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Israel Needs A Non-Jewish Prime Minister
Jewish Press ^ | 1-4-06 | Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Posted on 01/05/2006 6:55:45 PM PST by SJackson

While serving as rabbi at Oxford University, I befriended a young African-American Rhodes scholar by the name of Cory Booker who became like a brother to me. Because of Cory’s immense popularity within our student organization, the Oxford L’Chaim Society, he was voted in as co-president 1992, serving as leader of an organization of more than 4,000 student members.

Many in the Anglo-Jewish community were puzzled at a non-Jew serving at the head of a Jewish organization, especially when pictures of Cory, with a yarmulke on his head introducing our speaker Mikhail Gorbachev, appeared throughout the UK press. But to my mind that was never a contradiction. Cory was simply the best man for the job.

A deeply spiritual man of impeccable character, Cory, a Baptist, was the living personification of Jewish values. He had a deep love and reverence for God, humanity, and the Jewish people, and he possessed a charismatic ability to inspire goodness in others. Indeed, Cory’s presidency was long remembered as a golden era for Jewish life at Oxford, and today Cory, who is now running to be mayor of Newark, New Jersey, is not only one of America’s most influential young politicians, but is adored by the American Jewish community.

I thought of Cory as I watched Israel descending into the morass of another bitterly-contested election. We who have prayed for a strong Israeli leader — firm in his or her conviction that the real road to peace in the Middle East rests not with Israeli concessions but with Arab political reform and democratization — are now handed a roster of the usual suspects. For the most part, the prime ministerial candidates are men who have already succumbed in the past to international pressure to cede territory in return for what was supposed to be peace but was always increased Arab hostility toward the Jewish state.

Indeed, I have begun to despair of any Jewish prime minister of Israel being able to withstand the pressure for further concessions. Menachem Begin was the most nationalistic of all Israel’s prime ministers and one of the proudest Jews of modern times. But he handed over to Egypt land equivalent to three times Israel’s size and received an ice-cold peace in return. Ariel Sharon, the man many once viewed as the unshakable rock of Israel’s security, abandoned Gaza and its brave Jewish residents and in return received a wave of Hamas-launched rockets so incessant that his government is now threatening ground operations in Gaza, which obviates the entire reason for leaving in the first place.

Ehud Barak, once Israel’s most decorated soldier, was ready, at Camp David, to give to Yasir Arafat Judaism’s most sacred sites, and even Bibi Netanyahu, long Israel’s most eloquent defender, gave up control of Hebron, Israel’s first capitol and the city of the patriarchs, and signed the Wye River agreements under pressure from Bill Clinton.

Given this kind of history, does it really matter who is elected Israel’s next prime minister? The outcome is already a foregone conclusion. Whoever is prime minister will come under horrendous pressure to cede huge tracts of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians, and if history is a guide, they will buckle to that pressure.

I believe that, as strange as it may sound, it is time for Israelis to begin to look seriously at having a non-Jewish prime minister. One of the reasons Cory Booker was such an effective president for us at Oxford was that he did not have so many of the hang-ups that we Jews sometimes possess: problems affirming our identity in a non-Jewish environment, feelings that we are outsiders (which in turn leads to a desperate longing for mainstream acceptance), and a feeling of queasiness at how disliked Israel is by the rest of the world.

Whereas many of our committed Jewish students were reluctant to invite their more secular Jewish friends to attend Friday night Shabbat dinner for fear of being stigmatized as parochial and missionary, Cory served as one of our greatest sources of recruitment and many Jewish Rhodes Scholars became regulars at our events due entirely to Cory’s inspiration.

Israel needs that kind of leader: a man or woman who is unafraid to assert that Israel is a moral and democratic country that has little for which to apologize. Israel needs a leader who couldn’t care less about fitting in and for whom invitations to the White House and Downing Street are meaningless.

