Monday, December 13, 2010

More on the Wrong-headed Rabbis

A few days ago I condemned the group of rabbis who wrote that it's religiously forbidden to rent or sell apartments to Palestinians. At the time I pointed out that the entire secular political spectrum had immediately and unanimously condemned their position, but that the religious politicians had shamefully remained silent.

In the few days since I haven't had time for blogging, but it does seem important to point out that in the interval the rabbis' letter has been condemned by the Rav Elyashiv, perhaps the most important living rabbi in the Haredi world, and by the Rav Yosef, the most important Sephardi rabbi and perhaps second only to the Rav Elyashiv. Now the condemnations are finally also beginning to come in from the National Religious camp, the religious home of the original signatories. Here's an interview with the Rav Rafi Feuerstein.

22 comments:

Jon said...

I'm sure R. Landau, R. Sherlow, maybe even the Gush rabbis, etc. will condemn when they get around to it.

Jon said...

Meant R. Lau*

aiwac said...

Actually R. Cherlo responded pretty quickly:

http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-3989403,00.html

Rav Lichtenstein has also come out against:

http://www.kipa.co.il/now/show.asp?id=41679

It's also important to keep in mind that many major city Rabbis refused to sign (incl. Tel Aviv, Haifa &c):

commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/category/contentions

aiwac said...

Sorry, the link regarding city Rabbis is this one:

http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART2/187/665.html?hp=1&cat=468

bacci40 said...

the problem is...too many forget that we are all still in galus...even if we reside in israel.

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Missing from this post is the fact that these rabbis are State-paid. Thus, Israel has an obvious way to repudiate their racist ruling: firing them.

In that context, mainstream and non-mainstream politicians condemning the ruling, but failing to take any concrete action against the rabbis, is very much like the Church slamming child-molesting priests, but allowing them to keep their jobs.

The sad thing is, the rabbis can't be fired because they represent the 46% of the Jewish electorate that doesn't want to live next to an Arab. No amount of fig-leaf donning can conceal this fact.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Missing from this post is the fact that these rabbis are State-paid.

The blogger who calls himself "Angry Arab" just wrote that he "can't wait" for missile attacks against Israel to cause catastrophic fires such as the recent ones which have now been put out. ( http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2010/12/i-cant-wait.html ) According to his blog he is "professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus and visiting professor at UC, Berkeley." I suppose that means his salary comes from public funds. According to your reasoning, the government of the State of California endorses and bears responsibility for his opinions. Perhaps there is a more broad-minded and worldly-wise way of noting all the political diversity among the crowd feeding from the public trough.

Silke said...

Yitzchak

Fake Ibrahim is trying to get his blog back to old Google glory. He is all over the place hoping to get clicks, to initiate searches about his claims on Google, the whole packet of gimmicks of "developing his web-presence".

whatever he says is invented stuff with a faulty logic and only an absolute minimum nano-core of truth.

making outrageous claims is the only talent he has. If you debunk him, he'll change the subject and'll come back with another invention

one especially beloved method of his is to accuse the blog host of lying based on invented charges.

Don't feed the troll

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

Nice piece of whataboutery, Yitzchak. Some time ago, you used to challenge my assertion that Israeli rabbis are State-paid. I'm glad to see that, after being educated by me on the subject, you're not disputing this point anymore.

Turning now to your argument, your analogy is flawed for the following reasons:

1) The State of California doesn't pay Angry Arab to write posts on his blog. It pays him to teach and do research. The rabbis, on the other hand, are paid --at least in part-- to set norms of behavior. Writing their hateful ruling was done as part of their job. And people can be fired for what they do on their job, but they can't be fired for what they do in their private lives.

2) The Government of California hasn't publicly slammed Angry Arab -- if it had, you might have a hint of a point. Keep in mind, my comment is about the hypocrisy of the Israeli government, not about the badness of the ruling.

3) There are no laws against hate speech in the US. There are such laws in Israel.

4) From a practical viewpoint, Angry Arab doesn't influence anyone to any detectable degree. The rabbis, on the other hand, have influenced their followers, who have chanted "death to the Arabs" and broken glass in an Arab building, as well as threatened a Holocaust survivor (a Holocaust survivor!) for renting out to Arab students. You call it "political diversity;" I call it plain and naked racism condoned by the State.

Sérgio said...

Oh, don´t worry. Fake Ibrahim al-Berto, aka Cat Stevens Porteño, is no "angry arab": he´s just a lame argentinian with a fixation on moralizing about Israel and Jews, and is a bit desperate for attention, so he needs to perform his blog-pimping routine.

Now, Ibrahim al Pesto, regarding your whatabouterythejews, your petty obsession, let´s do some whataboutery on Argentina, that great "european" nation of LA (though in these tough times it´s Europe that increasingly looks like Argentina, you know what I mean): what about your goverment´s cover-up of the AMIA bombing? Any self-righteous moralizing rants on that scandal? Or you still don´t give a damn for the lives of your jewish citizens?

And talking about respect for you citizens, and though you don´t like to talk about the recent past (unless regarding Israel), how are the search for the "disappeared" people during the dirty war waged by your very honorable military (which claimed the lives of more than 20.000 civilians, more casualties in a decade that in the whole Israel-Pals conflict). Have you found new colective graves? What about the children of the killed, are you doing anything to help finding them?

And how are the sales of antisemitc literature over there? Are you making some profits after all?

And talking about racism, are you still calling brazilians "macaquitos" or have you acquired some maturity by now, some sobering or a little modesty, after all the failures your country displayed? And I won´t even mention the Falklands, lest you get upset.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

With apologies to Silke:

The rabbis, on the other hand, are paid --at least in part-- to set norms of behavior.

