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Wednesday, November 26, 2003

There's so much bad news, I don't know where to begin. How 'bout this for starters?

Reform Movement leader attacks Settlements
(only verbally, of course)


Arutz Sheva: Rabbi Eric Yoffie, the leader of the US Reform movement has once again come out on the attack against Jewish settlements. In a report recently filed by the Jerusalem Post newspaper, Yoffie stated that,
"Not all settlers are extremists. But their leaders are trying to impose an endless war on Israel and the Jewish people. For these zealots, their right to live anywhere in the historic Land of Israel takes precedence over Israel's democracy and, indeed, over her very existence. There will be no final agreement if settlement growth does not stop. I know that there are those who say that terror must end first and that it is too early to consider such a step. But our response is: Get your heads out of the sand. It is not too early; in fact, it is very nearly too late. With every passing day a two-state solution becomes more difficult and a single-state solution more likely. Surely the Jewish people did not dream of Zion for 2,000 years in order! to be a minority in somebody else's state."
Responding to Yoffie's comments, one pundit quipped, "The Reform movement didn't dream of Zion, period. Not for 2000 years or 2000 minutes. This Galut (exile) born movement heavily opposed Zionism at the start & Rabbi Yoffie's opposition to Jewish settlement today is a sad reversion to its incorrect early policies." Now in an interview with the Israeli paper Ha'aretz, there is some additional revisionism in Rabbi Yoffie's approach.

While the gist of the Ha'aretz interview is similar to the Jerusalem Post article there are some additional points made. First off is Rabbi Yoffie's hints that US military and political support should be fair game for US Jewry opposed to the Israeli government's policies. But the Ha'aretz article also ignores previous writings of Yoffie. According to Ha'aretz, "At the biannual conference of the Reform movement that took place two weeks ago in Minneapolis, Yoffie broke the vow of silence he had taken upon himself since the beginning of the intifada and sharply attacked the government's settlement policy, which he says endangers the future of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. . .Rabbi Yoffie was never considered a big fan of settlements and never hid his feelings about the issue.

But over the last three years, since the start of the second intifada (Oslo War), he has been careful to refrain from explicitly opposing the government's positions and from making statements that could be seen as criticism of Israel, which is in the midst of a terrorist onslaught." Clearly, though, this is not the case and Rabbi Yoffie has already broken the so-called 'vow of silence.'

In the past Yoffie has gone so far as to blame Israel, in part, and all Israeli governments who have expanded settlements for the collapse of the Oslo process and justification for Arab terror. In an article penned by Yoffie (Detroit Jewish News - Feb. 16, 2001) Yoffie states the following:
"We have all watched with sorrow the eruption of violence that began in late September. We must take note, with profound sadness, of the depth of Palestinian hatred for Jews and Israelis and the ease with which Palestinians have resorted to violence and terror. We are wise enough to know that the fault is not entirely theirs. After Oslo, governments of Israel of both the right and left expanded settlements and thereby undermined the principles on which Oslo was based. We are aware of the suffering of the Palestinian people, and of the degradation and cruelty that has sometimes resulted from Israeli policy in the territories. We know of the occasional overreaction of Israeli military forces in responding to Palestinian violence." (Morasha News 11/25)
I bet some of his best friends are Jews. We live in a tragic age, when some rabbis blame their fellow Jews and other rabbis tell us not to look like Jews. It's not enough, what's happening from the outside in? We have to destroy one another from the inside out?

Can you say . . . Am Yisrael Chai?