59 thoughts on “Rabbi Dov Lior: ‘Democracy, Idol Worship of Our Time’ – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Dov Lior states that Israel should “send the terrorists back to their country of origin”.
    How come so many Israelis are so fast to forget that THEY are the strangers to this land. I doubt Poland would accept to take in Dov Lior. I think they have more than enough trouble already with their Catholic fundamentalists.

  2. Richard: “This is Israel, at least Israel at the present moment”

    I disagree, thank god this is NOT Israel.

    This is still a band of extremists who get government funding as community Rabbis. Most of the time they deal with pastoral affairs, and occasionally come out with these major no-noes. There are not hundereds but rather a dozen or so like him.

    This is not Israel since:
    Bibi has affirmed that both Dov Lior and Yaakov Yossef should have been arrested and that the law is one for all.

    The minister of justice is dati (Yaakov Neeman) who is a right winger politically and ultimately responsible for the arrests.

    The minister for internal security is Aharonovitch who is a member of Lieberman’s party and in charge of the police who arrested them in commando-like fashion.

    Diskin, ex-shabak head supports the arrests.

    In fact those who oppose the arrests are a small bunch of right wing thugs.

    This is Israel, arresting even the extreme right along with the left.

    1. …Yahu is merely going through the motions so that his American friends aren’t embarrassed by the spectacle of hate their ally is putting on.

    2. See my post of today. If this is a band of extremists can you explain to us all why a deputy prime minister, interior minister & IDF commander all come to honor him mere days since the police questioned him for incitement??

      And why, pray tell, did it take three months after the police asked him to speak w. them for the police to actually arrest him? And why does he get away for that length of time w. refusing outright to be questioned. He IS above the law in effect.

  3. Hopefully, Lior and his ilk will continue to make such outrageous, idiotic state; it will (hopefully) turn the mass of Israeli society against them.

    1. The mass of Israel society is against them and has always been against them. The problem with religion is that when it goes astray, there are nothing to balance it back. This character and his followers are a good example of this.
      Luckily, Israel has a democratic structure that does create the balance for their folly.

      1. The mass of Israel society is against them and has always been against them.

        Except former IDF chiefs of staff, interior ministers, & currently serving IDF commanders. They love the guy!

  4. I thought the army, the state and the flag were the new idol worship. (Happens in every nationalist society.)

    1. I thought it was freedom to choose and the ability to have a good life. What you describe is more like Syria and Libya than Israel

  5. Mr. Silverstein
    Out of curiosity, during the Passover Seder do you pray:”Pour out thy wrath on the nations” – “שפוך חמתך על הגויים” ?

    Personally i do not attend a Seder so i do not.

  6. Because Zionists consider Democracy a challenge and a threat, they circumvent it with their 2-tier legal system and blatant injustice and oppression, and these are your regular Zionists not your fanatical Rabbi here. He’s ensuring the next generation goes even further.

    The Rabbi equates Democracy with idolatry to weaken its burden and power over Zionism, when in fact, it’s Zionism that is the new idolatry. “Thou shalt not steal, or covet your neighbors property or bring false witness and thou shalt love thy neighbor” have been written out of the Zionist covenant.

    But this isn’t a covenant with God mind you. The only one smiling is not up there rather down below.

    Let’s just say that Zionism is Cain and Democracy is Abel. Guess who made a pact with the devil to “eliminate the obstacle”?

    1. So… what about the Zionists who want to see the end of the occupation? The ones who oppose the crass stupidity and racism? And the ones who work tirelessly to improve their home? Are they all satanists?

      1. No but they’re either deluding themselves or still don’t see Zionism as it really is and where it leads. I would suggest they fight for Democratic values and ideals and stop defending Zionism. It will be time better spent and a cause worthy of their own values; if they’re really sincere.

        1. Ah. I didn’t know that self-determination and the desire to escape persecution was evil and satanic, or that their desire for peace and justice for the Palestinians was merely part of a delusion. Thank you for educating me on the subject.

          1. You’ll never get any of that within the framework of Zionism. If you can’t figure that out from where Israel is heading then I don’t know what it’ll take.

          2. @ Benjamin
            The difference between you and Kalea is that you see Zionism only from a Jewish point of view, and Kalea from the point of view of its victims.
            You can delude youself as much as you want, but Zionism has brough NOTHING positive to the native Palestinians. The State of Israel has been created on THEIR land and at their costs, and no humanistic and ‘peace-and-love-Hasbara’ can change that.
            The Zionists that you pretend want peace and justice in fact only want peace and no justice. Why don’t you let the Palestinians talk for themselves, you apparently have never met one ! “Peace and justice”. Oh, my, you just break my heart.

          3. their desire for peace and justice for the Palestinians was merely part of a delusion.

