September 23, 2019

Rejecting the Rejection of the Diaspora

“Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz (head of the Jewish Home Party), now the head of the United Right, reveals his odious Kahanist identity in stating that the Jewish rate of intermarriage in the Western World is a ‘second Holocaust’, in that ‘the Jewish people have lost 6 million.’ For Peretz and his ilk, Iran, Israel’s neighbors, the Palestinians, ‘leftists and assimilationists’, are all harbingers of the Holocaust, and now he adds the Jewish people of the Diaspora to that list.

Peretz is short on the poetic and metaphoric. He means what he says. We must stop now and ask – so what does he actually mean? Is he saying that those who intermarry are virtual Nazis and Kapos who kill Jews? Or is he claiming that those who intermarry are Jewish corpses, now dead to Judaism? The Murderers or The Murdered!? If, albeit a noxious task, you read the literature of Israel’s far right, both images are evoked and both statements are combined: that Diaspora Judaism is a Self-Destruct Mechanism, which in its assimilationist spiral cannot do anything but consume itself. For the right, only Zion, in a particular construct – radically right-wing, racist, Messianic and religiously obscurantist – can promise Jewish continuity.

This image of “Jewish continuity” should not come as a surprise to us [see: ‘I Shut My Orthodox Synagogue’s Doors to Racist Rabbi Meir Kahane. But Others Let Him In’]. It is no more than Kahanic vitriol from a saboteur of Jewish potential. Additionally, while this is about something on a much higher plane than politics, and while perhaps we could withstand Peretz’s shenanigans spending a few months in our cabinet, he is not sitting atop just any ministry. As one who should be seen as the Educator-in-Chief of the State of Israel, he should be sent packing before he causes further damage – we cannot survive his statements and potential mischief until September 17th elections.”

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