in the Hebrew press, to which we referred in our text, discussed these points in depth; the English coverage avoided mention of much of this.
In Chapter 7 we showed how well-documented features of Jewish fundamentalism during the past 800 years, the third and longest period of Jewish history, have influenced and continue to influence contemporary Jews in the state of Israel and in the diaspora as well. Both the popular and more scholarly and renowned, standard Jewish histories, written in English, omit most of these features. The historic features of Jewish fundamentalism were manifest in the Rabin assassination and in the reactions to it. Because of omission, distortion and lack of criticism of Jewish fundamentalism, the English-language coverage could not and did not put the Rabin assassination in the correct context and thus was misleading.
Important issues are involved here, all of which are omitted in the standard Jewish histories. The first of these, well-known to serious students of the third period of Jewish history and especially to those who have knowledge of Jewish religious law and Orthodoxy, is that, before being affected by outside modem influences, Jewish society was not tolerant. On the contrary, autonomous Jewish authorities persecuted deviants, perhaps more than did Christian and Muslim authorities in their respective religions and certainly more than did pagan, Buddhist and Hindu authorities. The intolerant attitudes and activities, enshrined in the sacred texts of Jewish fundamentalism in all its varieties, influenced the behavior and politics of Jews, especially when they had autonomous power. To oppose the current dangers posed by Jewish fundamentalism, it is first necessary to expose its historical basis. As we have repeatedly stated, most writers of books on Judaism in English have not done this. Influenced by their heritage, many Jews have unfortunately either remained indifferent to the oppression of Palestinians in and by the State of Israel or have at times criticized acts of oppression as posing possible danger to Jews. Some of these individuals, for example, condemn the use of torture as being unconditionally inhumane when used by states other than' Israel, but they argue pragmatically that its use by Israeli authorities is not in Israel's best interest because of worldwide public opinion. Many of these same people in the United States are zealous in advocating and fighting for the separation of religion and state in their own country, but they react differently in regard to Israel. They do not criticize, indeed they most often support, the Israeli Ministry of Religion, which is almost always controlled by Jewish religious parties influenced by Jewish fundamentalism, for allotting only 2 per cent of its budget to non-Jews when nearly 20 per cent of Israel's citizenry consists of Muslims and Christians. Both in Israel and in the diaspora the relatively few Jews who have attempted to defend non-Jews against discrimination and oppression by Jews have been those who have been influenced by modern theories of justice. The fact that the majority of Jews do not protest against, but actually support, Jewish discrimination against non-Jews, especially in the Jewish state, indicates, at least to some extent, the conscious and unconscious influence of Jewish fundamentalism. We believe that attempts to hide historical reality in Judaism and Jewish societies were wrong when Jews were discriminated against and persecuted in most countries. By the end of the twentieth century, when Jews have achieved greater power in many societies than any minority group of comparable numbers and when a Jewish state with nuclear weapons is protected by the United States, falsification by omission of Jewish history is purely adverse and totally unacceptable. The nearly total absence of discussion of the above intolerant aspects of the Jewish past and present in English-language books caused us to dispense with a traditional bibliographical listing or essay.
The issue of Jewish normalcy and the exceptions to it require examination. Jews in many instances oppressed their own people as other people did. During the same time period, for example, that rabbis ordered the hands of Jewish offenders to be cut, Spanish judges, as well as judges in most Christian and Muslim courts, did likewise. Rabbis ordered Jewish offenders put into stocks in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth just as non-Jewish authorities used the stock as a feature of regular punishment throughout Europe and in the American colonies. The systematic killing of informers, enjoined by eminent rabbis as a religious duty, has no parallel in other societies. Killing of informers has nevertheless occurre4 and still occurs in other societies and, as is the case in Sicilian society, is often well known. Scholarly historical works, historical novels and the classical literature in general of many countries and societies depict the sometimes-employed punishment of killing informers. In contrary fashion, the major Jewish historians who have written about the third period of Jewish history, for example, Salo W. Baron, Simon Dubnow and Yitzhak Baer, have omitted such references in their works. Other highly regarded Jewish historians who have focused upon the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Christian Spain and Germany have done likewise. Numerous Israeli scholars, who have written in Hebrew and from whom we quoted and paraphrased in our text, have in contrast displayed more honesty in their scholarship by including examples of the systematic killing by Jews of Jewish informers. Consequently, those readers who are not literate in Hebrew (or have not been told in detail about books in Hebrew about Jewish history) must have distorted perceptions of this aspect of Jewish history. This reflection solidified our resolve not to include a traditional bibliographical listing or essay.
