Palestinian recognition at the UN

December 4, 2012

One Comment

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?

One Comment

  1. Lisa Baker says:

    1. Which approach would seem to be more relevant and applicable today?
    DEFINATELY, the prophecy of Bilaam…

    2. Is isolation our fate, or the result of our actions?

    DEFINATELY, our fate and NOT from any of our actions. Adonai said so through Bilaam in Numbers 23:9: “yes, a people that will dwell alone and not “think itself” one of the nations.”

    3. What are the existential costs or benefits of such isolation?

    I don’t see any costs “if” we are following Adonai’s Word. I DO see many benefits however!

    3a. What are the benefits of such isolation?

    Again, Adonai said it best through Bilaam in Numbers 23:18-19:

    “Get up, Balak, and listen! Turn your ears to me, son of Tzippor!

    And let’s not forget Adonai’s promise to us in Numbers 24:2-9:

    “Bil`am raised his eyes and saw Isra’el encamped tribe by tribe. Then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he made his pronouncement: “This is the speech of Bil`am, son of B`or; the speech of the man whose eyes have been opened; the speech of him who hears God’s words; who sees what Shaddai sees, who has fallen, yet has open eyes: “How lovely are your tents, Ya`akov; your encampments, Isra’el! They spread out like valleys, like gardens by the riverside, like succulent aloes planted by Adonai, like cedar trees next to the water. “Water will flow from their branches, their seed will have water aplenty. Their king will be higher than Agag and his kingdom lifted high. God, who brought them out of Egypt, gives them the strength of a wild ox. They will devour the nations opposing them, break their bones, pierce them with their arrows. “When they lie down they crouch like a lion, or like a lioness — who dares to rouse it? BLESSED BE ALL WHO BLESS YOU! CURSED BE ALL WHO CURSE YOU!”

    There’s NO greater benefit than this: If Adonai be with us, there is no such thing as “isolation”…The REAL question to be asking is: “Are we following Adonai the way “He” wants us to? As He’s given it to us in Scripture? If the answer is “yes”, we have NOTHING to worry about. HE will take care of us! I BELIEVE His promises! Did He not bring us back to our land just as Scripture foretold? “YES!!!” His Word NEVER fails! Let our nation believe and DO His will and we will have NOTHING to worry about; least of all, “isolation”.

    Lisa B

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