A non-Jewish prime minister, who is already an insider, would save us from the many Jewish prime ministers who traded in their ideology to gain mainstream acceptance. Indeed, perhaps it is only a non-Jewish man or woman who could go to the United Nations and have the credibility to speak the truth about the shocking prejudice against the Jewish state in that increasingly immoral international body.

Perhaps it is only a non-Jewish prime minister who could speak with credibility about the right of the Jews to their ancient, biblical homeland. Indeed, would the Balfour Declaration of 1917, promulgated by a non-Jewish lover of the Jewish people, have had the same credibility had it been the Rabinowitz Declaration?

The story of the modern State of Israel is one of constant tragedy, interspersed with remarkable triumphs. But the most remarkable thing of all is how so many of those tragedies were self-inflicted. The Oslo agreements, in which Israel brought back to its territory and armed tens of thousands of men committed to its destruction, will no doubt be forever regarded as one of the greatest self-inflicted catastrophes by any nation in the history of the world.

Of all the people who are puzzled at Israel’s mysterious penchant for self-destruction, it is evangelical Christians who are most puzzled of all. Evangelicals were the most vocal opponents to the withdrawal from Gaza, wondering why Israel would voluntarily allow the creation of a Hamas terrorist launching pad on its borders. Indeed, Christian evangelicals take seriously not only the Jewish biblical claim to the Land of Israel, but the idea of Jewish chosenness as well, a concept that makes modern Jews incredibly queasy.

So why not have an evangelical prime minister who actually believes in — and will authoritatively speak to the world of — the Jewish people’s three-thousand-year-old claim to their homeland? I, for one, would welcome any Israeli leader, of whatever birth, who is wholly immune to any sycophantic desire for international acceptance.

Indeed, the Talmud relates that one of the most successful kings of Second-Temple era Israel was the non-Jewish Agrippa, who was so beloved by the people that when he once cried in public, after reading Deuteronomy 17:15, the commandment that "You shall not have a foreigner over you," the people cried out to him, "Fear not Agrippa. You are our brother. You are our brother" (Sotah 41a).


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Israel
KEYWORDS: boteach; sharon
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1 posted on 01/05/2006 6:55:45 PM PST by SJackson
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on or off this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.
Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking the keyword Israel.

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Indeed, I have begun to despair of any Jewish prime minister of Israel being able to withstand the pressure for further concessions....Israel needs that kind of leader: a man or woman who is unafraid to assert that Israel is a moral and democratic country that has little for which to apologize. Israel needs a leader who couldn’t care less about fitting in and for whom invitations to the White House and Downing Street are meaningless.

2 posted on 01/05/2006 6:59:14 PM PST by SJackson (There's no such thing as too late, that's why they invented death. Walter Matthau)
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To: SJackson

Sure, and we need an Austrian President of the US.


3 posted on 01/05/2006 6:59:27 PM PST by AbeKrieger (Islam is the virus that causes al-Qaeda.)
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To: All

Absolutely correct. I am also of the firm belief that I need a well-tuned accordion for my next hunting exploits.

/sarc


4 posted on 01/05/2006 7:00:47 PM PST by AZ_Cowboy (Barry Goldwater hates me! A newbie told me so, folks.)
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To: SJackson

Has Israel ever had an AUTHENTICALLY Jewish PM?


5 posted on 01/05/2006 7:01:57 PM PST by h.a. cherev
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To: SJackson

And Iran needs a Jewish President.


6 posted on 01/05/2006 7:02:16 PM PST by Alouette (Neocon Zionist Media Operative)
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To: Alouette
And Iran needs a Jewish President.

Schmuley's probably available.

7 posted on 01/05/2006 7:07:21 PM PST by SJackson (There's no such thing as too late, that's why they invented death. Walter Matthau)
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To: AbeKrieger
Sure, and we need an Austrian President of the US.

Will you settle for a Governor.

