How do you feel about American politicians not being allowed to critique or criticize the Israeli state without being labeled anti-semitic?

from /u/oct23dml

Some people call it antisemitic some people don't. I dont consider legitimate criticism of Israel antisemitic but the problem is that much of the time it is actually rooted in antisemitism.

An excellent example of criticism crossing that line is what happened to the musician Mattisyahu several years ago.

For those who aren't familiar with it here is a link to the cached page. There is some issue with the original link.


Audience Approval (5)

My family is Jewish and I am Jewish by ethnicity, but have no affiliation with the religion nor culture. I frequently get in arguments (nothing major, just disagreements) about Israel and palestein with my family. How do you personally rationalize all of the things Israel has done to hurt Palestinians and specifically Netanyahu. Do you have any moral doubts about Israel keeping their land despite the fact that Palestine and Israel have practically the same amount of moral claim to it (obviously it was given to Israel by Britain, but did they have any right to do that)?

from /u/rezlang

How do you personally rationalize all of the things Israel has done to hurt Palestinians

I dont think there is anything to rationalize. Israel for all of it's abilities (hitech military etc) has horrendous PR. I'm not sure if you mean Palestinians in the territories or Arabs living in Israel. If you mean those living in Israel, they live extremely well, have all of the benefits of citizenship with few of the obligations and none of them have any interest in living under the PA (check the Pew poll). Regarding those in the territories, check the history of what happened after Israel withdrew from Gaza and gave the whole area over. They havent stopped shooting missiles. What would happen if Mexico was regularly sending missiles into Arizona or Texas?

I'm not sure of your arguments that everyone has the same "moral" claim. IT is first of all a historical claim. Whether you accept or reject the Old Testament, both Arabs and Jews claim it as the basis for occupation. The Arabs were given a country by the UN when the Jews were. The Jews accepted the division, the Arabs rejected it, they launched a war and lost. Look up the Balfour Declaration.

Did Britain have a right? That's a question for historians but since they were the occupying force at the time, you could argue that they had the right to give to whomever they wanted. And since they gave it to both peoples, they tried to be fair.

This is a somewhat balanced video of the history. I personally disagree with some of what is said, but it gives a decent overview of the issues:

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I’m a Reform Jew, however my family is very good friends with the only Orthodox synagogue near me. What was your reaction to synagogues that remained open during CoVid-19?

from /u/EspressoLove517

I dont know the specific circumstances of the one youre referring to, but generally speaking I think it's problematic. In Israel the government gave an order that the police are enforcing that all synagogues must close until further notice.

Audience Approval (7)

What misunderstandings do you think people have about Orthodox Judaism?

from /u/filbertsnuts

Excellent question and there are too many to list here. But a few popular ones:

The one I heard most outside Israel: Kosher food means a Rabbi blessed it.

The Rabbis are constantly trying to cheat G-d by bending the rules he made.

There is not much difference between Conservative and Orthodox Jews.

Sabbath is from Saturday morning till Saturday night.

The list goes on.

Audience Approval (7)

How does the orthodox faith currently gain cleansing when there is no temple to sacrafice at? Do you ever feel that those alternative observations and rituals are not complete? Leviticus 16 pretty extensively covers what is to be done for a person's sins, and the sins of the nation of Israel. Though you can't sacrifice in the temple, do you or your community still "mark" a goat with the iniquities of the people of Israel and set it loose?

from /u/souldieroflight

Outstanding question.

The simple answer is that it is not possible and we are waiting for the third temple to be completed. That said, the opinion is that the Third Temple will only have sacrifices that are not animal based and setting a goat with the iniquities of Israel is not something practiced today even on the day of atonement.

The complicated answer is that there are certain methods for atonement and cleansing even today but they are at the level of the individual, not the people. Things like fasting, specific meditations, and intense prayer.

Audience Approval (3)

Why is Israel now an apartheid state and the rest of the world looks at it with indifference ?

from /u/Dr_Feebleballs

apartheid: a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race.

