The Wolf’s Penitence
By: Kian Mokhtari
The Israeli election authorities have banned two of the three main Arab political parties from running in next month's general elections. And while this would cause uproar should it take place anywhere else in the world, it comes as no surprise. However we should be grateful –given the circumstances- that Tel aviv is at least not resorting to carnage against its Arab population to prevent it from voting.
It’s a different story in Gaza Strip however, where the Israeli army is currently using US-supplied phosphorus and depleted uranium munitions to dislodge another Arab democracy. Hamas is a democratically elected government with its own civil servants, police force and economics; although it does serve the Israeli politicians’ purpose to ignore the fact altogether for the time being.
But all is not well with the Israel’s “genocide” of Palestinians in Gaza. Only yesterday ten Israeli reservists reportedly refused to serve in Gaza to protest the ongoing massacre of Palestinian women and children. An Israeli reservist, along with his entire squad, refused to join his Israeli comrades in the onslaught against Gaza Strip on the "grounds of conscience."
He must have been a Hassidic Jew. And Hassidic Jews only make up about fifteen percent of the total world Jewry.
The rest are mainly Ashkenazi Jews.
The difference between the two groups is fundamental. According to Jewish religious tradition, a Jew can only be a Hassidic Jew if he or she is born of a mother descended from the disciples of Moses present at the foot of Mount Sinai when the Ten Commandments were decreed by God.
An Ashkenazi Jew however can include anyone who converts to Judaism or marries into the faith. For instance a powerful, warring semi-nomadic tribe called Khazars, after having managed to wrestle back their independence from the Abbasid Caliphates of Baghdad, converted en-masse to Judaism in the 8th Century. Most Jews in Europe before WWII were in fact Khazar decedents, without any historical connections to the land of Palestine.
And strangely enough most Zionists are Khazar descendents and as such are converts. The Turkic Khazar’s homeland stretched from present-day Georgia Ukraine and Russia, along the northern shores of the Caspian Sea into modern-day Kazakhstan.
Blimey, Palestine is being occupied by an entire race of Borat Sagdiyevs; wonder if Sacha Baron Cohen knows!!!
Further, the leaders and members of a large group called “Jews Against Zionism” are also Hassidic Jews who believe that only God can decide whether to return them to the Holy Lands and oppose the so-called state of Israel.
According to their website “Jews Against Zionism (Full name: True Torah Jews Against Zionism) is a religious-political movement and non-profit organization. It argues by the use of quotes from the Torah, and the history of Zionism, that the ideology of Zionism is in total opposition to the teachings of traditional Judaism. The organization was founded in 2001 in Brooklyn, New York by several members of the Satmar Hassidic sect.”
“The organization is also known within the Jewish community by the name Natruna. Natruna is an Aramaic word meaning "waiting" and is intended as a reference to a Midrashic commentary, Pesikta Derav Kahana, on Exodus 12:6, which states that the Jewish people will be redeemed from their final exile in the merit of their waiting patiently for the redemption.”
There is an ancient saying in Iran: death is the wolf’s only penitence. But we cannot generalize, stereotype and lean toward anti-Semitism. Hassidic Jews are known as “Kalimi” in Iran, meaning “of the book.” It is the majority of Hassidic communities’ strict adherence to the Torah that has earned them the name. In fact a branch of Hassidic Jews broke away from strict interpretations of the Torah to become the mystics of their faith. They call themselves the Kabbalist Jews. Kabbalists’ beliefs are –very loosely speaking- similar to Sufi Muslims in their beliefs in mystical aspects of the Holy Quran.
By their guidelines most Kabbalists also shun violence and reject the atrocities committed against the Palestinians by the Zionists.
In the 21st century we must find consensus as a world community to end the suffering in Palestine. We need only to scratch the surface to find that God’s presence in our lives is the common denominator among all humanity.