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Rabbi Ahron Cohen: Message to Al-Quds Day 2010

24107

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I would like to hear opinions of forum members, on what he says, without flaming if possible.
 

donsutherland1

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Rabbi Cohen's positions are really not in the mainstream of Jewish community. For those who are familiar with him, the sentiments expressed in the video are par for the course with respect to his often controversial views.
 

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Rabbi Cohen's positions are really not in the mainstream of Jewish community. For those who are familiar with him, the sentiments expressed in the video are par for the course with respect to his often controversial views.
So wait, saying less than nice things about Zionism is similar to saying Holocaust victims deserved it?
 

donsutherland1

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So wait, saying less than nice things about Zionism is similar to saying Holocaust victims deserved it?
The relevant controversial view concerning his position on Israel for which his remarks are par for the course is:

Cohen ended his speech to the conference with a prayer “that the underlying cause of strife and bloodshed in the Middle East, namely the state known as Israel, be totally and peacefully dissolved”.
 

Demon of Light

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The relevant controversial view concerning his position on Israel for which his remarks are par for the course is:

Cohen ended his speech to the conference with a prayer “that the underlying cause of strife and bloodshed in the Middle East, namely the state known as Israel, be totally and peacefully dissolved”.
Really? Do you honestly expect anyone to believe that is what you were talking about?
 

donsutherland1

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Really? Do you honestly expect anyone to believe that is what you were talking about?
Of course. I reasonably expect that those who watched the video would then ask themselves the logical question, given what was in the video, what is germane to that video in the article? They would then see that he has some history of holding anti-Zionist positions. In other words, there's nothing novel about the video.
 

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Of course. I reasonably expect that those who watched the video would then ask themselves the logical question, given what was in the video, what is germane to that video in the article? They would then see that he has some history of holding anti-Zionist positions. In other words, there's nothing novel about the video.
While of course you are correct that there is nothing new in what he says, I have not seen a thread on this on the forum.

As I understand it, Judaism and Zionism are completely different things and although now a majority of religious Jews have accepted Zionism, in the beginning it was almost totally opposed by Judaism which believed it was in opposition to the moral principles and ethics of Judaism. Indeed some leading Palestinian Jews were even murdered by Zionist terrorists for opposing Zionism.

I have not heard him before. He sounds a good man. He also makes the correct statement that we should not confuse Jews with Zionism or Zionism with Judaism.
 

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While of course you are correct that there is nothing new in what he says, I have not seen a thread on this on the forum.

As I understand it, Judaism and Zionism are completely different things and although now a majority of religious Jews have accepted Zionism, in the beginning it was almost totally opposed by Judaism which believed it was in opposition to the moral principles and ethics of Judaism. Indeed some leading Palestinian Jews were even murdered by Zionist terrorists for opposing Zionism.

I have not heard him before. He sounds a good man. He also makes the correct statement that we should not confuse Jews with Zionism or Zionism with Judaism.
The marked part is clearly wrong.

Let me elaborate; Judaism, like every religion, is heavily relying on interpretations, and different people would choose to interpret it differently.
Some of the ultra-orthodox Jews have (and some still do) believed that Zionism is wrong because Israel should not be reestablished until the "Messiah" returns.

To suggest however that those were "almost all of Judaism" is very ignorant of history, as those folks were really in the minority of the minorities, and today there are way more people who follow such a belief than there were back then when Israel was reestablished as the Jewish homeland.
 

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While of course you are correct that there is nothing new in what he says, I have not seen a thread on this on the forum.

.

Yet you have touted the opinions of the neturei karta many times, so pointing out a lack of specific thread is just splitting hairs and done in a most ingenuous fashion.
 

alexa

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The marked part is clearly wrong.

Let me elaborate; Judaism, like every religion, is heavily relying on interpretations, and different people would choose to interpret it differently.
Some of the ultra-orthodox Jews have (and some still do) believed that Zionism is wrong because Israel should not be reestablished until the "Messiah" returns.

To suggest however that those were "almost all of Judaism" is very ignorant of history, as those folks were really in the minority of the minorities, and today there are way more people who follow such a belief than there were back then when Israel was reestablished as the Jewish homeland.
Then we have heard different histories. I have never gone looking for information on this but have come across it 2 or 3 times when looking at other things and each time I have heard of it being overwhelming opposed by Judaism....and never mind the Messiah, as I have heard it if the Jews were to be returned to Israel, it was to be by peaceful means.