Unlike political science professors?

And people can be fired for what they do on their job, but they can't be fired for what they do in their private lives.

I don't know where you got that idea and I don't see how you can completely separate a professor's public writings and statements from his academic role.

The Government of California hasn't publicly slammed Angry Arab -- if it had, you might have a hint of a point. Keep in mind, my comment is about the hypocrisy of the Israeli government, not about the badness of the ruling.

What are the mechanisms by which State Rabbis and Professors at public universities are hired and fired? Let's say California did rebuke AA. The Governor's office couldn't just commandeer his tenure committee, could it? I don't know how it works with Rabbis in Israel and I suspect you don't either. My earlier questions about how Rabbis are paid were also in this vein, by the way.

There are no laws against hate speech in the US. There are such laws in Israel.

And that's more proof of Israeli hypocrisy? Life is messy. Hypocrisy accusations are a dime a dozen.

From a practical viewpoint, Angry Arab doesn't influence anyone to any detectable degree.

Who knows. College professors hardly lack access to impressionable minds.

I call it plain and naked racism condoned by the State.

I doubt the Israeli political establishment could ever make you happy in this matter, but I will be curious to see what Yaacov thinks as this continues to develop.

bacci40 said...

i live in cali

my tax money goes to this idiot? i protest

still not sure why a poll really means something

bet i can take a poll right here in cali, and 100 percent of the people wouldnt want to live next to ibrahim

NormanF said...

Ya'acov, nice to see you condemn Jewish racism. Now let's see you and the left condemn Arab racism against the Jews.

(sound of crickets chirping)

Yaacov said...

Folks,

There's no particular reason to relate to Alberto (he calls himself Ibrahim). In essence, what he's saying here is that A while B not C equals D. You don't need to have taken the first lesson of logic 101 to recognize that this proposition need have no validity. But, as Silke says, he's not trying to be convincing, he's trying to puff up his Web presence.

Philo-Semite said...

Does Yaacov realise his friend the anti-Semitic Argentinean is driving away readers?

I can read nauseating, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic drivel too many places on the net, to be bothered with reading it on Yaacov's site, which I find myself viewing less and less.

Silke said...

Philo-Semite

how sweet and considerate of you to worry about Yaacov's powers of realization

haven't we met somewhere else before? me thinks I remember you ...

Ibrahim Ibn Yusuf said...

I don't see how you can completely separate a professor's public writings and statements from his academic role.

It's the standard procedure at academic institutions. Case in point, Alan Dershowitz. Just because he advocates torturing people by pushing needles under their fingernails that doesn't mean Harvard, as an institution, agrees with such a doctrine. Tenured professors are very much free to say what they wish.

That's not the case with religious figures. For instance, last year my country expelled a British Catholic bishop because he denied the Holocaust. Other Catholic priests, who are State-paid, were dropped from the payroll after they praised the military dictatorship of 1976-83.

You aren't responding to my point that the rabbis spewed their hate as part of their jobs. You try and make an analogy with an irrelevant blogger who said something hateful as part of his blogging hobby. The analogy doesn't work for the reasons I already stated.

On another note, and as someone knowledgeable in fallacies, I'm sincerely surprised that you apologized for responding to me to people who only use ad hominems to try and shut me up.

Philo-Semite said...

Silke, I post pro-Israeli comments in many fora.

But I don't see the value of an Israeli blog like Yaacov's serving (willingly or unwillingly) as yet another platform for the standard anti-Israeli drivel; there are already numerous Arab and non-Arab (IPSC, NGOs) outlets for that.

Maoz said...

Israel has Arab members of parliament who have called for the country's dismantling and have had some pretty suspicious correspondence with some very nasty people across its northern border, and they still collect state salaries and pensions. Israel's a strange country.

As for the racism itself...Ibrahim should write up a blog entry on the 2009 poll that found that 40% of Israeli Arabs believe the Holocaust never happened and only 53.7% believe Israel has the right to exist just as an independent country (setting aside controversial issues of "Jewish stateness").

NEWSFLASH: Ethnic conflict engenders ethnic suspicion.

Yitzchak Goodman said...

Case in point, Alan Dershowitz . . . For instance, last year my country expelled a British Catholic bishop . . .

I don't think this proves anything about the intrinsic nature of academic and religious positions. We could name examples and counter-examples all day. Finkelstein's political extremism cost him tenure, for instance.

You aren't responding to my point that the rabbis spewed their hate as part of their jobs.

The point being that condemning them but not firing them is hypocrisy? It doesn't seem worth responding to. Their jobs don't seem to be defined in ways that makes them such spokesmen for national policy. In Israel the religious realm is given a certain autonomy, evidently, compared to Argentina. The Chief Rabbis of the whole country are probably on a tighter political leash.

Silke said...

Warning:
don't google "needles under fingernails". It will only lift Ibrahim's blog google rating.

writing stuff like that hoping it entices people to google is one of the little tricks he uses to get back to getting noticed.

BTW Yitzchak runs an excellent blog but he can't use such devious sly methods because his posts are the results of a truly interesting writer.

Sérgio said...

I second Silke´s advice. Just ignore this lame pseudo-Ibrahima from Corrientes, a prototypical hypocrite petty hater. Or else, ridicule him, which is an amusing (though easy) job.

Besides his projectionitis (a common disease afflicting these types) note that he already entered the whining victim mode, as if people were conspiring to shut him up (the self-important delusion).

C´mon, al-Berto, keep bringing your crap: it is great mocking material and a case study of your brand of pseudo-intellectual.