Justice. Through studying law I found out two things: 1) justice, all in all is simply a way to remove tensions in the community and 2) there is no way to be completely objective to the human cause, as humans are not perfect and we all make mistakes.
But we as mankind managed to create rules called “law.” This useful tool, among others, is used when one is harmed by another. The victim has the right to seek justice.
“I was killing because Jews are killing in Palestine” explained as justification for his recent killing spree in Toulouse, France. Peculiar idea about justice isn’t it?
The lack of tolerance towards Jews in Europe has been expressed in numerous ways. There have been articles decrying Israel’s unjust treatment of Palestinians and there have been discriminatory actions take by specific European governments targeting Jewish ritual practices. Nevertheless, the murder of 4 innocent civilians in France has appropriately shocked everyone’s sensibilities. The murderer was allegedly trained by al-Qaeda, but that’s really beside the point. The truly disturbing part of the story is how his motivation stemmed from a particularly perverse conception of justice that is beyond my comprehension.
Throughout history, Jewry has encompassed a number of radical individuals who sought to overturn the corrupt status quo of their day. Within these rebels however, is something innately ‘Jewish’ –their conceptions of justice, their humanist values and ultimately, their universal concern for the underdog. The vestigial impact of the historical memory of the discrimination of their own people profoundly influenced these radicals and motivated them to revolutionary action.
Justice in the Jewish tradition is the highest moral virtue. It is upheld by two pillars, tzedakah and tikkun olam, which inform a universal concern for the suffering of others and give rise to a humanist tradition within Judaism that applies to all. With the coming of modernity and the failure of the promise of Emancipation to integrate Jews as equals into society, many Jews rebelled against outward symbols of ‘Jewishness’ through secularizing and universalizing Jewish values into revolutionary ideologies. These new philosophies, such as Marxism, focused on Jewish notions of cosmopolitanism, sympathy for the underdog and the creation of a messianic utopia. In this way, a phenomenon termed by Isaac Deutcher as the ‘Non-Jewish Jew’ was born: radical Jews who were of Jewry but not in it; Jews who found the narrow confines of Judaism too restricting and moved beyond it.
Every now and then I am really happy that my opinions and decisions are not influential. The pressure on the leaders of nations, heads of the armies and other significant individuals must be overwhelming in many cases. The matters of peace and war seem to be, from my point of view, the hardest ones to analyze. The decision is not a theoretical question in an academic debate but a choice that will end in the survival or death of real people.
The recent days have shown that the narration for the need for bombing Iran is not the only one in the Israeli society. The photos of Israelis declaring love towards Iranians and promising NEVER to bomb their country went viral in the social media and were responded by mutual feelings and declarations among some Iranians. Peace is good, war is evil. The ones who declare war are unjust; the justice is always for the peace. If only this could be so simple.
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine South African session has come and gone but not without its fair share of controversy.
Held in Cape Town on November 5th and 6th, the RToP set out to be a ‘people’s court’ investigating whether Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people fits the international legal definitions of the crime of apartheid.
To most onlookers, Judge Richard Goldstone’s prior assessment of the tribunal that, “it is not a ‘tribunal’ … the 'evidence' is going to be one-sided and the members of the ‘jury’ are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known,” was seen to have been largely vindicated by the proceedings which found in favour of what many argued was a predetermined conclusion.
Like most European cities, Berlin has a history and culture that dates back well before anything in the U.S. Conceptualizing much of the World War II era history is difficult as is imagining the city hundreds of years prior. Despite this, I find that predicting the future of Berlin is an even greater challenge. This evening we sat down with down with a German Statesman, a professor at Humboldt University, and a Junge Union party member discussing the relationship of Germany and Israel.
For most of this conversation I found my thoughts questioning not the present day relationship, but instead, the future of it. How will Germany maintain its relationship with Israel amongst growing animosity in Europe?
I suppose the past is the best predictor of the future, but then that also means that history repeats itself. If both of these are true, then what will ultimately be the future of Europe's relationship with Israel? Food for thought.
Twenty-five young Jewish professionals from the United States are traveling on a program subsidized by Germany Close Up, and co-sponsored by ACCESS: AJC’s new generation program, to engage in interreligious dialogue with Germans on Israel. They are meeting with German government and party representatives, academics, journalists, Jewish leaders, and other high-level officials and opinion-makers and visiting relevant cultural and historical sites during the one-week program, from November 6-13. Read more about the program here.
The end of the 1990s and the beginning of the new century started with a deep economic, political and social crisis in Argentina. The situation was followed in Argentina, and probably in many countries in Latin America, by important positive changes.
Certainly, those changes imply many contradictions and it is not easy to characterize the path in which we are embarking on. However, we have already some important signs to analyze them.
That is the purpose of this space: to write about the actual processes and perspectives that we are living in Argentina. The first post -a difficult choice- is about Justice.
Discussion is encouraged.