8 posted on 01/05/2006 7:07:56 PM PST by SJackson (There's no such thing as too late, that's why they invented death. Walter Matthau)
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To: h.a. cherev
Has Israel ever had an AUTHENTICALLY Jewish PM?

IMO, all of them.

9 posted on 01/05/2006 7:08:15 PM PST by SJackson (There's no such thing as too late, that's why they invented death. Walter Matthau)
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To: Alouette

And Israel will get a non-Jewish Prime Minister about the same time as Iran gets a Jewish President.


10 posted on 01/05/2006 7:09:43 PM PST by claudiustg (Go Bush! Go Sharon!)
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To: Alouette

I always wanted to see Jim Hightower be the president of Iran and let Kinky Freidman be the president of Bahrain.


11 posted on 01/05/2006 7:11:51 PM PST by perfect stranger
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To: AbeKrieger

An Irish Catholic would take better care of the place.


12 posted on 01/05/2006 7:12:17 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: SJackson

Hey, I hear Kofi Annan might be looking for a job soon. Just goes to show, there is no IQ test for being a rabbi.


13 posted on 01/05/2006 7:14:14 PM PST by rbg81
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To: claudiustg

What about Meir Kahane's "They Must Go?"

Are non-Jews reproducing in Israel faster than Jews are?
(voting rights may be another story)

I don't think that non-Muslims are reproducing in Iran faster than Muslims are.



14 posted on 01/05/2006 7:14:33 PM PST by scrabblehack
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To: SJackson

Schmuley may have an idea here - any Druze a**kickers with a yen for the PM-ship available?


15 posted on 01/05/2006 7:14:39 PM PST by Slings and Arrows ("MOO...BANG...MOOO!")
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To: SJackson
Has Israel ever had an AUTHENTICALLY Jewish PM?

--IMO, all of them.

Absolutely correct. Those who see only haredim or datim as Jewish are taking a very narrow view. Lets put it this way: on Rosh Hashanah 86% of Israeli Jews were at services. That obviously includes the vast majority of the 70% who are labeled as chilonim.

16 posted on 01/05/2006 7:14:52 PM PST by anotherview ("Ignorance is the choice not to know" -Klaus Schulze)
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To: SJackson

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. IMO, an AUTHENTICALLY Jewish PM would not "make peace" with murderers or their supporters.


17 posted on 01/05/2006 7:16:32 PM PST by h.a. cherev
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To: SJackson

Schmuley's a schmuck.


18 posted on 01/05/2006 7:20:27 PM PST by OldFriend (The Dems enABLEd DANGER and 3,000 Americans died.)
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To: h.a. cherev
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. IMO, an AUTHENTICALLY Jewish PM would not "make peace" with murderers or their supporters.

A discussion for another time.

19 posted on 01/05/2006 7:20:46 PM PST by SJackson (There's no such thing as too late, that's why they invented death. Walter Matthau)
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To: OldFriend
Schmuley's a schmuck.

Yes, but he's entertaining. And there's frequently an element of truth in what he writes. Israel does need a Prime Minister willing to stand up to pressure to compromise Israel's security. But he doesn't make his point very well.

20 posted on 01/05/2006 7:22:19 PM PST by SJackson (There's no such thing as too late, that's why they invented death. Walter Matthau)
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To: perfect stranger

I would make a good President of France.


21 posted on 01/05/2006 7:22:37 PM PST by Alouette (Neocon Zionist Media Operative)
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To: anotherview

Observance of mitzvot are important, but they are the result of being AUTHENTICALLY Jewish. There's an old yiddish expression which, roughly translated, states, "first of all, be a human being." The yiddish word for human being is "mensch" with all its connotations of substance over form. When an Arab murders four young girls and then shoots their pregnant mother in the belly, the AUTHENTIC Jews cries out in pain, and demands justice. Those who are merely born to Jewish parents react by giving up land to murderers.