            There are some, but very few Zionists today inside Israel who believe this. I wish there were more & that their voices were more prominent & I publicize them when I hear them. But they are a distinct minority.

        1. To Ms. Yassin above,
          What makes you think I don’t emphasize with the Palestinians? I said above that I want peace and justice, and that by that, I believe that Zionism will need to come face to face with the damage many of the the more repugnant aspects that have been done in its name.

          The Zionists that I support who ‘pretend to support peace and justice’ are ones that I believe to be honest in their desire to help the Palestinians. The quote I used from Herzl below was meant to bely my hope that such a change occurs. I am sorry that I might have hurt, or offended you with my beliefs.

          (As a side note, I apologize to Mr. Silverstein above for using his post to reply to Kalea and Ms. Yassin above; I was unable to directly reply to them with the ‘reply’ command.)

          1. @ Benjamin
            ‘Yassin’ is a male name in Arabic, so I’d rather you stick to the ‘Deïr Yassin’ or DY if your hand can’t type the name of this Palestinian village whose fate is the metaphore of what happened to the Palestinians.

            When you write about Zionists who have a desire to ‘help the Palestinians’: how come it makes me think of the paternalistic attitude that was a part of, particularly French, colonialism.

            You want peace AND justice ? Fine, I can’t see anything else than a One State or a Binational State with the implementation of the RoR, and the end of the Jewish ‘Right of Return’ that could bring peace AND justice. Do you agree with that solution ? Don’t keep me waiting for your answer …

          2. My apologies, Deïr Yassin; I don’t always know how to address people over the internet.

            The context of ‘helping the Palestinians’ (at least in this context) is helping them on a individual and community level, i.e. helping them create self-sustaining businesses, build up working state institutions, removing the settlers on their land and replace/compensate them for the destroyed property, ect ect. I’m not sure why you think that equals colonialism, but I apologize if that’s the impression I gave.

            As for the optimal solution to the conflict, I am somewhat pessimistic about all of the solutions; I lean slightly (very) towards a two-state solution. All of the means to end the conflict have problems that have most likely been discussed here already.

            As I don’t wish to stray further off-topic on this blog and irritate the owner, I believe it best that I stop responding on this topic.

    2. This is a site that is run by a progressive Zionist. In fact, the person who runs the site was extremely insulted and offended when it was implied that he was an “anti-Zionist” by someone at another site.

      I find your claims that Zionists consider Democracy “a threat” and that Zionism is “the new idolatry” to be quite offensive.

      I am quite confident that the owner of this site, an avowed Zionist, does not consider Democracy to be a threat.

      1. Put aside the inherent injustices of “old” Zionism (then overlooked or seen as inevitable darker side to a greater “good”), what “Zionism” means in Israel nowadays has very little to do with good old Herzl.
        In current Israeli discourse, Zionism is taken to mean the opposite to humanism, liberalism, democracy and other soft-hearted bourgeois weaknesses.
        Other than streetnames, the only remnants of the liberal Herzlian Zionism are the poor guy’s picture and some well out-of-contexed snippets.

        1. Do you not think that there is such a thing as a progressive Zionist?

          The PZC states that striving for peace, social justice, religious pluralism, and economic democracy is essential for the realization of positive and responsible Zionism.

          1. As I stated previously; I don’t think any of that was ever really realistic within the concept of Zionism. Zionism eclipses all that and is a road to hell strewn with good intentions that got left behind because they became an obstacle to the goal.

          2. Unfortunately, within the parameters into which the state of Israel has maneuvered itself, “the realization of positive and responsible Zionism” is no longer feasible.

        2. “Good old Herzl”
          You apparently haven’t read much of Herzl. Much of his writings is based on pure colonial concepts and his vision of the ‘savages’ is that of his time.
          “Liberal Herzlian Zionism”: well, if that’s what Liberal Zionism is, I understand why I feel sick everytime I read a self righteous liberal Zionist. They all think they are individual ‘Lights-Upon-The-Nations’ !

          1. It’s all relative, DY.
            Though pursuing a colonist ideology (in Palestine or, alternatively, in Uganda), Herzl considered himself (and was seen by his contemporaries as) a liberal.
            Compared to today’s Zionists, Herzl was an herbivourous liberal.

          1. I mentioned earlier “well out-of-contexed snippets”.
            Thanks for providing an example.

          2. The current Likudist Zionist slogan: “If you will it it is a nightmare.” Or as a wonderful Israeli satirist said with an invented caption for the famous photo of Herzl standing on a balcony overlooking a river & seemingly contemplating the Jewish future: “I could’ve told them it would end in tears.”