Zionism seems to have had little appeal before the holocaust. They was much more interest in moving to the UK, Western Europe and in particular the USA.
 

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Of course. I reasonably expect that those who watched the video would then ask themselves the logical question, given what was in the video, what is germane to that video in the article? They would then see that he has some history of holding anti-Zionist positions. In other words, there's nothing novel about the video.
You know, you could try being just a little more abstruse. The notion that you decided to cite an article all about him taking a controversial position on the Holocaust only because you wanted people to pay attention to one paragraph is such a transparent excuse that it is just insulting that you think any objective, intelligent individual will buy it. Let us have some honesty for once in this forum. You cited an article on him taking a position about the Holocaust fully expecting and wanting people to read all of it. Basically you were saying "this guy's a total psycho who thinks Holocaust victims got what they deserved" and therefore we should just discount anything else he says.

That you were called on it very quickly and told how absurd that tactic was does not mean you can wiggle out of it by claiming you didn't expect anyone to look at anything but one paragraph.
 

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Then we have heard different histories. I have never gone looking for information on this but have come across it 2 or 3 times when looking at other things and each time I have heard of it being overwhelming opposed by Judaism....and never mind the Messiah, as I have heard it if the Jews were to be returned to Israel, it was to be by peaceful means.
Well clearly that is false, Judaism in its majority was very supportive of Zionism and indeed one of the main sects in the Zionist movement was the Religious Zionism.
Without the popularity and support for Zionism amongst the religious Jews, Zionism would probably not be possible.
 

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You cited an article on him taking a position about the Holocaust fully expecting and wanting people to read all of it. Basically you were saying "this guy's a total psycho who thinks Holocaust victims got what they deserved" and therefore we should just discount anything else he says.
By providing a look into the person's opinions on the Holocaust Don has shown how extreme this individual is in his opinions, there's nothing absurd or wrong in doing so, it is merely an easier way to dismiss a person's opinions from those of the majority, and Don has done an absolutely good job at that.
 

donsutherland1

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You know, you could try being just a little more abstruse. The notion that you decided to cite an article all about him taking a controversial position on the Holocaust only because you wanted people to pay attention to one paragraph is such a transparent excuse that it is just insulting that you think any objective, intelligent individual will buy it. Let us have some honesty for once in this forum. You cited an article on him taking a position about the Holocaust fully expecting and wanting people to read all of it. Basically you were saying "this guy's a total psycho who thinks Holocaust victims got what they deserved" and therefore we should just discount anything else he says.

That you were called on it very quickly and told how absurd that tactic was does not mean you can wiggle out of it by claiming you didn't expect anyone to look at anything but one paragraph.
As there seems to be much misunderstanding with regard to my two-sentence reply, I will dissect it:

My reply to 24107 was:

Rabbi Cohen's positions are really not in the mainstream of Jewish community. For those who are familiar with him, the sentiments expressed in the video are par for the course with respect to his often controversial views.

Now let's take a closer look:

Sentence 1: "Rabbi Cohen's positions are really not in the mainstream of the Jewish community."

The article provides a sample of positions Rabbi Cohen holds. Those positions are not consistent with mainstream thought in the Jewish community.

Sentence 2: "For those who are familiar with him, the sentiments expressed in the video are par for the course with respect to his often controversial views."

"The sentiments expressed in the video..." refers to the anti-Zionist positions Rabbi Cohen expresses in that video.

"par for the course" means typical, usual, etc.

"...with respect to his controversial views..." indicates anew that his views are not in the mainstream for the Jewish community (the point of the first sentence) in general, otherwise they would not be controversial. At the same time, as one is examining the context of the remarks he expressed on the video, the specific content in question concerns the anti-Zionist positions he made in that video. Putting the whole sentence together, one finds that the Rabbi's views expressed in the video are not new. He has expressed such views in the past. He is merely reiterating positions he has already expressed.

In the end, the overarching point is that Rabbi Cohen's views are strictly his own opinion. He does not speak for the Jewish people. His sentiments have little bearing on how the majority of the world's Jewish people view, among other things, the historic Israeli-Arab dispute.
 
