chapter 3the israeli See Israel Through the Eyes of a Young ORthodox Immigrant From Los Angeles Who Moved to Jerusalem “You may well be president of 200 million people; I am Prime Minister of 460,000 Prime Ministers.” —David Ben-Gurion to Harry Truman another See Israel’s Jewish Hero Democracy Learn More In Action Page 49 Page 42
Chapter 3: The Israeli 35the many faces book Search Aaron Katz Friends Subscribed Message Studied at Aish HaTorah L.A. Studied at Ohr Samayach Lives in Jerusalem, Israel From Tarzana, CA Aaron Katz Shared a link: The Recent Activity Beginnings of Christianity and the Rule of the Romans Aaron was tagged in the album Yeshiva 2 hours ago Downtime. Like • Comment Write a comment. . . Aaron and Omri Hazan are now friends. Aaron shared a photo album: Arrival to Israel Aaron Katz Updated his profile: Lives in Jerusalem, Israel Aaron liked Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime 9 months ago Minister of Israel’s page. Like • Comment Write a comment. . . Aaron Katz Is Studying Abroad in Israel with University of California 2 years ago Like • Comment Write a comment. . . Aaron Katz Listened to Matisyahu 5 years ago Like • Comment Write a comment. . .
The Beginnings of Christianity and the Rule of the Romans T he Romans officially took over control the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Second of Israel, then called Judea, in the be- Temple in 70 CE. All Jews were expelled from Jeru- ginning of the Common Era. Roman salem, which the Romans renamed Aelia Capitoli- rule continued for several centuries, na in an attempt to discourage Jewish attachment until 636 CE. During the Roman occupation, a to the city. Following the second revolt (132–135 Jewish teacher, Jesus of Nazareth, preached Jew- CE) the Jewish population in Israel was exiled ish religious and ethical laws. This preaching was from the land. The Romans renamed the area threatening to those in power, and he was execut- Palestine, after the Philistines, an ancient tribe ed by the Romans. Jesus’ followers continued his that had once inhabited a coastal strip near the teachings, and the Christian faith was born. Even- modern city of Ashkelon. This was the Romans’ tually, Christianity was spread throughout the attempt to remove from the Jews any national feel- known world. It became one of the world’s great ing for the Land of Israel. However, Jews did not religions based on the belief that Jesus was sent accept their dispossession from their land and re- by God to save mankind through Christian faith. tained the named Eretz Yisrael—the Land of Israel. The Roman occupation was a destructive force. From 66 to 74 CE, the Jews revolted. In response,36 Chapter 3: The Israeli
Chapter 3: The Israeli 37Like • Comment • Share 16 people like this Aaron Katz I live in Jerusalem with 750,000 of my holiest friends—and I, too, can’t imagine living anywhere else! Where is my favorite place—where else? The Kotel. Robbie Green Great pic. I know that’s the Western Wall, but what’s the Kotel? Aaron Katz Ha! Same thing. Kotel means “Wall,” referencing the Western retaining wall of the ancient beloved Temple of the Jewish people. Solomon Barihun I love it at the Kotel on Friday, just before sundown. The world stops and the Sabbath—Shabbat in Hebrew—begins 25 hours of a complete break from the working world. Aaron Katz When I go with the boys from the Yeshiva, we begin dancing in a snake path down from the upper city. Robbie Green Whoa. Who knew? Tali Levy This is where I was sworn into the IDF—Israel Defense Forces. Aaron Katz That’s right, those guys and girls down there know that our tiny country has four borders with other countries. Two of those borders are with nations still officially at war with us, at war with the very idea of our existence. Omri Hazan Nachon. Right. The job for us soldiers is simple: Defend our borders so our family and friends at home can live as a free people.
Chapter 3: The Israeli 39Like • Comment • Share 3 people like this Aaron Katz I know this is a heavy subject, but this is Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, a museum of education and remembrance for the 6 million Jews that were killed in the Nazi Holocaust. Omri Hazan May God bless their memories. Robbie Green I could barely keep it together when I went through the Children’s Memorial and the 1.5 million names were coming at me from the darkness. Aaron Katz Such a grim time period in Jewish history is understood to be the culmination of centuries of anti-Semitic violence against the Jewish people. Tali Levy Yad Vashem ensures that no one forgets the plight of the Jewish people and why we need our own homeland to guarantee nothing like it ever happens again. Aaron Katz Robbie, you really should read about the Dreyfus Affair to understand a little bit about how this all came about.
