34 thoughts on “‘Because of Their Sins We Expelled Them From Their Land’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. This is a form of ethnic cleansing.
    It’s a way of denying people access to the land they were born in -and as such is contrary to the UN Charter. But that’s closely linked to the principle of sovereignty being based on self-determination, which is obviously undermined if one ethnic group can be thrown out of the land they were born in to leave behind only those likely to vote for the desired outcome. (The essence of Russian and Georgian policy in the territories they dispute.)

    The Obama administration is in a bind over this, because whilst self-determination, if respected, would bring peace to the Middle East, it would forever deny the Falklands to Chevron and Exxon, (sorry, I must have meant to type Argentina there.)

    Trouble is, principles are principles and can’t be mixed and matched.

  2. If that is not ethnic cleansing I do not know what is. Does anybody still think Israel is a Democracy?

      1. Well you either have a democracy or don’t. In this case Israel is not democratic just like it’s neighbouring countries….. But worse because it is also an occupying authority

          1. Refuting the false claims that you can “either have a democracy or you don’t”, and that Israel is “as much a democracy as Lebanon or Turkey”.

  3. The warning (Leviticus 18:24-28):

    Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things; for in all these the nations are defiled, which I cast out from before you.
    And the land was defiled, therefore I did visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land vomited out her inhabitants.
    Ye therefore shall keep My statutes and Mine ordinances, and shall not do any of these abominations; neither the home-born, nor the stranger that sojourneth among you–
    for all these abominations have the men of the land done, that were before you, and the land is defiled–
    that the land vomit not you out also, when ye defile it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you.

    And the follow-through (2 Kings 21:10-15):

    And HaShem spoke by His servants the prophets, saying:
    ‘Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, that were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols;
    therefore thus saith HaShem, the G-d of Israel: Behold, I bring such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.
    And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab; and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.
    And I will cast off the remnant of Mine inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies;
    because they have done that which is evil in My sight, and have provoked Me, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even unto this day.’

    So, at least according to Tanakh, “because of our sins we were exiled from our land” sums up the situation in a nutshell. What theological outlook do you prefer?

      1. While I don’t believe in Divine revelation, I do believe much of Tanakh expresses profound understanding of God’s ways, the verses quoted above included. I also don’t buy into the notion that the original exile ever ended, though but rather only close to ending during the period of Persian rule. As for the existing situation with Zionism, I doubt their state will last much longer unless they can bring themselves to start respecting international law.

  4. Israel has begun to chip away at those rights by arbitrarily revoking residency for any Palestinian who leaves Israel for any length of time.

    I’m a little surprised to see this coming from you, Richard. They are not leaving Israel because East Jerusalem is not Israel no matter how loudly Israelis claim it is. Its annexation by Israel is illegal, illegitimate, and is not recognized by the rest of the world. Even the United States does not recognize East Jerusalem as Israel. As you know, East Jerusalem has the same status as the rest of the West Bank, as well as the Golan Heights, and the Gaza strip. All are territories Israel holds under belligerant military occupation, and with the exception of Gaza that Israel is colonizing in violation of international law.

    1. Of course, I agree. I was phrasing this according to the terms of reference of the Israeli gov’t which sees E. Jerusalemites living abroad as having lost their Israeli residency rights.

    2. Your statement is not true. Jerusalem does not have the same status as the former Jordanian-annexed area now referred to as the West bank.

      1. I have no idea what this means. Of course it has the same status. It is all land Israeli conquered in 1967 & refused to return. It is all land inhabited largely by Palestinians. The only entity which considers East Jerusalem diff. than the rest of the W. Bank is Israel. No one recognized Israel’s conquest or annexation of the W. Bank–except Israel.

      2. My statement is absolutely true. Jerusalem has exactly the same status under international law as do the rest of the occupied territories.

  5. The problem, Shirin, is that by violating the rights of citizenship of East Jerusalemites – which Israel itself has bestowed – Israel is creating a legal foundation to similarly violate the rights of ’48 Arabs.

    1. 1. Israel has not bestowed citizenship on “East Jerusalemites”.

      2. Israel cannot create a legal foundation for anything by means of illegal actions and policies.

    2. I think you mean “residency” & not “citizenship.” If Israel had offered E. Jerusalemites citizenship, rather than residency this would be an entirely diff. political status & situation. But I do agree that this may have implications for Israeli Palestinian citizens.

    3. I agree that it will likely have implications for Israel’s Palestinian citizens, none of them good. What I objected to was the suggestion that by committing one set of illegal actions Israel can create a legal foundation for anything. But perhaps I interpreted what you said too literally. I am guessing what you meant was that Israel is creating itself a basis on which to claim something is legal when it clearly is not and never can be.

  6. “Israel long ago annexed East Jerusalem and brought its residents under Israeli rule (though it did not offer them citizenship).”

    Please fact check your statements. They were offered citizenship and they refused.

    1. You’re full of crap. Israel never offered any Palestinian citizenship. Prove it. You’re beyond ludicrous. You wouldn’t know a fact about Israeli history if it jumped up & bit you.

      1. As far as I know, Israel ‘allowed’ Palestinians in East Jerusalem to apply for citizenship at one point (but has not since), but it attached so many hurdles and conditions that it was basically meaningless.
        Similar to the old ‘Palestinians can build in Jerusalem, too’ argument. Sure, they can file an expensive, time-consuming application for a building permit – it just won’t be granted, barring some exceptional fluke of being included in the few token permissions the Israeli authorities grant.

          1. That I have to disagree. There were a lot of permits granted for Palestinian Jerusalamites but they had to pay more than the building is worth to get that permit. It is not easy to get but the ministry of land is so corrupt there that I know several people that payed a big bribe to the workers there to get a permit. There was a big investigation on this a year or 2 ago.
            So permits are possible but only if you have a lot of money to pay.

    2. You actually beleive that? How come when my sister and I tried to get citizenship in Israel we were refused (we were born in Jerusalem)? Every Plaestinian would jump to get the citizenship if they had the chance so they would not loose their right to live anywhere in Israel but Israel does not want them there. They will find any excuse to revoke residency of Plaestinians in Jerusalem. Face it Israel does not want the Palestinians there.

      1. FAITH, what was the reason you were given for being denied Israeli citizenship, or was no reason given?

        I’ve heard conflicting accounts from East Jerusalem residents. Some of them have told me that Israel has offered them citizenship but they have declined. Others have told me that Israel has not offered them citizenship. B’Tselem says this about permanent residents of Jerusalem: “Permanent residents are permitted, if they wish and meet certain conditions, to receive Israeli citizenship. These conditions include swearing allegiance to the State, proving that they are not citizens of any other country, and showing some knowledge of Hebrew. For political reasons, most of the residents do not request Israeli citizenship.”

        1. When I was in Israel I did apply and so did my sister for citizenship. I never got it and they never gave me a reason but I did not keep persuing it since I went to the U.S. to continue my education. Since then Israel revoked my residency because I have a green card. My sister on the other hand has been trying for 6 years now to get the citizenship with no luck.
          None of us were offered citizenship and nobody in Mizrach yerushaleim that I know off was ever offered the citizenship. I know of a couple of people though that got citizenship only after hiring big lawyers to get it for them.

  7. I never did appreciate the theological outlook of this prayer

    As we approach Tisha B-Av, perhaps it’s time to reconsider!

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