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alexa

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Well clearly that is false, Judaism in its majority was very supportive of Zionism and indeed one of the main sects in the Zionist movement was the Religious Zionism.
Without the popularity and support for Zionism amongst the religious Jews, Zionism would probably not be possible.
Like I said, I am just going on what I have read. You say in post 9 that only some 'ultra orthodox' Jews did not believe in zionism and that does not concur with what I have read.

Jews of 19th century Germany* founded the reform movement, rejecting the idea of a Jewish nation and proclaiming themselves "Germans of the Mosaic faith." The reform movement of those days was a compromise between total apostasy (assimilation)* and orthodoxy. Orthodox Jews often confounded Reform Judaism with assimilationism, but they are not the same.
History of Reform Judaism's attitude to Zionism and Israel

Anti-Zionism of Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
The rabbinical authorities had led the Jewish communities of the world for nearly 2,000 years. The rise of Zionism was a distinct threat to their authority and their teachings. Moreover, the prominence of secular Jews in the movement and the emphasis on settlement in Palestine meant that the center of Judaism would move away from the Yeshiva seminaries and the synagogue. Zionism was supposed to be forcing the hand of Providence and to be contrary to the teachings of Orthodox Judaism in regard to the coming of the Messiah and the providential work of God in bringing about the restoration. Apparently, these views were held only among the Ashkenazy Jews of Western Europe. At no no time did Sephardic Jewish leaders proclaim themselves opposed to Zionism or settlement in Palestine.
History of orthodox Jewish opposition to Zionism and Israel

The West was going through a process of Liberalisation at the time and most Jews seemed to believe that this would sort out their problems. Like I said before the US was the favourite.

Resolved: That we totally disapprove of any attempt for the establishment of a Jewish state. Such attempts show a misunderstanding of Israel's mission, which forms the narrow political and national field has been expanded to the promotion among the whole human race of the broad and universalistic religion first proclaimed by the Jewish prophets….

-big snip
Central Conference of Reform (American) Rabbis – 1897One year after the appearance of Herzl's the Jewish State, the Central Conference of Reform Rabbis in 1897 felt compelled to clearly state its rejection of Zionism. They would annually restate their rejection of Herzl and Zionism until the 1940's when the horror of the Holocaust could not be denied.
...
History of Reform Judaism's attitude to Zionism and Israel

Much more than just some 'ultra orthodox'. It seems that it was in Eastern Europe and in Russia that Zionism got it's early welcome though people still seemed more keen to go to the US.

Everything I have read has led me to the belief that it was only the holocaust that made Zionism widely accepted by Jews.
 
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Apocalypse

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Like I said, I am just going on what I have read. You say in post 9 that only some 'ultra orthodox' Jews did not believe in zionism and that does not concur with what I have read.
I didn't mean that the only ones who were opposing the creation of the state were ultra-orthodox, but that the majority of them were.

The non-ultra-orthodox example you've referred to is even of a smaller minority than the ultra-orthodox one.
Basically my point is that such voices were very weak back then, and while they are also weak today they are certainly bigger, like the holocaust-denying anti-Israeli Neturei Karta organization.

Your comment however that "Nearly all of Judaism was opposing the creation of Israel" was indeed a false comment.
 

alexa

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I didn't mean that the only ones who were opposing the creation of the state were ultra-orthodox, but that the majority of them were.
Really :doh Here is what you said

Let me elaborate; Judaism, like every religion, is heavily relying on interpretations, and different people would choose to interpret it differently.
Some of the ultra-orthodox Jews have (and some still do) believed that Zionism is wrong because Israel should not be reestablished until the "Messiah" returns.
You wrote that only some of the Ultra Orthodox Jews believed Zionism was wrong. No one else.

The non-ultra-orthodox example you've referred to is even of a smaller minority than the ultra-orthodox one.
Basically my point is that such voices were very weak back then, and while they are also weak today they are certainly bigger, like the holocaust-denying anti-Israeli Neturei Karta organization.

Your comment however that "Nearly all of Judaism was opposing the creation of Israel" was indeed a false comment.
Ok, Reform Judaism, Orthodox Judaism and Ultra Orthodox Judaism were against Zionism. Which were the branches of Judaism which were in favour of it?