22 posted on 01/05/2006 7:23:10 PM PST by h.a. cherev
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To: SJackson

OK,

I pick John Bolton!


23 posted on 01/05/2006 7:23:54 PM PST by SoCal_Republican (Bubbleheads for Bush)
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To: Slings and Arrows

I agree. A Druze military man would be perfect.


24 posted on 01/05/2006 7:30:34 PM PST by popdonnelly
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To: perfect stranger
...let Kinky Freidman be the president of Bahrain.

LOL!

Teenage Immigrant Welfare Mothers on Drugs!

25 posted on 01/05/2006 7:31:38 PM PST by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: h.a. cherev

Begin the most,also Shamir, Eshkol, maybe Bibi.


26 posted on 01/05/2006 7:33:37 PM PST by avile
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To: SJackson

"Indeed, the Talmud relates that one of the most successful kings of Second-Temple era Israel was the non-Jewish Agrippa, who was so beloved by the people that when he once cried in public, after reading Deuteronomy 17:15, the commandment that "You shall not have a foreigner over you," the people cried out to him, "Fear not Agrippa. You are our brother. You are our brother"

While this is a famous passage,I always thought that Agrippa was Hashmonean from his mothers side and hence Jewish. Anyone know the real facts?


27 posted on 01/05/2006 7:36:29 PM PST by avile
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To: h.a. cherev
Those who are merely born to Jewish parents react by giving up land to murderers.

Speaking for myself, justice would be dropping a kosher, 50 megaton, bagel-shaped bomb on Mecca.

28 posted on 01/05/2006 7:48:12 PM PST by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: SJackson

interesting. I nominate Bill Clinton. After all, he was the 'first' black president.


29 posted on 01/05/2006 7:53:50 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/secondaryproblemsofsocialism.htm)
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To: SJackson

So sez Michael Jackson's pal.


30 posted on 01/05/2006 7:55:42 PM PST by Howlin (Defeatism may have its partisan uses, but it is not justified by the facts. - GWB, 12/18/05)
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To: scrabblehack
I'll bet they are. Beliefs aren't reproduced with your pecker, they are chosen by minds. And the yutes of Iran aren't too impressed with modern Islam...
31 posted on 01/05/2006 7:58:49 PM PST by JasonC
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To: SJackson
Israel Needs A Non-Jewish Prime Minister

....About as much as the U.S. needs a Muslim President.

Schmuley needs to lay off the Manischewitz.

32 posted on 01/05/2006 7:59:38 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: SJackson

I hear Hillary has been playing with dradles while wearing that Yankees cap.


33 posted on 01/05/2006 8:03:00 PM PST by He Rides A White Horse (unite)
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To: SJackson
Schmuley's probably available.

Oddly, Schmuley is a Persian Jew.

34 posted on 01/05/2006 8:03:12 PM PST by ChicagoHebrew (Hell exists, it is real. It's a quiet green meadow populated entirely by Arab goat herders.)
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To: h.a. cherev

If by that you mean haredi, then no. Israel is after all a mainly secular state. Has the US ever had an authentically Christian president? I don't think anyone would say that Pres Bush is christian equivalent of an orthodox jew.


35 posted on 01/05/2006 8:13:11 PM PST by jeltz25
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To: anotherview

It reminds me of the Curb Your Enthisiasm episode where the guy accuses Larry of not being a real jew because he was humming Wagner and Larry offers to take it out to prove his jewishness.


36 posted on 01/05/2006 8:15:03 PM PST by jeltz25
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To: SJackson

Ya, maybe the Pope could administer Israel from afar.....

Who writes these things?


37 posted on 01/05/2006 8:16:45 PM PST by G Larry (Only strict constructionists on the Supreme Court!)
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To: ChicagoHebrew

"Oddly, Schmuley is a Persian Jew."

Boteach is aa Eastern European Lubavitcher.


