Palestinian recognition at the UN
On the 29th November observer status was granted to the Palestinian Authority by the United Nations.
Israel’s government has strongly condemned this move, that unilaterally bypasses the already-battered Oslo Accords.
In turn, Israel’s responses to the move of the Palestinians and the United Nations have drawn unprecedented criticism, even from those who did not support the UN’s decision.
Israel now stands more isolated than ever – a phrase repeated so often in the past few years that it deserves further consideration.
What does it mean for our nation to be isolated among the other – seemingly united – nations?
Jewish tradition points us in at least two different directions.
The prophecy of Bilaam (Numbers 23:9), that presents the Hebrews as:
הֶן-עָם לְבָדָד יִשְׁכֹּן, וּבַגּוֹיִם לֹא יִתְחַשָּׁב
It is a people that shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.
And on the other hand the adjuration from Talmud Bavli (Ketubot 111a):
שהשביע הקדוש ברוך הוא את ישראל שלא ימרדו באומות העולם
The Holy One adjured Israel not to rebel against the nations of the world.
Which approach would seem to be more relevant and applicable today?
Is isolation our fate, or the result of our actions?
What are the existential costs or the benefits of such isolation?