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Chief Rabbi speaks out

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Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, raised a major controversy by

granting an interview to The Guardian, given the title Israel set on a

tragic path, says chief rabbi. In it he warned that Israel is adopting a

stance that is incompatible with the deepest ideals of Judaism and that

the current conflict with the Palestinians is corrupting Israeli culture.

He also criticised the Palestinians for failing to respond to Israeli peace

moves and called for both sides to listen to one another, hear each others

anguish and anger.

 

The Guardian hailed the Chief Rabbis courage to speak out, as did a

number of other rabbis in Britain and in Israel. But letters to the Jewish

Chronicle (30/8/02) accused him of giving comfort to Israel’s enemies and

sowing the seeds of discord within the Jewish community. The Israeli

Embassy responded by saying, In this war of self defence, Israel maintains

the highest moral ground and adheres to a strict ethical code.

 

The political reality is that while most Israelis would like to have a peace

agreement with the Palestinians, they know that the Arab world still has a

desire to eliminate the Jewish state altogether. Israeli Defence Force Chief

of Staff, General Yaalon, told a gathering of rabbis in Israel that the

current Palestinian leadership is trying to destroy Israel step by step.

The first step is to establish a Palestinian state with international

approval. The second step is to use that state to dismantle Israel.

 

Arafat used this strategy during the days of the Oslo Accords signed in

1993. By 1995 it was becoming clear to Israeli intelligence that he remained

a sworn enemy of Israel and that he had only signed the agreement with the

intention of breaking it once his power was consolidated. This fact was

generally suppressed to avoid upsetting the peace process. As a result

tragic mistakes were made leading to the deaths of many in Israel. (Haaretz

16/8/02).

 

Today the world is pushing Israel once again to sign an agreement with the

Palestinians leading to a settlement on the basis of Israeli withdrawal from

the territories occupied in 1967, including the Old City of Jerusalem.

Israel has been traumatised by two years of suicide terrorism with evidence

of Arafat’s collusion in this, so there is not much trust left on Israel’s

side to make such an agreement.

 

The international community is desperate to get an agreement under way so it

can pursue its own agenda in the Middle East without the troublesome

Israel  Palestinian conflict. The intervention of influential moral voices

like Rabbi Sacks is very helpful to this cause by softening up Israeli and

world Jewish opinion so that they will be willing to make sacrifices for

peace and overlook the fact that nothing has changed  the Palestinian

leadership still seeks the destruction of Israel.

 

With this in mind it is interesting to look at further articles taken from

Rabbi Sacks new book The Dignity of Difference, featured in The Guardian,

where he is billed as the rabbi who wants to fix the world. He writes

of the need for a covenant framing our shared vision for the future of

humanity.

 

In this cause he makes some very radical statements about monotheism and the

Bible. The proposition at the heart of monotheism is not what it has been

traditionally taken to be: one God, therefore one faith, one truth, one way.

On the contrary it is that unity creates diversity.

 

The key narrative is the Tower of Babel. God splits up humanity into a

multiplicity of cultures and a diversity of languages. Gods message to

Abraham is: Be different, so as to teach humanity the dignity of

difference.

 

Can I, a Jew, hear echoes of Gods voice in that of a Hindu or Sikh or

Christian or Muslim?

 

This kind of thought goes down very well in globalist circles and fits in

with the desire to bring people together through a multi-faith concept that

all gods are equal. It does not fit in at all well with the text of the

Bible.

 

Babel (meaning confusion) is the same word as Babylon, the source of

spiritual wickedness throughout the Bible. Its founder was Nimrod whose name

is connected to the Hebrew word marad meaning to rebel. In the Talmud he

is depicted as a persecutor and would be destroyer of Abraham. Abraham’s

role and subsequently Israel’s role was not to teach the dignity of

difference, but the folly of idolatry and the uniqueness of God who alone is

Creator, Redeemer and Judge.

 

God made a covenant with Abraham giving to him and his descendants through

Isaac and Jacob the title deeds of the land of Israel (Genesis 15.7-18,

17.18-21). It is a sign of the reality of that covenant God that today his

descendants are back in that land after centuries of dispersion.

 

The fact that there is no peace in the land also ties up with the prophecies

of the end of days, in which we read of the time of Jacobs trouble

(Jeremiah 30.7). However much Rabbi Sacks pleads for tolerance and peace,

radical Islam will always seek the elimination of Israel. This too is

prophesied in the Bible where we read of the nations surrounding Israel

making a conspiracy in which they aim to cut them off from being a nation

that the name of Israel be remembered no more (Psalm 83.4) and the rest of

the world pushing Israel into a phoney peace deal described in Isaiah 28.15

as a covenant with death based on lies and falsehood.

 

Peace and justice are good ideals, but they will only be achieved by Gods

intervention, not by a false union of religions. Zechariah 12.3 tells us

that Jerusalem will be a burdensome stone for all nations and that at a time

of world conflict over Jerusalem Jewish people will be saved by looking to

one who has been pierced (Zechariah 12.10). Who is this about? Yeshua,

Jesus, the Messiah who has come once to fulfil the prophecies of the

suffering servant dying as a sacrifice for sins and rising again from the

dead. He is coming again soon to fulfil the prophecies of the reigning king

and bring peace and justice to Israel and the world.

 

On the issue of monotheism Yeshua disagrees with Rabbi Sacks. He says, I am

the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.

John 14.6.

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