Dreyfus Affair A lfred Dreyfus, an obscure captain in “The Affair” might have ended then but for the de- the French army, came from a Jewish termined intervention of the novelist Émile Zola, family. In 1894, secret French Army in- who published his denunciation (“J’accuse!”) of formation was passed to the German the army cover-up in a daily newspaper. In Sep- army. Dreyfus came under suspicion, probably tember 1899, the president of France pardoned because he was a Jew. Despite his protests of in- Dreyfus, thereby making it possible for him to re- nocence, he was found guilty of treason in a se- turn to Paris, but he had to wait until 1906—12 cret military court-martial, during which he was years after the case had begun—to be exonerated denied the right to examine the evidence against of the charges, after which he was restored to his him. The army stripped him of his rank in a hu- former military rank. miliating ceremony and shipped him off to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island, a penal colony An Austrian Jewish journalist covering the trial located off the coast of South America. was shocked by the rabid anti-Semitism in the tri- al and in the crowds outside. He was so shocked Dreyfus seemed destined to die in disgrace. He had that he decided to give up journalism and his few defenders, and anti-Semitism was rampant in first love, the theatre, to give himself over com- the French army. Time after time, evidence was pletely to the dream of a Jewish national home- shown that, in fact, the guilty party was a soldier land. That man’s name was Theodore Herzl, the named Walter Esterhazy, but Dreyfus’ appeals father of modern Zionism. went nowhere, and he languished in prison. Did You Know? Nostra Aetate I n 1965, the Second Vatican Council made Catholics, and reaffirms the eternal covenant be- historic changes to church policies and the- tween God and the People of Israel. ology. Among them was Nostra Aetate, Latin for “In Our Time,” a document that revolu- For the first time in history, Nostra Aetate called for tionized the Catholic Church’s approach to Jews Catholics and Jews to engage in friendly dialogue and Judaism after nearly 2,000 years of pain and and biblical and theological discussions to better sorrow. understand each other’s faith. In 1979, a new pon- tiff was appointed to lead the Church. Pope John Section four of Nostra Aetate repudiates the centu- Paul II was a native of Poland whose best friend ries-old “deicide” charge (leveled against Jews by in childhood was Jewish, leading this Pope to de- Christians for having killed Jesus of Nazareth), clare, “Anti-Semitism is a sin.” stresses the religious bond shared by Jews and40 Chapter 3: The Israeli
Chapter 3: The Israeli 41Like • Comment • Share 5 people like this Aaron Katz Believe it or not, behind this craziness is our parliamentary building, the Knesset. People describe Israel’s political democracy as “vibrant”—but that’s putting it mildly! Tali Levy Ha, for sure. In the last elections, we could choose from over 20 political parties with serious platforms on religion, the economy, peace, welfare, etc. Aaron Katz We even have the Meditation Party (“Ten minutes of meditation will bring peace to the Middle East!”), Balad (an Arab party that opposes Zionism), and The Green Party (their one platform is trying to legalize marijuana). Robbie Green Wow. We can barely figure it out with 2 parties in the States! Omri Hazan And if you want to see arguing, you came to the right place Solomon Barihun Everyone knows our Knesset members debate each other so passionately, they’ll take off a shoe and bang it on the table to get your attention. Tali Levy Ladies and gentlemen, Israel’s national legislature! Robbie Green I didn’t see this commotion when we were there. What’s going on? Aaron Katz That’s what is even more amazing. On the same street, you’ll see passionate political rallies any time of the week, like today. The Israeli Prime Minister’s residence is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. You can sit at the corner café and watch them roll out to the Knesset in the morning.
