Rabbi's Accusation:"Israel...Incompatible With Judaism"

Susie Dym,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Susie Dym
Susie Dym serves as spokesperson for Mattot Arim, with over 20 years of expertise on "peace-for-peace" issues.
UK Chief Rabbi: "Israel's stance to Palestinians incompatible with Judaism" – remember?
The year is 2002.
A catastrophic wave of brutal terrorism deluges Israel. 
Every Israeli feels bereaved – literally.
Great Britain’s Chief Rabbi, R. Jonathan Sacks, picks this most sensitive of times  to tell the Guardian (British newspaper, 40 million readers worldwide)  that Israel's positions toward the Palestinians are "incompatible" with the ideals of Judaism.
Needless to say, Rabbi Sacks’s remark made headlines. Anti-Israel headlines. What goyishe media outlet in England could possibly resist  trumpeting a senior rabbi’s warning that  “Israel's stance towards Palestinians is incompatible with Judaism”?

Rabbi Sacks went on to tell the Guardian that Israeli soldiers made him feel "profoundly shocked". This was because Israeli soldiers had reportedly been photographed smiling in relief after overcoming Palestinian terrorists in battle. Rabbi Sacks mentioned only in passing the almost weekly slayings of  Israeli adults, elderly people, children and babies, numbering hundreds of innocent Jewish  victims. To remember these cast-aside Jewish victims, click here:  http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/terrorism/palestinian/pages/victims%20of%20palestinian%20violence%20and%20terrorism%20sinc.aspx.

In the very same interview Rabbi Sacks agrees to meet with an Islamic Sheikh  who admitted to sharing Osama bin Laden's views that it was "OK" to kill non-Muslims. The Sheikh’s murderous thoughts did not “shock” Rabbi Sacks. Why then were Israeli’s soldiers -- fighting to protect Israel – so “shocking” to Rabbi Sacks? Should not Rabbi Sacks’s emotional responses have been the other way around?

Rabbi Sacks culminated by confiding to the Guardian that he was "convinced” that Israel must give “back” (?) all the land.  Rabbi Sacks  should have relegated this unfortunate personal opinion of his to his personal friends’ living rooms, if at all. By what right does a Chief Rabbi of a large Diaspora-community publicly assail necessary and well-supported policies of successive Israeli governments?

Fast-forward to this decade. It seems that to this day, Rabbi Sacks has never once expressed regret for the infamous ‘Israel makes me uncomfortable as a Jew’ interview.  To the contrary, when CNN brought up the interview only last year, Rabbi Sacks praised himself for being “self-critical” – see here:

Yom Kippur approaches. It behooves all of us, certainly those who wish to be role models of Judaism, to ask forgiveness of others for any seeming wrongdoing. Rabbi Sacks’s statements above, at that terrible time for Israel,  seem to have been just that – wrong. Wrongful to the State of Israel, wrongful to  soldiers who were endangering their very lives for others, wrongful to  Israel’s citizenry and wrongful to the reputation of the Jewish people – all un-necessarily, unduly, inappropriately, dangerously, unfairly.
Rabbi Sacks’s statements would have caused offense enough, if made in the privacy of a quiet, internal Hebrew-language interview to BeSheva or Makor Rishon safely inside Israel. They certainly would have been galling if made to a large Israeli media outlet, say Yisrael Hayom. But to make such remarks to the Guardian, one of the largest and most powerful newspapers in pro-Arab Great Britain and the Western, often anti-Semitic, world?

This year, as the High Holidays loomed closer, the undersigned requested from Rabbi Sacks, respectfully, that he finally retract his unfortunate remarks. The request to Rabbi Sacks was emailed 13 days ago with no response to date. So, it’s time for me to share this problem with  the public. if you too feel that role models for the world Jewish community must not badmouth Israel, please – do not remain silent. Make inquiry on behalf of  Israel. Ask Rabbi Sacks when he will address contemporary concerns about his  ‘Israel makes me uncomfortable as a Jew’ interview. The email address to use  is info@rabbisacks.org.

Let’s clear this up - that way, it will never happen again. The unseemly damage to Israel’s good name  is too great --  and it is in our power to prevent it. Just a few letters to Rabbi Sacks – polite ones – will speak for the many.
This writer may still obtain clarification from Rabbi Sacks, whether in response to my letter dated 2 September or in response to what you may choose to write. If so, Rabbi Sack’s  clarification will appear here, for you to read.
May we have a year of  praise – a year in which we warmly praise the people and land of Israel, and all people of courage who stand by Israel, throughout the world and throughout the ages.
From the heart, Susie Dym - spokesperson for Mattot Arim - ISRAEL