Contemporary Issues through a Torah Lens: Bibi’s Dramatic Reaction to UN Settlement Vote

This is Rabbi Shapiro’s 4th and final lecture in the series “Contemporary Issues through a Torah Lens”

In this segment Rabbi Shapiro discusses Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin’s Netanyahu’s reaction the the UN’s vote to condemn “Israel’s” illegal West Bank settlements.

All cultural movements have an ideology and Zionism is no different. The original creators of Zionism also had an ideology: they had a hatred of the traditional “galus” (Diaspora) Jew. They wanted to change the traditional Torah Jew into a secularized nationalist. Their ideology left a stamp on modern Israeli culture.

Netanyahu spoke out recently about his reaction to the UN vote condemning the illegal settlements. He basically had a fit, attacking anyone who was in on the vote. His reaction was so absurd that everyone wondered what had gotten into him.

A recent Jerusalem Post article discussed Netanyahu’s reaction. They quoted him saying

“Enough with this galus (Diaspora) mentality; there is no reason to be obsequious. The countries of the world will respect us more for standing up for ourselves. They will not respect us for bowing our heads.”

Sounds like something one of the early Zionist leaders would say. They had a militant influence, everything but a Jewish influence.

It is against the Torah to rebel against the nations. Early Zionists created their culture to be the opposite of the Rabbinic culture. Jabotinsky (an early Zionist) once said, “Take every characteristic of a Jew, imagine its opposite – that is a Zionist.”

In his book “Sabra: The Creation of the New Jew” Prof. Oz Almog contrasts Israeli characteristics with traditional Rabbinic characteristics. He argues that the Israeli characteristic are an overcompensation to negate the Rabbinic characteristics. We can even see it in their language and way of speaking. Modern Hebrew is very direct and to the point whereas traditional Rabbinic dialect and Yiddish tend to describe things in an elaborate way. This is also seen in Israel’s extreme desire to fight back whenever provoked. According to the Zionists, all of the anti-Semitism in the world was because the Jews didn’t have a state. Now that there is “Israel” we are a nation like all the others. If we stand up to our foes the other nations will respect us. In fact, the opposite is true. Israel has created a tremendous amount of anti-Semitism around the world.

Statistics back it up. It has been documented by Tel Aviv University’s Cantor Institute that there is a correlation between Israel’s involvement in conflict and anti-Semitic incidents in the Western World. Events in the Middle East often provoke anti-Semites worldwide to react and perpetrate attacks against jews. 

In 2013 anti-Semitic attacks were extremely low. In 2014, because of the Gaza war (Operation Protective Edge), anti-Semitism increased like never before all over the world. In the UK in 2014, over 1,000 incidents were recorded – the highest number ever. They were caused by a reaction to the conflict in Gaza. Note also that specific moves taken by Israel during the war provoked an increase in attacks e.g. when a UN school was bombed by the IDF. 

When anti-Semitic events occur around the world, it tends to have a positive outcome for “Israel”. Representatives of the state go around to various communities saying “See? You aren’t safe here, come to Israel.” What they fail to mention is that over 30% of suicides in Israel were committed by recent immigrants. Furthermore, they convince people to come by convincing them that they are unsafe in their home country when actually Israel is the most unsafe place for Jews in the world.

As far back as 1947, in a United Nations hearing, Moshe Sharett testified that the UN should come out in favor of a Jewish state with an Arab minority instead of an Arab state with a Jewish minority. He argued that Israel would be interested in peace with the surrounding Arab countries. He argued that the Arab minority would be safe in Israel because there will always be Jews in other lands, i.e. if Israel mistreats their Arab citizens, Jews will be in danger in other countries. True in theory, but only because Israel makes the mistake of claiming that they represent all Jews worldwide. No other country in the world claims to represent people outside of their country.


Israeli government

Benjamin Netanyahu

West Bank