I am not a Jew, but my grandfather, a noted Biblical scholar, did extensive studies of Judaism, opened university doors to Jewish students previously excluded, and our family has fought anti-Semitism constantly.

I was startled to learn this a.m. through an npr program that the ultra orthodox rabbis in Israel determine who is and who is not Jewish and deny marriage to those not meeting their standards — which includes about 400,000 migrants from the former Soviet Union among others.  A case was reported today of a woman being denied the right to marry by the chief ultra orthodox rabbi. And here is yet another weird case reported by Google:

http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/6533/u-s-orthodox-convert-denied-israel-marriage-by-chief-rabbi/

I can see why so many of my students greatly enjoyed a year of study in Israel, but why so few stayed there.

The irony in all this is that our right wing Christians who support the full restoration of Israel expect all ‘Jews’ to convert to Christianity — or else — with coming of the apocalypse.

I graphically remember the grim pictures or the Jews left in the Nazi death camps and sympathized with the Zionist desire to have a safe homeland.

But I am horrified at what that homeland has become — its cruelty to those whom it continues to displace. I also suspect that many other Americans feel the same way which really scares me. I fear some future second Holocaust in Israel proper with the constant threat of weapons of mass destruction now haunting us all.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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