38 posted on 01/05/2006 8:17:47 PM PST by avile
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To: Alouette
Doesn't Israel have a Persian President?
Katsav is a Persian Jew.
39 posted on 01/05/2006 8:55:36 PM PST by rmlew (Sedition and Treason are both crimes, not free speech.)
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To: SJackson

I'll never understand why no Israeli Prime Minister has ever stood up before the world and said "Either the Arabs recognize our right to exist as a homeland of the Jews, or they don't. If they do, then there's room for disagreements and diplomacy, if they don't, then there is nothing to talk about and we will be in a perpetual state of war with them indefinitely, and don't expect us to make any concessions or give them the benefit of the doubt".


40 posted on 01/05/2006 9:02:19 PM PST by The Fop (They attacked 2 of America's main arteries, so we invaded the heart of Arabia. It's that simple)
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To: SJackson
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Formerly Michel Jackson's personal Rabbi (and financial adviser).
41 posted on 01/05/2006 9:26:42 PM PST by Mad_as_heck (The MSM - America's (domestic) public enemy #1.)
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To: SJackson
Israel Needs A Non-Jewish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu


42 posted on 01/05/2006 9:45:43 PM PST by ppaul
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To: SJackson
Very interesting post. Interesting, this author. You know, Israel DID have a non-Jewish "Prime Minister" once - well, it wasn't really called Israel then, and the guy wasn't called "Prime Minister" . . . he was called "King", and was a Knights Templar, named King Baldwin. That was a long time ago. Actually, King Baldwin and those King Baldwins, King of Jerusalem, that followed, secretly practiced a Jewish religion.

Hey! My last name is Baldwin!

Hey! Were some of those Kings, relatives?

. . . hey . . . I wouldn't mind, uh, volunteering for the job . . . you know, I could be really mean to those Muslims . . . check my file . . . Should I check in with the Raabei ? I think I would make a great Prime Minister of Israel. No kidding. It's, well, perhaps "in my blood"?

43 posted on 01/05/2006 9:56:10 PM PST by Brian_Baldwin
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To: SJackson

"Israel Needs A Non-Jewish Prime Minister"

Excellent piece and I agree.


44 posted on 01/05/2006 10:00:39 PM PST by Baraonda (Demographic is destiny. Don't hire 3rd world illegal aliens nor support businesses that hire them.)
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To: rmlew

And the defense minister and formy army chief of staff is also iranian, as are a bunch of others. israel and iran actually had quite a close relationship before the revolution. Sharon was good friends with the Shah and the military there. One of his best friends was ambassador and another was the chief mossad man in Tehran and defense attache.


45 posted on 01/05/2006 11:24:30 PM PST by jeltz25
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To: OldFriend

I would expand on that description exponentially..


46 posted on 01/05/2006 11:26:25 PM PST by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: SJackson; Alouette
". . . especially when pictures of Cory, with a yarmulke on his head. . . A deeply spiritual man of impeccable character, Cory, a Baptist,. . . "

[Loud buzzer goes off.] Wrong! ...minus one point for impersonating! Is Rabbi Boteach not Orthodox, or is his piece intended to be a joke? Or did I miss something?
47 posted on 01/06/2006 12:34:36 AM PST by familyop
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To: Baraonda

Israel is the home of the Jews. Got a problem with that?


48 posted on 01/06/2006 1:24:22 AM PST by Bella_Bru (www.JewsforJudaism.org)
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To: Salem; F15Eagle; Esther Ruth; Canadian Outrage; RoadTest; ZULU; Marine_Uncle

Now this is an interesting twist - ping!


49 posted on 01/06/2006 5:17:32 AM PST by Convert from ECUSA (Not a nickel, not a dime, stop sending my tax money to Hamastine!)
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To: rmlew
Katsav is a Persian Jew.

So is Shaul Mofaz.

50 posted on 01/06/2006 6:20:13 AM PST by Alouette (Neocon Zionist Media Operative)
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