Baal Shem Tov, or Besht — the founder of Chasidism —
Comments on Savethenegev.org
I wrote a letter to JNF and emailed my Rabbi, Margaret Holub, to open discussion of a way to bring this topic into our community so that as a group we can take action (and not create tension and fighting among people).
I thank you David, for this web site and your leadership.
Hyla Bolsta , posted July 26, 2007 06:26 PM
Heshy Rosenwasser , posted December 21, 2007 05:34 PM
I appreciate the question, and the respect. Because this issue stands on its own, whatever position you or I took on Gush Katif is not related. So my personal answer may not be relevant to the people I hope will take a stand against Blueprint Negev—though you can read what my position on the Gush Katif settlers was below.
The main thing is that we can do something still to stop this uprooting.
Concerning the tachlis, there are of course many obvious differences between the Negev and Gaza, and between the settlers and the Bedouin. One important one is that all the Gush Katif settlers knew when they went there that the territory might be ceded in the future, and another one is that the settlers gave up a normal way of life to move to Gaza, and are being offered (we hope authentically) the chance to restart a normal way of life in Israel proper.
The sacrifices the settlers made notwithstanding, the Bedouin are being asked to live in a way which would destroy any chance they have of maintaining their traditional way of life. So it's kind of the inverse problem.
One can claim that the validity of Zionism rests and falls on how the Jewish state treats the ger toshav (the non-Jews living peacefully under Israel's jurisdiction). That measure comes not just from the ideals of Zionism but also from the basic definition of what our end of the covenant is, according to the Torah.
Nevertheless, I do have a personal answer about Gaza: I always supported whatever efforts the government would make to help the Gaza setttlers with reintegration. I was there during the summer of the hitnatkut (the "disengagement"), and even though I strongly supported the withdrawal, I also went to demonstrations and events by the folks in orange because they needed to be heard.
BTW, one of the proposed avenues for resettling the people who returned from Gaza is to create similar settlements in the Negev. There's every reason why that can and should happen in a good way, without driving the Bedouin into the economic equivalent of shanty-towns. A new blueprint for the Negev should mean sustainable development for all.
– Reb Duvid
David Seidenberg , posted December 21, 2007 08:08 PM
Courtney Robinson, Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation , posted March 31, 2008 12:22 AM
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