Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Rabbi: MSU Finds Their "Jew"
For Rabbi Seidler-Feller to imply that MSU found their "Jew"["Using rabbi against Jews is disrespectful attack"] is silly considering that the students could have found any number of Jews who support UN General Assembly Resolution 3236 which reaffirms "the inalienable right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property from which they have been displaced and uprooted."
Had time and circumstance permitted I am sure that several Jews among the one hundred and eighty-four signatories to "Righteous Jews," several rabbis among them, would have shown up to speak alongside the speaker. Rabbi Seidler-Feller smears him as the "ultra-orthodox fundamentalist" rabbi, but the rabbi at the MSU gathering seems to entertain more enlightened views when it comes equality and justice than Rabbi Seidler-Feller. Indeed, many Jews believe that Palestinians are "deserving of being treated equally with all other people in the lands between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, one country with equal citizenship for all."
These righteous Jews include Albert Einstein, Rabbi Dovid Feldman, Rabbi Ahron Cohen, Rabbi Elmer Berger, Hannah Arendt, Martin Buber, Meron Benvenisti, Yehudi Menuhin, and Nurit Peled Elhanan. The"humiliation" and "insult" is Rabbi Seidler-Feller's assumption that all Jews support inequality and racism.
Using rabbi against Jews is disrespectful attack
By featuring an ultra-orthodox fundamentalist as one of their speakers on Tuesday evening, the Muslim Students Association has chosen to pursue a path of humiliation and insult.
Any time one group uses a representative of the opposition to denounce those very opponents, they are engaging in a hurtful and disrespectful assault, as if to say, "We got you with one of your own."
Furthermore, by selecting a rabbi as their spokesperson, the students have, unfortunately, transformed a modern political conflict into a medieval religious disputation.
This rabbi, in fact, espoused views that are Jewishly marginal but consistent with those of the MSA. Muslim students have succeeded in finding "their Jew" but, contrary to their stated motives, not in learning what Judaism teaches regarding Zionism.
There certainly is a better way to make the case for their cause. And if they were truly confident in the justice of their claims and desired further understanding, some members of MSA might even consider a dialogue with their Zionist antagonists. This is UCLA, after all, and not the Middle East.
Rabbi and director of UCLA Hillel