Thursday, February 16, 2006

Fasting again?

Some of you may remember that a few years ago, Eli Joseph went on a hunger strike to put pressure on the "powers" to free Jonathan J. Pollard. According to my memory, this went on for quite a while, and as we all know, Mr. Pollard is still in an American jail. No one should consider this a personal failure of Eli, since the forces of American anti-Semitism are much stronger than anything we want to admit to ourselves.

We first heard of Eli Joseph when we went on shlichut to England, to do youth work for the Jewish Agency, to develop the Betar Zionist Youth Movement. Eli had been in it until just before we arrived in 1975, and he was a legendary figure. And I guess that he still is. It's just that he has taken on projects so overwhelmingly impossible.

Background to Jay Pollard scandal is rather complex. The scandal is the American Government. Israel and the United States had an agreement, treaty, that each was required to inform the other if it discovered dangers that would affect the other country. Jay Pollard discovered that the United States wasn't upholding its end of the agreement, and he took it into his own hands and gave "intelligence information" to Israel.

He and his first wife, Ann, were caught, and Israel didn't protect them. The United States Defense Department and Judicial system gave them the strongest and heaviest punishments. There is absolutely no precedent for such punishment. Even communist spies, who intentionally endangered the United States didn't get any punishment that compares to what Pollard got. Doesn't it make you wonder?....

Back to Eli Joseph...
In case you try to hear this broadcast, after it's no longer online, I'll explain that this new hunger strike that Eli Joseph is doing is to promote a national referendum. This is a big mistake, even with the campaign he's suggesting to promote the integrity of Eretz Yisrael. Basically he's just re-hashing the Moetzet YESHA campaign which failed tremendously.

Personally, I'm against risking Eretz Yisrael by promoting democracy. Yes, I don't consider "democracy" to be an ideal. In Jewish history we've seen how the majority is generally wrong. The majority of the Jews stayed in Egypt and didn't leave with Moshe. The majority of those who did leave voted with the ten out of twelve spies who said that it would be "too risky" to enter the Land of Israel. And of course you remember that Hitler was voted in by democratic means.

I wish that Eli Joseph would use his great talents to promote, to teach to the Israeli public the importance of all of Eretz Yisrael and forget about his referendum idea. If he really succeeds, then there wont be any need for a referendum.

G-d willing.


Anonymous said...


It's interesting that the Land of Israel has become more important in the eyes of the nation than the people of Israel themselves. Eli Joseph's idea is to eliminate arrogance from both the right and the left wing camps and promote a discussion as brothers. Even though I believe the left is wrong and it is dangerous to give back land, the land is only for the people and without ahavat Yisrael, we lose the land. That is Eli's point.

The reason we lost in Gush Katif is because there was no push for a referendum.

And on another note:
The reason we don't have Pollard back with us today has much less to do with Americn Antisemitism and a much more to do with the fact that the people of Israel and the Jews of America simply don't care about Pollard and have abandoned him. Eli Joseph succeeded in building the only movement in the world of youth who actually take to the streets and do something for Jonathan Pollard and if less than 10 people were willing to do HALF as much for Pollard as Eli did he would have ben freed a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. Using 'democratic' protest tools works only in a democracy. Here it is wasted energy.

As for the love of the land of Israel, i.e. rocks: reminds of of tisha b'av (may it be a holiday this year) where we cry, mourn and fast about a mere 'building', but don't even mention the hundreds of thousands of Jews massacred and the knee-high blood that flowed in the streets of Jerusalem.

'Mesirut nefesh'. The former-secular-zionists had it, but after '67, it was gone. While the last ten years have shown an explosion of growth in the religious settlement enterprise and return to making lots of babies, only now are the orange-people waking up to activism. Eli Joseph, good luck, have something to eat and then help Marzel into power. Finally someone will speak for Pollard in the knesset unlike the long list of his traitors who manned the head of the Pollard lobby, but made every effort to not make an effort.

Batya said...

I don't know who you are, though you are addressing me by name.

One thing for sure is that you don't seem to know what you're talking about. sorry to be so blunt

For you to state that "The reason we lost in Gush Katif is because there was no push for a referendum." is so untrue. Just read the links in my post, including the one written after Disengagement which complained that Moetzet YESHA concentrated on that issue rather than on the importance of Eretz Yisrael, our rights etc.

And re: Pollard, the movement to free him began as soon as he was jailed, and yes it failed. There is a major problem in the United States with the American Government and the American Jewish community. Even more problematic is the Israeli Government who not only deserted him but never made fitting protests that important information wasn't passed by the Americans.