Like • Comment • Share 22 people like this Tali Levy Hey Aaron, you don’t exactly fit in with the look of our founding fathers who were in that room declaring our independence to the world all those years ago. Aaron Katz Well, having been born in the USA—the origin of modern democracy—it’s amazing to me how similar Israel is to America. Robbie Green Really? How so? Aaron Katz Just take the 2 Declarations of Independence. You see the same basic principle in each. Can you figure it out?44 Chapter 3: The Israeli
Chapter 3: The Israeli 45check in, check it 4 out American Declaration of Independence Israel Declaration of IndependenceWhen in the Course of human events it becomes nec- The land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish peo-essary for one people to dissolve the political bands ple. Here their spiritual, religious and national identitywhich have connected them with another and to as- was formed. Here they achieved independence and cre-sume among the powers of the earth, the separate and ated a culture of national and universal significance.equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Na- Here they wrote and gave the Bible to the world.ture’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opin- Exiled from Palestine, the Jewish people remainedions of mankind requires that they should declare the faithful to it in all the countries of their dispersion,causes which impel them to the separation. never ceasing to pray and hope for their return and the restoration of their national freedom.We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all menare created equal, that they are endowed by their Impelled by this historic association, Jews stroveCreator with certain unalienable Rights, that among throughout the centuries to go back to the land ofthese are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— their fathers and regain their statehood. In recentThat to secure these rights, Governments are institut- decades they returned in masses. They reclaimed theed among Men, deriving their just powers from the wilderness, revived their language, built cities and vil-consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of lages and established a vigorous and ever-growingGovernment becomes destructive of these ends, it is community with its own economic and cultural life.the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and They sought peace yet were ever prepared to defendto institute new Government, laying its foundation themselves. They brought the blessing of progress toon such principles and organizing its powers in such all inhabitants of the country.form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect theirSafety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate In the year 1897 the First Zionist Congress, inspired bythat Governments long established should not be Theodor Herzl’s vision of the Jewish State, proclaimedchanged for light and transient causes; and according- the right of the Jewish people to national revival inly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more their own country.disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to This right was acknowledged by the Balfour Decla-right themselves by abolishing the forms to which ration of November 2, 1917, and re-affirmed by thethey are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses Mandate of the League of Nations, which gave explicitand usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Ob- international recognition to the historic connection ofject evinces a design to reduce them under absolute the Jewish people with Palestine and their right to re-Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw constitute their National Home.off such Government, and to provide new Guardsfor their future security.—Such has been the patient The Nazi Holocaust, which engulfed millions of Jewssufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the ne- in Europe, proved anew the urgency of the re-estab-cessity which constrains them to alter their former lishment of the Jewish state, which would solve theSystems of Government. The history of the pres- problem of Jewish homelessness by opening the gatesent King of Great Britain is a history of repeated to all Jews and lifting the Jewish people to equality ininjuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the family of nations. continued on next page continued on next page
American Declaration of Independence, cont. Israel Declaration of Independence, cont.the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these The survivors of the European catastrophe, as well asStates. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid Jews from other lands, proclaiming their right to a lifeworld. of dignity, freedom and labor, and undeterred by haz- ards, hardships and obstacles, have tried unceasinglyHe has refused his Assent to Laws, the most whole- to enter Palestine.some and necessary for the public good. In the Second World War the Jewish people in Pales-He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of im- tine made a full contribution in the struggle of themediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in freedom-loving nations against the Nazi evil. The sac-their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and rifices of their soldiers and the efforts of their workerswhen so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend gained them title to rank with the peoples who found-to them. ed the United Nations.He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommo- On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly of thedation of large districts of people, unless those people United Nations adopted a Resolution for the estab-would relinquish the right of Representation in the lishment of an independent Jewish State in Palestine,Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formida- and called upon the inhabitants of the country to takeble to tyrants only. such steps as may be necessary on their part to put theHe has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, plan into effect.uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their This recognition by the United Nations of the right ofPublic Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them the Jewish people to establish their independent Stateinto compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Rep- may not be revoked. It is, moreover, the self-evidentresentative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly right of the Jewish people to be a nation, as all otherfirmness his invasions on the rights of the people. nations, in its own sovereign State.He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions,to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative ACCORDINGLY, WE, the members of the NationalPowers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the Council, representing the Jewish people in Palestine andPeople at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the Zionist movement of the world, met together in sol-the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion emn assembly today, the day of the termination of thefrom without, and convulsions within. British mandate for Palestine, by virtue of the natural and historic right of the Jewish and of the Resolution ofHe has endeavoured to prevent the population of these the General Assembly of the United Nations,States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Natu-ralization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to en- HEREBY PROCLAIM the establishment of the Jewishcourage their migrations hither, and raising the condi- State in Palestine, to be called ISRAEL.tions of new Appropriations of Lands. WE HEREBY DECLARE that as from the terminationHe has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refus- of the Mandate at midnight, this night of the 14thing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. and 15th May, 1948, and until the setting up of the duly elected bodies of the State in accordance with aHe has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for Constitution, to be drawn up by a Constituent Assem-the tenure of their offices, and the amount and pay- bly not later than the first day of October, 1948, thement of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of present National Council shall act as the provisionalNew Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to ha- administration, shall constitute the Provisional Gov-rass our people and eat out their substance. ernment of the State of Israel. continued on next page continued on next page46 Chapter 3: The Israeli
