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Welcome Richard Goldwasser & Blog Zahav

February 25, 2011

Richard Goldwasser, Esq.

Richard Goldwasser, one of the members of J Street Chicago’s leadership, has just started a blog entitled Blog Zahav.  His first piece is Will You Be Pro-Israel? in which he questions what actually defines the term “Pro-Israel”.  Like myself, Richard believes in going to first sources.  And as you can see from this excerpt he chooses the cornerstone document – the Declaration of Establishment of the State of Israel.  When David Ben-Gurion read this document to the World, I believe that he set out the lens through which all discussions about Israeli policy should be viewed. 

Granted, no person nor country can ever live up to all of their ideals, all of the time, but we all must be careful not to stray too far from them.  There can be a Point of No Return where a country unknowingly loses its way.  Many critics contend that we American Jews have no right to comment on nor criticize Israeli policy.  My answer is simple – it is actually our obligation to provide a perspective that the Israelis themselves may not have.  It is our duty to help the Israelis live up to their own ideals which Richard so aptly cites:  

As a lawyer and a Jew, for answers I usually look to the relevant texts. And so I have here, finding the answer in Israel’s own Declaration of Independence.
On May 14, 1948, the Jewish People’s Council, assembled in Tel Aviv, issued the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. The declaration defines Israel as a Jewish state, and in extraordinary language, elucidates the standards that the State will uphold. (Notably, six months earlier, on November 29, 1947, the United Nations enacted General Assembly Resolution 181, dividing the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, into “independent Arab and Jewish states.”)
Israel’s founding document declares that Israel “will be based on freedom, justice and peace. . .; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”
Categories: Israel
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