  7. Silverstein says: “Do NOT make the mistake of believing these homicidal Jewish terrorists and their rabbinic enablers are marginal or aberrant. ”
    Are they not?
    You yourself wrote that the salaries of the good rabbi and others like him are paid for by Israeli taxpayers “most of whom are secular and revolted by their homicidal political-theological views.”

    1. There’s a significant difference between being marginal and being a fast growing substantial minority.

      1. Yankel says:
        July 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM

        “There’s a significant difference between being marginal and being a fast growing substantial minority.”

        Oh! But Richard says that he is “a State employee whose salary is paid by the citizens of that State, roughly 80% of whom are NOT settlers and do not support his vicious racism”.

        1. See Richard’s latest item to get an idea about the disproportionate political power the settlers are wielding.
          These people are yet a (very substantial!) minority, but they gather strength and volume literally by the day.

  8. Land worship is idolatry, state worship is idolatry, people worship is idolatry, worship of one’s tribe or nation is idolatry. Blind submission to any ideology (including religious dogma, communism, capitalism, zionism or whatever other -ism) is idolatry. Anything that falls short of true (self-)knowledge, love and compassion is idolatry.

    However much I abhor Lior’s views, even democracy, if taken to the extreme and dogmatized, can become an idol.

    For an in-depth analysis of the subject, please read Erich Fromm’s “Escape from Freedom” and “Ye Shall be as Gods: The Radical Interpretation of the Old Testament”.

    This is just a short quote from the latter book:

    “The Old Testament is a book of many colors, written, edited, and re-edited by many writers in the course of a millennium and containing in itself a remarkable evolution from primitive authoritarianism and clannishness to the idea of the radical freedom of humans and the brotherhood of all people. The Old Testament is a revolutionary book; its theme is the liberation of people from the incestuous ties to blood and soil, from the submission to idols, from slavery, from powerful masters, to freedom for the individual, for the nation, and for all of humankind.”

  9. Perhaps the Rabbi needs to be sent back to Wroclaw (Breslau) for a few years; that might change his tune about democracy.

    1. The sad irony is that the Jews who lived in Germany and Eastern Europe under difficult circumstances for hundreds of years have developed a fine Rabbinical and Hassidic tradition of learning, wisdom, profound insights, love of life, compassion and universalism (as I mentioned in my previous comment, which is for some reason being moderated). That world is alas forever gone.

      Lior is hardly part of that tradition. He seems to represent another trend in Judaism, that of tribalism, clannishness, feudalism and primitive authoritarianism.

      Many Jews contributed a lot to the foundation of modern democratic states in Europe.

      1. You’re so right, Leonid.
        I haven’t read much historical litterature on the ‘Ostjuden’, but I came across Israel Joshua Singer, the brother of Isaac Bashevis, a couple of years ago, and I’ve read everything that has been translated of his wonderful writings. If it’s translated into English, I recommend his ‘The Carnowski Family’ which I read night and day, I simply couldn’t put that book down.
        Hopefully with the democratization of Eastern Europe, the Jewish spiritual and cultural life there will experience a revival in the future.

        Personally, I’m very sorry to see so many European Jewish intellectuals actually spending their time defending Israel and Zionism. When I compare the intellectual genius of Claude Levi-Strauss or Jacques Derrida with Bernard-Henry Levi (BHL among friend and enemies) and his pro-Israeli mob, I realize that European intellectual thinking has lost a lot 🙁
        I’ve wanted to ask you for a while whether you’ve ever read Yuri Slezkine and his “The Jewish Century”, and what you eventually think of it.
        Restiamo humani !

        1. Deir Yassin, thanks for your interest and for referring me to I.J. Singer. I never heard of him, but I did read a couple of his famous brother’s novels. I’ll see if I can procure a copy of one of his books.

          I heard of the French-Jewish philosophers that you mention, but unfortunately I’m not familiar with their work. There’s regrettably only so much time I can devote to reading.

          No, I haven’t read Slezkine, but the book description sounds quite interesting. What I understand from the book reviews is that Slezkine sees Jewry as champions of modernization, urbanization, intellectuality, etc. To be sure, a large segment of the world Jewry aspire these values. Yet, in my opinion, this has little in common with the Jewish tradition that I was talking about. I’d call that tradition and that lost world medieval rather than modern, whose primary values were search for truth and the paramount importance of learning and understanding above intellectual sophistry, above the materialistic values and acquisition of wealth. To illustrate this, consider the extreme story of the Wuerzburger Rav, the most important figure of Orthodox Jewry in the south of Germany in the 19th century and great-grandfather of Erich Fromm. He had, as was customary at the time, a small shop in Wiesenbronn in which his spent most of his time studying the Talmud. When a client came in, he became angry and said: “Is there no other shop than mine? As you can see, I am busy.”

