Friday, June 26, 2009

A Response To Another Self-Hating Jew.

This is a letter written by a friend to the New York Times regarding Tony Judt's Op Ed piece this past Monday here.

Jun 2009 12:28:28 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Tony Judt's "Fictions on the

To the Editor:

Tony Judt's nostalgia for the kibbutzim of the sixties and judgment of American-Israeli relations was contradicted by a historical fact that he failed to mention.

Article 47 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which explicitly prohibits the annexation of land consequent to the use of force, and Article 2 (4) of the United Nations Charter that reaffirms it restated the ancient legal principle that one should not profit by committing a crime or injustice.It applied to Pompey and the Roman legions forceful and unjust occupation of the Jewish Kingdom for the Roman Empire two thousand years before it applied to contemporary Israeli policies and American-Israeli relations.

Israel's aggressive policies to reclaim the lands that belonged to the Tribes of Israel, the Second Jewish Commonwealth, and the Jewish Kingdom are facts that Judt conveniently forgot in his judgment of "Fictions on the Ground." The rule of law and reason is an ideal that is contradicted at peril to the moral political goals of contemporary nations that are based on it. It was violated in ancient times and is violated at present by those who judge Israel for wanting it upheld in interfaith and international relations.

Rabbi Selwyn G. Geller
Ch. Col. USAF (Ret.)
1388 Cabernet Court
Toms River, NJ


  1. Self-hating in the sense that he thinks that Zionism as a Jewish national liberation movement should hold to a moral standard that is consistent with Jewish ethics. If indeed, there is some grounds in international law to claim a right to the Land of Israel, is there any provision for dispossessing the Palestinians who were not directly responsible for Pompey's occupation 2,000 years ago.

  2. Your point is well-taken, Steve. There is no provision for dispossessing the Palestinians who were not directly responsible for Pompey's occupation 2,000 years ago. Jundt used the rule of law, however. It applies to the Palestinians as well as Israel and the Islamic crusades and wars against Jews since the seventh century.Compromise cannot be based on my selection from the facts or Jundt's. It has to comprehend them and the details of domestic and internationalrelations that affect the Arab nations and Israel, their populations and territories. I feel sure that there is a way to justice. I don't think it is Jundt's way.

  3. I have no issue with anyone disagreeing with Judt's position. I do find it abhorrent for anyone to minimize his opinion by labeling him (or anyone) as a 'self-hating Jew'. We may recall what the Talmud says about the context for the downfall of the Second Commonwealth.

  4. Steve, I am the one who dubbed Judt a self-hating Jew and not Rabbi Geller. I have great respect for freedom of expression and all should be permitted to voice their opinion. Opinions however define a person. Judt objects to the existence of Israel or I guess any country that Jews can call their own at the detriment of the previous inhabitants. From a Jewish perspective that is self-hating in my mind especially after what we have suffered over the last two millenia relying on the goodwill of the nations. I can see the perspective and feeling of injustice the Palestinians feel but they have a lot of land to settle in across the middle east which they can call home and assimilate into. It will not bring back their home but there are other ways of compensating them. For one, just give them the homes and lands as well as the fortunes the Arab nations confiscated from their Jews when they kicked them out after 1948. But of course that would be too just!