Chapter 3: The Israeli 47American Declaration of Independence, cont. Israel Declaration of Independence, cont.He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open to the immigra-Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. tion of Jews from all countries of their dispersion; will promote the development of the country for the bene-He has affected to render the Military independent of fit of all its inhabitants; will be based on the precepts ofand superior to the Civil Power. liberty, justice and peace taught by the Hebrew Proph-He has combined with others to subject us to a juris- ets; will uphold the full social and political equalitydiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowl- of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed oredged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of sex; will guarantee full freedom of conscience, worship,pretended Legislation: education and culture; will safeguard the sanctity and inviolability of the shrines and Holy Places of all reli-For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: gions; and will dedicate itself to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punish-ment for any Murders which they should commit on THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be ready to cooperatethe Inhabitants of these States: with the organs and representatives of the United Na- tions in the implementation of the Resolution of theFor cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: Assembly of November 29, 1947, and will take stepsFor imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: to bring about the Economic Union over the whole of Palestine.For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trialby Jury: We appeal to the United Nations to assist the Jewish people in the building of its State and to admit IsraelFor transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pre- into the family of nations.tended offences: In the midst of wanton aggression, we yet call upon theFor abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neigh- Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to return to thebouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary gov- ways of peace and play their part in the development ofernment, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it the State, with full and equal citizenship and due rep-at once an example and fit instrument for introducing resentation in its bodies and institutions - provisionalthe same absolute rule into these Colonies or permanent.For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most We offer peace and unity to all the neighboring statesvaluable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate withof our Governments: the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all.For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaringthemselves invested with power to legislate for us in all continued on next page Our call goes out the Jewish people all over the worldcases whatsoever. to rally to our side in the task of immigration and de- velopment and to stand by us in the great struggle forHe has abdicated Government here, by declaring us the fulfillment of the dream of generations - the re-out of his Protection and waging War against us. demption of Israel.He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt With trust in Almighty God, we set our hand to thisour towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. Declaration, at this Session of the Provisional StateHe is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Council, in the city of Tel Aviv, on this Sabbath eve,Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, the fifth of Iyar, 5708, the fourteenth day of May, 1948. continued on next page
American Declaration of Independence, cont.and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and we have conjured them by the ties of our common& Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would in-and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. evitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and ofHe has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in theon the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to necessity, which denounces our Separation, and holdbecome the executioners of their friends and Brethren, them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War,or to fall themselves by their Hands. in Peace Friends.He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and We, therefore, the Representatives of the united Stateshas endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealingfrontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude ofrule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of theages, sexes and conditions. good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of RightIn every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned ought to be Free and Independent States, that they arefor Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, andPetitions have been answered only by repeated injury. that all political connection between them and the StateA Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; andwhich may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a that as Free and Independent States, they have full Pow-free people. er to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, es- tablish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and ThingsNor have We been wanting in attentions to our British which Independent States may of right do.—And for thebrethren. We have warned them from time to time of at- support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on thetempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledgejurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the cir- to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacredcumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We Honor.have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity,48 Chapter 3: The Israeli
Chapter 3: The Israeli 49 Natan Sharansky the many faces book Search Natan Sharansky Works at Chair of the Executive, The Jewish Agency for Israel Studied at Moscow Physical Technical Institute Lives in Jerusalem, Israel From Donetsk, Ukraine Relationship status Married Natan Sharansky Received the U.S. Recent Activity Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush Natan likes the books A Case for Democracy 7 years ago and Defending Identity by Natan Sharansky.Like • Comment Natan likes 2005 TIME magazine’s 100Write a comment. . . most influential people in the “Scientists and Thinkers” category (Natan is #11). Natan Sharansky Elected to Israeli Natan, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush Knesset are now friends. 16 years agoLike • Comment Natan shared an album: From a Soviet Prison,Write a comment. . . to Israel, and Back to Moscow (as a Diplomat). Natan Sharansky Released from jail, Natan Sharansky Sentenced to prison immigrates to Israel for treason in the USSR for trying to 23 years ago rescue Jews and transport them to Israel. 35 years agoLike • Comment Like • CommentWrite a comment. . . Write a comment. . .