Zionism was predominantly secular. Herzl himself, had so little interest in Judaism that he tried to organise the entire Jewish population where he lived to be converted to Catholicism. Labour Zionists seemed to have little interest in religion.

Your favourite source
Another big problem of religious Jews with Zionism is that Zionists were largely secular Jews, and in some cases were atheist in their point of view.

-snip

The first Rabbis who supported Zionism were Rabbi Yehuda Shlomo Alkalai and Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalischer. They argued that the change in the status of Western Europe's Jews following emancipation was the first step toward redemption (גאולה) and that therefore one must hasten the messianic salvation by a natural salvation — whose main pillars are the Kibbutz Galuyot ("Gathering of the Exiles"), the return to Eretz Israel, agricultural work (עבודת אדמה) and the revival of the everyday use of the Hebrew language.
Religious Zionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The way that is put 'the first Rabbi's who supported Zionism', certainly implies that Zionism was certainly not initiated by Judaism and further that it was not at first accepted by Judaism.

Anyway I am still learning, if Reform, Orthodox and Ultra Orthodox Judaism are just a very small part of Judaism, who are the main branches.
 

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Really :doh Here is what you said



You wrote that only some of the Ultra Orthodox Jews believed Zionism was wrong. No one else.
I said: "Some of the ultra-orthodox Jews have (and some still do) believed that Zionism is wrong because Israel should not be reestablished until the "Messiah" returns."
I did not say, as you claim, that "Only some of the ultra-orthodox Jews have (and some still do) believed that Zionism is wrong because Israel should not be reestablished until the "Messiah" returns."
To claim that I did say so is, as you can see from the quote you've used, a manipulation of my words.

Now as I said, I didn't mean that the only ones who were opposing the creation of the state were ultra-orthodox, but that the majority of them were, that's why I was referring to the Ultra-Orthodox and not mentioning other groups. At no part did I use the word "only" to describe the ultra-orthodox as the only ones to oppose the Zionist movement's idea.

Ok, Reform Judaism, Orthodox Judaism and Ultra Orthodox Judaism were against Zionism.
That's also a wrong statement.
Some of them were, some weren't.
The majority of those who did however came from those groups (specifically the ultra-orthodox), and even they were a minority amongst their own groups.

Zionism was predominantly secular. Herzl himself, had so little interest in Judaism that he tried to organise the entire Jewish population where he lived to be converted to Catholicism. Labour Zionists seemed to have little interest in religion.
The leadership was predominately secular.
You'd do hard to argue that the majority of those who have supported the movement were predominately secular.
As I said, the religious Jews who have opposed Zionism during that era were a minority amongst the minority of the minorities.

Your favourite source

Religious Zionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The way that is put 'the first Rabbi's who supported Zionism', certainly implies that Zionism was certainly not initiated by Judaism
And no part did I say that it was initiated as a religious movement. It was not.

and further that it was not at first accepted by Judaism.
They were the first Rabbis to preach on Zionism, but they've done so long before Herzl was even born.
As you can see;

Judah ben Solomon Chai Alkalai (1798 – October 1878) was a Sephardic rabbi in Zemun (in present day Serbia) and one of pioneers of modern Zionism.
Judah Alkalai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Zvi (Zwi) Hirsch Kalischer (March 24, 1795 - October 16, 1874) was an Orthodox German rabbi and one of Zionism's early pioneers in Germany.
Zvi Hirsch Kalischer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
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I said: "Some of the ultra-orthodox Jews have (and some still do) believed that Zionism is wrong because Israel should not be reestablished until the "Messiah" returns."
I did not say, as you claim, that "Only some of the ultra-orthodox Jews have (and some still do) believed that Zionism is wrong because Israel should not be reestablished until the "Messiah" returns."

To claim that I did say so is, as you can see from the quote you've used, a manipulation of my words.
Is it heck.
Now as I said, I didn't mean that the only ones who were opposing the creation of the state were ultra-orthodox, but that the majority of them were, that's why I was referring to the Ultra-Orthodox and not mentioning other groups. At no part did I use the word "only" to describe the ultra-orthodox as the only ones to oppose the Zionist movement's idea.
You did not use the term only. However by denying that there was major rejection of Zionism by Judaism and claiming that 'some ultra orthodox' did you did by implication. It may be that this is another problem caused by English not being your first language but to an English speaking person what you said was the same as if you had put in the word only.

