Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Rehoboam and the Palestinians

"Rehoboam. Fragment of Wall Painting from Basel Town Hall Council Chamber, by Hans Holbein the Younger."
Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

The young men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’"
1 Kings 12:10-11

These days the feeling is even stronger than before that political leaders and IDF have chosen the way of Rehoboam while dealing with the Palestinians.

Unfortunately, the decision of King Rehoboam to follow the advise of young men against the political wisdom of the elderly led to disastrous results and the division of the Kingdom into two states. Israel and Judea.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Three Republics of modern Israel

First Republic 1948 - 1967
Young Israel signified the rise of Jewish people like Fenix bird from the ashes of Auschwitz. Established by one of the early decisions of the United Nations it consisted of a narrow strip of land west of Jordan river and provided homeland to refugees and survivals from war torn Europe among the Zionist Jews who had earlier settled to Mandate Period Palestine.

The First Republic was strongly influenced by social-democratic and Marxist ideals, the value of working together in building the land.  Religious Zionism was in the sidelines and not considered particularly important and religious Jews adopted to the situation making the best of it. It is interesting that in those Cold War years socialist Israel stood by West while Muslim countries in Levant and North-Africa tied close relations with the Soviet Union.

The towering and charismatic personality of David Ben Gurion characterizes the First Republic other political leaders trying to emulate him. The counter-shock of Egyptian victories in the October War 1973 was a cold shower of reality for the political and military leadership with wide/ranging consequences.

Second Republic 1967 - 1995
The amazing military victory over all the Arab countries involved in the Six Day War in June 1967 profoundly changed the State of Israel. With the conquest of land in all directions the borders of the country reached from Golan and Jordan River in the East to the Sinai Peninsula and Suez Canal in the South.

In a short time Israel gained military rule over the Biblical sites of her origins as told in the Bible and the city of Abraham in Khalil/Hebron, as well as the tomb of Josef in Nablus/Shechem and the tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem became accessible. Not to speak of the Western Wall, the remains of the Herodian built platform under the Temple of Jerusalem.

But this religiously enormously significant military expansion was not "land without people to people without land" but rather conquest and rule over millions of Palestinian Arabs who had previously been under Ottoman, Mandatory, Jordanian (West Bank) and Egyptian (Gazza strip) rule.

The time of the Second Republic is very complicated with great changes in international politics, powers after the collapse of Soviet Union and so on. The simplicity of old socialist approach to economy was now over and complexities of modern global business, marketing and manufacturing led to totally new situations where the former political power of workers evaporated.

The arrival of over a million Russian immigrants profoundly changed the demography and also the spirit of Israel.

From the Messianic point of view the reconquesta of big parts of the Promised Land (East Jordan and Southern Syria still missing) had a deep impact on the ideological views of the citizens. There was a marked rise in the national-religious camp that had been so much suppressed by the Socialist rulers. With the demise of socialism in the West and the faith in the power of states to provide for the well-being of citizens echoed also in Israel and pure capitalism was in vogue.

When Second Republic old horse and respected military leader, national hero Yithaq Rabin, tried to lead the country to negotiated peace with the Palestinians on the basis of Oslo agreement by giving up parts of Holy Land, the religious-nationalistic camp put a final and fatal end to the attempt in 1995.

When another war hero of the old, Ariel Sharon, withdrew Jewish settlers from the Gazza strip and handed it to the Palestinians, he was fatally damaged by brain hemorrhage and laid for some years in comatose condition before his death. News circulated that the rabbis of Israel had cursed him and even this was officially denied people widely believed the story. Consequently, there was a feeling that God of Israel Himself punished the ruler who wanted to give up Land.

Third Republic 1995 -
With the most "right wing" government ever elected by the citizens of Israel the Messianic trend that naturally belongs to Judaism has become more clear. In order for the Great King to arrive a number of things must be done. Reconquesta of the Promised Land is one thing, rebuilding of the Temple another sine non qua. This is very powerful stuff that finds expression in political decision making and even in the actions of the Israel Defense Forces where the percentage of old Israel leftist staff is slowly but surely diminishing. Times are achanging...

Third Republic was created by the forceful removal of a prime minister that did not follow the new national-religious stream but rather adhered to the ancient socialist model speaking of the possibility of peace a la Oslo. It is characterized by Strong Man rule, a way to run a country without all the finesses of sophisticated and often cumbersome democracy. Mussolini got the trains of Italy to run in time which was not a small achievement in that country.

Strong Man rule is the rule rather than exception in the Middle East and also the strong Russian segment of population comes from that type of background with no real knowledge of democracy and allergic to state intervention to private matters. We can say that with this emphasis on the power and ability to lead of a single person Israel is coming closer to its true rules, the historic Kingdoms of Judea and Israel in the Iron Age and king Herod and his dynasty in the Roman period.

For the coming Messiah is not a democratic ruler but an absolute Monarch.