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Israel Criticism

Israel Criticism

Aryeh Rubin is certainly correct in stating “Liberalism Is Not Our Religion” (Opinion, Oct. 29). However, Jews should be actively involved in working for a better, more just, Israel and world, not because of liberalism, but because of Judaism. It is Judaism that stresses “justice, justice shalt thou pursue” and “Seek peace and pursue it,” that states 36 times that we should be kind to the stranger, and urges “you shall eradicate evil from your midst.” It was the Hebrew prophets, the greatest champions of social justice in the world’s history who lovingly criticized Israel when she acted incorrectly.

I believe that the highest form of patriotism and loyalty is to challenge one’s nation, people or religion to live up to its highest ideals. Of course, we should increase awareness of Israel’s many positive features and protest when Israel is unjustifiably criticized or attacked by terrorists.
But we should not blindly support her when we believe she is acting in an incorrect or counterproductive way. If we do, we are not acting according to Israel’s highest ideals and we risk losing the support of many Jews who will fail to recognize Judaism’s powerful messages that can help heal our imperiled planet.

Professor Emeritus
College of Staten Island

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