Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bashing the Founding Fathers

Very few things make me as angry as when an article like the one in VIN (copied from Ha'aretz) comes out. The implication of the article is that one of the founding ‘fathers’ (I guess founding mothers would be more accurate) of Israel wanted to implement a selection process for Jewish immigrants from Poland – much like the selection process at the death camps of Poland and Germany during the Holocaust. A recently discovered document reveals that as Foreign Minister for the State of Israel she sent such a letter to Israel's ambassador to Poland in 1958:

"A proposal was raised in the coordination committee to inform the Polish government that we want to institute selection in aliyah, because we cannot continue accepting sick and handicapped people. Please give your opinion as to whether this can be explained to the Poles without hurting immigration," read the document, written by Meir to Israel's ambassador to Poland, Katriel Katz.

Well that doesn’t sound like the ‘Jewish mother’ image she had now does it? That is the message about Mrs. Meir which seems to be inherent in this.

But is it really fair to judge her this way? I don’t think so. It is ...oh so easy! make these judgements from our living rooms over fifty years later. How disgusting it seems to be to leave the sick and handicapped people behind. ‘How cynical’ …as one ‘scholar and Jew’ put it.

But there is no context given - just the raw facts of this letter and the implications of Golda’s evil ways.

One must not judge her without understanding the full context of her era and her position. Is it possible that the health care system could simply not support more sick people? Maybe there were just not enough hospital beds and doctors to accommodate them?

I would suggest that it is fair to consider accepting healthy people as immigrants before accepting unhealthy ones - if immigration resources are limited. The fact that she wanted to know if this would hurt immigration was a fair question. Her goal was the same as that of all the founders: Kibutz Galios - the in-gathering of the exiles which is the one of the stated goals of the Jewish State.

Is it wrong to prioritize or even limit immigration in this way? Especially since the sick and handicapped Jews of Poland were being medically treated there? True Poland of the late 1950s was not a paradise for Jews. But it was very far from a concentration camp. Those Jews were being treated as far as I know and were not in mortal danger.

Was the request in that document ultimately in consonance with Halacha? I don’t know. Golda Meir was not Frum. Far From it. And she didn’t ask Shailos. However, I fully believe that she felt that document was written and sent in the best interests of the State of Israel – which in the end is in the best interests of its residents – Frum and not Frum alike.

What bothers me is the virtual glee some people have when they find any dirt on Israel's founders. They jump on it with a ‘See – I told you so’ attitude. They treat 'hating the State of Israel's founding fathers' as an almost religious obligation. When a document like this comes out they impute the worst possible motives to the document’s author. It advances their anti-State cause. All in an effort to prove what Reshaim these people are.

You know what? These people are no better than those Neturei Kartaniks who go around kissing Iran’s Ahmadinijad.

Oh.... they will claim to be different and just as appalled at Neturei Karta as anyone else. But they are just as responsible for giving the anti Semites of the world ammunition against us as is Neturei Karta. Neturei Karta bashes Ben Gurion and his minions... so do utra Orthodox Jews …and so do the Arabs. The truth is there is practically no difference between them in their hatred of the Jewish State. The difference is only in their methods for dismantling it.

The people who take great joy at disseminating 'revelations' like this and spinning them in the worst possible way can take pride in their accomplishments – if their goal is the destruction of the Jewish State.