The distortions, largely by omission, in the English-language histories of the third period of Jewish history are greater and more severe than are those of the first and second periods. The reason for this is obvious. Because Judaism and Jewish history are so important for the history and theology of Christianity until and shortly after the time of Jesus, Christian historians and biblical scholars, often critical in their writings, dealt with Jewish history and Israelite society during the first two periods. The better Jewish historians of those two periods have felt obligated to follow trends established in scholarship in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; they have engaged in critical discussion, even while complaining about what they regarded as hostile tendencies of Christians who wrote about Jewish history. Few Christian or Muslim scholars have been or are interested in Jewish history between AD 70 and modem times, the third period. Apologetic writing of Jewish history is not unique. Most national histories include apologetic writings. The writing in English by Jews of Jewish history has remained far more retarded than have the writings of other national histories. A comparison that illustrates this point is the difference between the development of historical writing by American historians of United States history and the lack of development in the writing of Jewish history, especially of the third period. In recent decades standard United States history textbooks have included numerous negative features, previously omitted, of past discrimination and oppression of African Americans, Native Americans, women and other disadvantaged minority groups. As previously reiterated, most books in English of Jewish history, especially of the third period, continue to omit negative features of discrimination and oppression of both Jews and non-Jews by Jews. The harmful effects of these omissions remain.
We are finally troubled by the near unanimity in standard English-language Jewish histories regarding issues involving "Jewish interest." Whereas the Israeli new historians of the 1980s and 1990s have sparked fruitful debate about basic issues not only of the past century in regard to Palestine but of the entire course of Jewish history, previous historians who wrote in English have omitted facts and disputations over interpretations of sensitive items. Having already detailed much of this in our bibliographical note, we, in attempting to illustrate our point, shall here present only one additional example. The famous scholar Gershom Scholem, early in his career raised an important intellectual issue about the nature of Judaism; soon thereafter he, together with numerous other scholars, dropped it. This issue then became virtually unknown to people who did not know Hebrew. In his first book in English about Jewish mysticism, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, based upon a previous set of lectures delivered in New York City, first published in 1941 and reprinted many times, Scholem questioned whether Jews who believed in Cabbala had preserved the belief in monotheism that had been previously so characteristic of Judaism. In his seventh lecture towards the end of section five of the book, Scholem, after describing the process, which according to the Lurianic Cabbala takes place by Jewish initiative within God, wrote: "To reconcile this process with the monotheistic doctrine, which was dear to the Kabbalists as it was to every Jew, became the task of the theorists of Kabbalistic theosoply. Although they applied themselves bravely to it, it cannot be said that they were completely successful." These two convoluted sentences implied that the most popular form of Cabbala, still believed by many Jews in Israel and in the diaspora, is not monotheistic. Actually, Scholem refrained from mentioning that many Jewish opponents of Cabbala, before it became dominant around 1550 and during the Jewish Enlightenment, asked the same question more clearly and expressed more sharply their opposition to the predominant Lurianic form on the ground that it denied monotheism. Since then, scholars who have written in English about Judaism, including Scholem himself in later books, have not, with few exceptions, questioned whether Judaism in all its forms and all times was monotheistic and/or whether many pious Jews were believers in monotheism. (Raphael Patai was one exception. In Chapters 5 to 8 of his book, The Hebrew Goddess, published in 1967, Patai raised this question. Israel Shahak, another exception, did likewise in his more recent book, Jewish History, Jewish Religion.) The scholars who have written in English about Judaism have, again with few exceptions, not considered in their books the even more important question of whether Judaism throughout its entire history has had fixed tenets.
We are aware that the books we have not put into a bibliography contain useful data. We nevertheless believe that these books are guilty of purposeful omission resulting in grave distortion and do not necessarily deserve to be listed in a bibliography. These books anyway can be easily found in other bibliographies. We append this note in lieu of a traditional bibliography in protest against what too often happens in Jewish studies outside Israel.