-- Natan Sharansky Profile of an Israeli Pioneer N atan Sharansky was born on January 20, 1948, in Donetsk, Ukraine, where his father was a journalist for a Communist Party newspa- per. A good student, he was admitted to the Mos- cow Physical Technical Institute, where he studied mathematics and computer science. Upon gradua- tion in 1972 he took a position as a computer sci- entist at the Oil and Gas Research Institute. Shortly afterward, he and his future wife, Natalia Stieglitz (Avital), decided to emigrate to Israel and requested exit visas. Avital’s request was approved, but Sharansky was de- nied permission to leave because of his professional training and position, and possibly because of his information to an unnamed Western activism in support of the right of Jews to emigrate. intelligence agency. Like other refuseniks (those refused permission to leave), Sharansky was a frequent participant in dem- The four-day trial captured the at- onstrations around the Moscow synagogue in 1973 tention of the Western press, for and early 1974. both personal and political reasons. Sharansky refused to accept his KGB- Helped Organize Helsinki Watch appointed lawyer and, even though Group in Moscow he risked the death penalty, defended Soon after his election, U.S. President Jimmy Carter himself. He was refused the right to made the abuse of human call witnesses or rights a priority issue in his to cross-examine relations with the Soviet his accusers. At Union. Soviet authorities the same time, were angered by this ap- the desperate un- proach and felt they had to happiness of his send a clear signal of their mother, Ida Mil- displeasure. In July 1977, grom, who kept the 30-year-old Sharansky a lonely vigil out- went on trial for high trea- side the closed son, accused of passing Moscow courtroom,50 Chapter 3: The Israeli
Chapter 3: The Israeli 51Natan Sharansky, continuedraised the sympathies of millions of Ameri-cans. In the end, Sharansky was sentencedto 13 years in jail.Soviets Agree to Sharansky’sRelease as Part of anExchange of AgentsIn late 1985, after the historic first meetingbetween Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev andPresident Ronald Reagan in Geneva, thenew Soviet leader decided to make a gesturein the direction of improved relations. TheSoviets agreed to Sharansky’s release as part Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Foreign Ministerof an exchange of convicted espionage agents Yitzhak Shamir welcome Refusenik Natan Sharansky, together with his wife, Avital, to Israel on February 11, 1986.on both sides. He was released early on themorning of February 11, 1986, at the border separat- to boost trade between Israel and theing East and West Berlin. city. According to Sharansky, the cer- emony took place in a sparkling hall,When he arrived in Israel, his political activism began. next door to the building where he wasHe formed a party called arrested 20 years earlier—“Israel on the Rise” and the last time he saw any-sought to represent the thing of Moscow otherneeds and interests of Jews than Lefortovo Prison.from the former SovietUnion. “It was very funny,” Sharansky said. “Here IIn 1989, he was nominat- was arrested, and 20 yearsed as Israeli ambassador later I’m received withto the United Nations. In state honors in the veryJanuary 1997, as the Israeli next building!”Cabinet Minister of Indus-try and Trade, Sharanskyreturned to Moscow tosign an economic coopera-tion agreement with Mos-cow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov
THE ISRAELI 1. List the different “identities” that make up who Aaron Katz is. What might this tell you about Israel or the Israeli people? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 2. Without looking back in the chapter, at this point in your reading which Israeli character do you connect with the most, and why? ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Turn back to page 43. Name one advantage and one disadvantage to having that many political parties. ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________52 Chapter 3: The Israeli