Does not exist in Israel. Arabs are fully integrated and are lawyers, doctors, JUDGES, politicians, and anything else they want to be. There are no separate water fountains, bathrooms, streets, or anything else for that matter. So QYB.

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Did you like Krav Maga & find it to be an effective martial art for fighting? I train NJJ but always wanted to try it.

from /u/benbrockn

KM has no substitute. I say that having fought (and defeated) black belts from BJJ, Kung Fu, and Karate.

All SF operators in the IDF undergo intense and extensive training and KM has proven itself extremely effective in the field time and again.

Audience Approval (8)

I am Canadian. Our country is currently going through the process of reconciliation (or redress) with indigenous and aboriginal people. It’s a painful process for all involved. Our history of colonialization goes back several hundred years.

I am reading a history book (very bias in support of the indigenous Palestinian population) and while I recognize it as a limited source of information, the information it presents really, really sounds familiar. And not in a positive way.

I’ve read a couple of novels by Israeli authors set in Israel, and the language used is also very similar to language used historically in Canada to justify reserves, laws, residential schools all of which have caused great harm to the First Nations of North America.

I will continue to educate myself, hopefully by finding other books that present the opposite viewpoint.

My question:

Are you familiar with the colonial history of other countries, and do you see parallels between Israel’s modern history (the Zionist movement) and colonial history elsewhere?

from /u/northernlaurie

Israel is not colonialist, nor did it displace Arabs. There has been a continuous Jewish presence since biblical times and when the Balfour Agreement and Partition Plans were drawn up by the British, the Arabs refused to accept them, declared war on the Jews in attempt to take control of the country and lost.

I spent may years in Canada in a province with a large population of indigenous people (First Nation). And there is no similarity in any way shape or form. The First Nation has a much different history and the history of the peoples are not similar at all.

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What is your opinion on the Israel-Palestine issue? Do you believe Palestine should be able to form their own country? What do you think will actually happen?

from /u/John271095

The truth is there is a defacto country tight now in the form of the PA, and truth be told if Hamas and Fatah stopped mucking things up, they might have established a "full fledged" country by now, but they refuse to recognize Israel has a right to exist so it's nigh impossible to move things forward. I think eventually things will move forward for them because there arent a lot of other options.

Do I believe they should be able to? Of course.

Audience Approval (3)

What was the coolest or most impactful action you participated in while with the special forces?

from /u/blade20039

I cant discuss a specific event for obvious reasons, but on more than once occasion we had to intercept individuals with very bad intentions when we had very little margin for error.

Audience Approval (2)

How do you know you're not wrong? You've clearly bought into a belief system, strongly, and it's clear from your responses here you believe in your worldview 100% ... but if you go through life never questioning your beliefs, some of those beliefs are all but guaranteed to be wrong.

So how do you know ... without just having faith that "my team is always right", that you are actually on the right side of history, when it comes (say) to supporting a government that unquestionably does horrible things to the Palestinian people?

And please don't forget, you're human, and not unique in history. Many Nazis knew their team was right also, so how do you know you're different if you only play by team?

from /u/ghostfacedcoder

Good and relevant question.

I cant provide what is proof for me because it wont be proof for you. I'll tell you a couple of things:

I question my beliefs constantly and I am always more interested n hearing another individuals arguments why I am wrong that trying to convince him/her that I am right. It always reinforces my belief system, and if I find something out that I didnt know before, than it gives the opportunity to examine something I didnt know before.

I dont agree that Israel does terrible things to Palestinians. At all.

I don't play "by team". I did my army service. That doesn't mean I am dumb or blind or incapable of examining facts and asking myself difficult questions. The opposite. The training and operational intensity of the unit I was in forced everyone of us to ask ourselves difficult questions. Anybody who had a doubt asked to be let out and he was sent on his way. It happened only once.

