Hooray! I Have Found A Home in the Israeli Political World! by Rabbi Asher Lopatin

If you have read this blog, you know that all of us, rabbis and Maharat, think out of the box and sometimes unpredictably. You may have seen my views of the One State solution, one democratic, Jewish and Palestinian State allowing all self declared Jews to return and Palestinians to return. You may have also seen my desire for separation of church and state in the Jewish state of the future – in Israel. Feel free to dismiss me as naïve, foolish, crazy, irresponsible, etc. However, the last laugh is on those who mock me: I can say will full confidence that I am in the tradition of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the founder of Revisionist Zionism. And… as a follower of Jabotinsky, I feel at home in the party of Menecham Begin, his heir, Herut and Likud. Yes, I see myself as part of Likud.

Huh? A One Stater in Likud? Well, let’s look briefly at the principles of Revisionist Zionism:
1) Jews returning in the millions to the homeland. Jabotinsky hoped European Jews in the 1930’s would fill up both sides of the Jordan with Jews; in the 21st century, we have to look to Africa and Asia – and still not give up hope in America – to bring in those huge numbers so that Jews remain a majority culture in our land.
2) The right of Jews to live in their homeland – even more important the getting the State. Herut opposed partition in 1947, giving up our rights to our land, as we should oppose partition in 2009. In the 21st century, our priority should not be demographics or a homogeneous state; no, our priority must remain a solution where Jews can live in Tel Aviv or Hebron, or Gaza or Shechem or Modiin. Everywhere! Palestinians can by homes or start communities in these places as well. Anyone who has any suggestion that gives up Jews returning to Gush Katif should be rejected as compromising the essential rights and dreams of the Jewish people.
3) Liberalism in terms of freedom of the individual: open and free markets, capitalism rather than socialism.
4) Being strong and demonstrating strength: Any solution in the 21st century needs to involve the army – the IDF – not tolerating any pocket of terrorism or fiefdom outside the control of the One State – no Gazas controlled by rogue, terrorist regimes.
5) When you look at the writings of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, he has different attitudes towards the indigenous Arabs. Everywhere he wants them to know that the Jews are staying. However, in some places he writes that once the Jews are established in their land, they can allow the Arabs to be full participants – including voting – in a liberal democracy. Yes, Jabotinsky understood that if the Jews are strong and confident, they have nothing to fear from Arabs/Palestinians getting the vote.
6) It is clear that while Jabotinsky wanted a Jewish state – designated for the Jews and filled with Jewish culture – he did not want a state with rabbinic control. He had European democracies in mind, where the look and feel is Christian, but the power resides in the government of the people, not the church leaders.
I am planning to move to Israel because I believe that God wants us to live in the Holy Land and God wants us to build a moral and ethical state where Judaism can flourish and have an impact. With the vision of Jabotinsky I hope we can all gain the strength to build communities anywhere in the land and that that land should be a full democracy which will allow Judaism to flourish in all its diversity and creativity, taking the best from cultures dwelling alongside of us, including Palestinian, Arab culture. Likud – here I come!

Rabbi Asher Lopatin

6 Responses to Hooray! I Have Found A Home in the Israeli Political World! by Rabbi Asher Lopatin

  1. Joe Schick says:

    This post is completely off- base; Jabotinsky expressly opposed the idea of a bi-national state. (I will be happy to e-mail a PDF on his 1930 article on the subject.)

    The idea thing your one state idea will achieve is to allow anti-Zionists to say that an Orthodox rabbi agrees that Israel should not be an independent state.

    • Asher Lopatin says:

      Stop with the Binational State! I’m not using that language. It is one country just like the U.S. is one country and Canada is one country. Who says the Holy Land will only consist of Jews and Arabs – maybe we’ll have a million Filipinos or Africans. But for now, Jews are currently a majority in the Holy Land, between the Jordan and the Mediterranean sea. Let’s get a good constitution, like the U.S.’s, separate church and state, give everyone the vote, support the army to rid every square inch of territory of terrorism and sedition and get on with the business of being the Home of the Jewish People. I also urge all those who don’t like my idea to make Aliya!! That’s the best way of addressing the demographic problem, besides educating Arab women and giving them professional jobs.


  2. Joe Schick says:

    Whatever the desscription, in substance what you are advocating was completely rejected by Jabotinsky.

  3. Shachar haamim says:

    I’m glad to see that you understand that Aliyah of JEWS is an important way to ensure Israel’s future as a the Home of the Jewish People (and IMHO also as a Jewish State as the former can’t exist without the latter – been tried and done and failed…see under British Mandate)

    However I have to agree with Joe – you distort Jabotinsky. As I posted a link in an earlier comment http://www.zeevgalili.com/?p=286 I will post the quote from Jabotinsky in that article by Ze’ev Gailili. Jabo most certainly chaged his attitude about Arabs. He also changed his attitude about the role of religion in the Jewish State and by the mid-1930’s after he formed the NZO he was much closer to tradition and had a more positive view of the role of religion in the State.

    ” על הסכם מרצון בינינו לבין ערביי ארץ-ישראל אי אפשר לחלום. לא עתה וגם לא בעתיד הנראה באופק… אין תקווה – תהיה הקלושה ביותר – להשיג את הסכמתם של ערביי ארץ יראל להפיכתה של פלשתינה לארץ בעלת רוב יהודי”

  4. kalonymos says:

    People aren’t getting that you are making fun of the idea of choosing a party on the basis of what it’s founders believed instead of what the movement stands for today. As if somebody would choose to be a Republican today because of Lincoln’s speeches.

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