86. A double standard

On November 19, you reported what the Republican governor of Mississippi, Kirk Fordice, had said about America as being a "Christian nation." The reactions of the leaders of the Jewish community were also reported in this and other papers. They interpreted his comments as being exclusionary and they expressed their concern about how they blurred the line between church and state. Another reminded the governor that America is not a country that is defined in terms of religion.

The Jewish leaders, whose community represents less than 6 million people or 2.4 percent of the population, were offended by what they have construed from the governor's comments, and not by what he actually said, The irony is that they seem to be comfortable with what their co-religionists are doing in Israel to its non-Jewish citizens who represent 18.5 percent of the Israelis, the equivalent of 46 million people in terms of American population. They complain about the very same thing the Zionist state is actually practicing. For example, there is still talk in Israel about Judaizing the Galilee. This is like calling for Christianizing New York City. Would that be acceptable to American Jews? [Also, Redemption of the land is a notion very much alive in Israel. The land which has been redeemed is the land that has passed from non-Jewish to Jewish ownership. The Zionist policy is that all the lands of the entire country needs to be "redeemed". Has Mr. Fordice called for Christian ownership of the land in America? As for blurring the line between church and state, in the case of Israel, there is no such line in the first place to be blurred. This is a country that is defined in terms of religion and where national institutions are Jewish institutions. That's the politics of exclusion.]

December 15, 1992