          I am not optimistic about the Jewish revival in Eastern Europe. There are so few Jews left there, and those who are left have hardly much in common with the unique tradition, which was almost completely wiped out by Hitler on the one hand and Stalin and the Soviets on the other. My hope is that this tradition will live on through the writings and ideas of such Jewish thinkers Hermann Cohen, Janusz Korczak, Erich Fromm and many others, whom I consider to be its spiritual heirs.

          May I offer you a gift of this short essay by Erich Fromm called Heroes and Martyrs, which he wrote in response to the hysteria and surge in Jewish nationalism following the Six-Day War: http://www.erich-fromm.de/biophil/en/images/stories/pdf-Dateien/1990s-1967-e.pdf

          Let us all stay human!

          1. @ Leonid
            I warmly recommend Singer the Elder. He’s even better than his brother, in my opinion. He’s only been translated into French a couple of years ago, so maybe nothing is available yet in English.
            I love Erich Fromm too. I took a course on ‘The Frankfurter School’ some ten years ago, and that was a door to a new world. I knew Herbert Marcuse, but Fromm, Adorno, Walter Benjamin and the rest was an amazing discovery. This school of thought is one of the greatest Jewish contributions to humanistic thinking.
            I asked you about Sletkine that I haven’t read (only extracts) because I know some claim his writings are anti-semitic, and I wanted an insider viewpoint before deciding whether he’s worth the time or not.

            There’s a Jewish revival in Germany, so everything is possible 🙂

          2. For more on the revival of Central & Eastern Europe pls. visit the wonderful website Centropa founded by the wunderkind, Edward Serotta, who helped save the Sarajevo Haggadah during the Serbian war.

            Also, be sure to read IJ Singer. FAR superior to his slightly bizarre brother. ANother wonderful Yiddish writer, Chaim Grade. Highly recommended.

          3. Wow, Deir Yassin, I am truly impressed by the breadth of your knowledge. You know more about Jewish literature and thinkers than most of us.

            If I may ask you, how do you take a course on ‘The Frankfurter School’? Do you just sign up for such a course at a university?

            I read a bit about Marcuse, Adorno and Walter Benjamin, but never got round to their writings.

            I bumped into Erich Fromm, when I was 16 in 1990 at some obscure village book store in the middle of nowhere in Belarus, which had a great choice of books, among them Fromm’s “Art of Loving”, his first book translated into Russian. This encounter changed my life. Fromm opened my eyes to new interpretations of religious traditions, to the prophets of the Old Testament, to Zen Buddhism and meditation, to Rumi and Muslim mystics, to Spinoza, but also to Marxism, Freudism and humanism. Now, more than 20 years later, I am still fascinated by his writings and, whenever time permits, attempt not just to read, but to study his books.

            Jewish revival in Germany is probably fueled by the Russina Jews, who’ve immigrated there in large numbers. My personal opinion is that we, as mankind, are past the stage of national revivals. The task at hand is to revive the whole planet, to achieve a better, prosperous, just and healthy society for all.

        2. I.J. Singer, most Yiddish literary experts say, was far superior to his brother, & had he not died prematurely would surely have won the Nobel Prize in his stead.

          Don’t know if you heard that BHL attributed the arrest & Dominque Straus Kahn to an American culture too friendly to minorities. Repulsive. He also makes the mistake of presuming because the case fell apart that DSK didn’t actually force the maid to have sex w. him. Another big mistake.

          1. BHL is the perfect example of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. He was and is still a close friend of Roman Polanski, and last year when Polanski was in house arrest, BHL opened his intervention at the founding JCall meeting in Bruxelles in support for his close friend. Recently, asked whether he thought DSK was guilty, he answered with his usual melodramatic style: ‘Could anybody ever think I would be friend with a rapist’ 🙂
            He could be a good Hasbarista though. In his latest book he used a non-existing quote from Kant or some other philosopher, and a couple of years ago a French journalist created a fictif philosopher, Botul, only to set a trap for BHL who then referred widely to this non-existing philosopher in a book. An intellectual fraud.

            The US has given France a very good lesson on democracy in the DSk-case. A French Minister had been accused of rape by two employees and has been sacked since this affair. And the young journalist that DSK tried to rape some years ago has finally filed a complaint yesterday.

          2. Yes, and the school of thought that Botul started was named Botulism! (And the supposed book that BHL quoted was called “The Sex Life of Immanuel Kant”.)

            I was stunned at his reference to cuddling minorities as well.

  10. Dear Mr. Richard

    Small correction for your spanish

    1) you used the word “cajones” which in spanish means drawers in furniture = cabinet drawers

    2) you meant “cojones” which means testes in english

    Actually the right doesn’t anyone testes the right IS the government small HUGE difference

    hope to have improved your spanish vocabulary in a small measure enjoy your 4th of july

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