(By the way what is this 'torn off' you are always using. It is not an English saying and I have not been able to work out what you believe you are saying)

That's also a wrong statement.
Some of them were, some weren't.
The majority of those who did however came from those groups (specifically the ultra-orthodox), and even they were a minority amongst their own groups.
Well I gave you Israel souces which say different. Zionism was secular.

The leadership was predominately secular.
You'd do hard to argue that the majority of those who have supported the movement were predominately secular.
As I said, the religious Jews who have opposed Zionism during that era were a minority amongst the minority of the minorities.
You have not been able to deny the sources I gave. I have said that I have heard that Zionism was only popular in Easter Europe and Russia but even there people prefered to emigrate to Western Europe, the UK or the USA.



They were the first Rabbis to preach on Zionism, but they've done so long before Herzl was even born.
As you can see;



Judah Alkalai - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
true I can see that one Prussian and one Serbian Rabbi's were in favour of Zionism from the beginning. Eastern Europe as I said. Two people does not remove the quotes I provided on the rejection to Zionism of organised Judaism.

You have not proved your point. I am confident I am correct and am not going to waste any more time on this with you.
 
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Apocalypse

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Is it heck.


You did not use the term only. However by denying that there was major rejection of Zionism by Judaism and claiming that 'some ultra orthodox' did you did by implication. It may be that this is another problem caused by English not being your first language but to an English speaking person what you said was the same as if you had put in the word only.
Since you recognize that I have not used the term only then you recognize that you have indeed engaged in a straw man argument and have manipulated my words.
I do not understand how would you believe that my words imply what you say they do, but I was making it clear to you in my previous posts to you that in no part was I implying that the only ones to oppose Zionism came from the ultra-orthodox flow.
The only probable conclusion as to why you'd misunderstand my words in such a crude fashion would be a low level of control on the English language from your side, but since I've made it clear to you what implications have my words carried I will expect you to cease it now.

Well I gave you Israel souces which say different. Zionism was secular.
That's not what the source you've referred to said.
It said it was mostly Secular in its beginning, something which I have never denied, and something that is a bit different from "Zionism is secular", I assume this is another case of bad English from your side.

You have not been able to deny the sources I gave.
I have yet to find myself in disagreement with any of the sources that you've given.
It is the conclusions that you draw from them that I find wrong.

I have said that I have heard that Zionism was only popular in Easter Europe and Russia but even there people prefered to emigrate to Western Europe, the UK or the USA.
Then you've obviously heard wrong, Zionism was also popular in its beginning in Western Europe and later on has of course became world-wide.

true I can see that one Prussian and one Serbian Rabbi's were in favour of Zionism from the beginning. Eastern Europe as I said. Two people does not remove the quotes I provided on the rejection to Zionism of organised Judaism.
Two people do* not remove the quotes.
Not does, do.

You have not proved your point. I am confident I am correct and am not going to waste any more time on this with you.
Suit yourself, if you wish to oppose history no one is going to stop you.
History is confident that you are incorrect, as your claim that "Most of Judaism has opposed Zionism" has no factual or historical basis, and is completely fictional.
 
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Demon of Light

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As there seems to be much misunderstanding with regard to my two-sentence reply, I will dissect it:
There is no misunderstanding at all. I say you erased all confusion when you said this:

The article provides a sample of positions Rabbi Cohen holds. Those positions are not consistent with mainstream thought in the Jewish community.
Obviously meaning that you were in fact wanting people to look at everything in the article, not just the one paragraph you claimed you wanted people to look at.

"par for the course" means typical, usual, etc.

"...with respect to his controversial views..." indicates anew that his views are not in the mainstream for the Jewish community (the point of the first sentence) in general, otherwise they would not be controversial.
Yes "par for the course with respect to his controversial views" is you saying that somehow there is something typical about someone against Zionism also thinking Holocaust victims deserved it.

In the end, the overarching point is that Rabbi Cohen's views are strictly his own opinion. He does not speak for the Jewish people. His sentiments have little bearing on how the majority of the world's Jewish people view, among other things, the historic Israeli-Arab dispute.
I am curious why you seek to delegitimize him rather than actually address anything said. No one said he represented anyone but himself. So how about you do what the OP asked and give your thoughts on what was said, rather than downplaying the individual who said it.
 
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