The Nazi comparison is such a ridiculous metaphor I cant even respond other than to say it's an obvious and unsuccessful attempt to trigger me.

Audience Approval (2)

If you met someone had never heard of the concept of a deity or any religion at all, how would you convince them that your religion is the one that is true?

from /u/manfeelings839

First of all Judaism does not seek converts, the opposite. In fact Judaism actively discourages people from converting. And I'd honestly be more interested in hearing him convince me that he's right if he's an atheist.

If he asked for proof of G-d, I would explain to him about monotheism, how there is an obvious design in the world which is implicit proof for a designer. After that move onto specifics of Judaism vs other religions. But it's a long conversation and certainly not something I could spend an hour writing about on this thread.

An important fact regarding Judaism is that it's not an exclusionary religion. Meaning most if not all religions require an individual to be an adherent in order to get to "heaven" but that is not the case with Judaism. It is a tenant of Judaism that all people "can get in" if their behavior justifies it.

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What color is your toothbrush?

from /u/Norgeroff

I have a different color for each day of the week :)

Audience Approval (5)

What's with the cheese and meat thing? Both come from cows.

from /u/handlessuck

Good question and the simple answer is that milk is life and meat is death. Jews are very careful not to mix the two.

Audience Approval (3)

Thanks for doing this thread!

What was the selection process like to join your unit? What branch did you first go into when you did national service?

What are your thought on Haredi Jews refusing to serve in the IDF?

What was your favorite military ration?

Tough question but do you think the settlements add to or hinder Israel's security?

from /u/smokingadvice

Happy to do it.

Unlike many other SF guys in IDF, my unit didnt start in a specific brigade like Paras or Golani and as we didnt have a tag or a name, we just had a unit number.

The selection process started with an invitation which is sent to people who the "powers that be" considered to be potentially good candidates.

After that it's onto what's called a gibush which is a preliminary screening of applicants lasting three days where they run you ragged. Kind of like a three day version of the SEALs hell week but without the freezing water and with more sleep.

Whoever makes it through that and impresses the screening officers enough is invited for psychological evaluation.

If you make it past all that you start the training pipeline which lasts about 15 months. There are many SF units with longer pipelines, but because of the specific focus of this unit that was enough.

I am now more or less Haredi (or what people would call modern Haredi) and think that most Haredi Jews should go to the army. The army has specific units designed just to accommodate them, and it gives them an opportunity to integrate into society if they so choose.

When I was in there were only two rations: Luf (kosher spam) and Tuna. Both were awful.

I think settlements help security and they are definitely not an obstacle to a peace agreement. If the PA wants peace, theyll find a way to get around the settlement issue.

Thanks for the thoughtful questions.

Audience Approval (1)

How many Palestinian kids did you kill?

from /u/youarewrongx24

None. Nor did anyone on my team or in my unit. The opposite. We took additional and unnecessary risks in order to guarantee the safety of openly hostile civilian noncombatants.

Audience Approval (8)

On a scale from 7-10 how much do you get off on oppressing the indigenous people of a nation on their own land?

Answer that one, colonizer

from /u/TopMali

7-10? You dont even give me 1-10? Wow, talk about a rigged question.

Audience Approval (3)

Are you planning to give back land that Israel is currently illegally occupying?

from /u/sscamaroisafag-got

Am I planning. Wow thanks for the compliment, but youre mistaken.

I'm not the Prime Minister.

Not yet at least.

Audience Approval (2)

The FBI raided an orthodox group in NYC and took all the face masks they purchased for their followers. That is a blatant violation of their 4th amendment right. Will the Israelis send attorneys and financial help?

from /u/arb1987

I have difficulty believing your question is serious, but if it is do you actually think that the Israeli government would ever involve itself in the internal matters of the USA? The answer is no. And certainly not matters of government policy and constitutional rights.

The Israeli government doesnt do that anywhere.

Audience Approval (9)
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