Biblical Judaism, for the most part, is a prophetic religion. Most of the books in the Jewish canon reflect the vision of the oral, major and minor prophets. The heart and core of Biblical-prophetic Judaism is about justice, mercy and peace.
It is about caring for the homeless, marginalized, oppressed and foreigner. Jewish prophets dared, again and again, to criticize the Jewish nation for failing to live up to such ideals. Prophets, in short, were not uncritical Jewish nationalists.
The modern state of Israel is a secular state that was born from the twin tragedies of the Jewish diaspora and the Holocaust. There is no doubt that the Jewish people have suffered in many horrendous ways in the last few centuries. The modern state of Israel exists to say ‘never again’ to such atrocities.
Suffering can create different reactions in people. Suffering can either make the sufferer sensitive to the pain of others, or it can make a person do anything never to suffer again (even if this means making others suffer).
It is somewhat ironic that the Jewish tradition is a prophetic religion, and such a tradition is founded on the necessity of substantive self critique.
But, modern secular Zionism attempts to avoid serious prophetic self-criticism.
The Palestinians pose an ongoing question to the Jews. Will the Jewish nation be Biblical and prophetic (which means caring for the outsider and marginalized–the Palestinians) or will they erect an idol of nationalism by ignoring the cries of the Palestinians for justice, mercy and peace?
It is somewhat ironic that many Christians who claim to be Biblical are more uncritical Zionists than prophetic in their understanding.
Suffering can create different reactions in people. Suffering can either make the sufferer sensitive to the pain of others, or it can make a person do anything never to suffer again...