In his Jerusalem speech, Romney went on to insist that “we cannot stand silent as those who seek to undermine Israel voice their criticisms. And we certainly should not join in that criticism.” But Tisha B’Av [the fast day that commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples] is all about the importance of criticizing Jewish behavior; that’s why, on the Sabbath before it, we read a portion of the Torah in which Moses rebukes the Jewish people before they enter the land of Israel. Obviously, some criticism truly is destructive and unfair. But to use Tisha B’Av to suggest that the country that most clearly wishes Israel well—the United States—should never publicly disagree with Israel’s actions isn’t just bad foreign policy. It’s bad Judaism.
Peter Beinart, Mitt Romney Misuses Judaism to Support Israel and Buttress His Own Campaign (via praxidikai)
I don’t like this too much tbh. I mean the quoted paragraph is solid, but not the rest. I think the crux of it is that Romney, a Christian, a Mormon who has admitted to baptizing Holocaust victims, has no true interest in Israel as a haven for Jewish people, because he doesn’t care about Jewish people. But I think Beinart is way off base in bringing up, like, the Book of Esther to somehow segue into “Jews are bad too because Palestine.” It may have belonged in a criticism of Bibi and his speeches re: Iran, just as a reminder that hey, Ahmadinejad is an entity that is entirely separate from Haman or any kind of Biblical canon and you’re bringing down the level of discourse, but not here? I’m having trouble articulating this but I guess essentially I just see dragging rabbinic interpretations into this as irrelevant since Romney’s intent is pretty simple, obvious, and political and of course it has nothing to do with Judaism, duh Beinart, you just like your soapboxes.
Okay, I admit to hastily reblogging this in the airport at 5am with bad wifi so I didn’t read the rest of the article…you’re totally on point with this.
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