Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our Best Interest

Based on the following two articles I've read today in Israel News - Arutz Sheva I was honored to have the below attached conversation with a family friend.  Enjoy the read!

Yitzhak: Any person that voted for this idiot should be ashamed.  Israel has TORAH what does this man mean when he says "Israel doesn't know what's good for it."  We know what's good for us and we know what Gd has in store for this man/policies and supporters...

Jeanie:  That is very a very disrespectful way to speak of the President... regardless of whether or not one agrees with his policies or statements.  Is that patriotism American-style?

Yitzhak: The beauty is I have a first amendment right to express my thoughts.  It is very patriotic to express ones thoughts especially towards our government.  [The government is] dysfunctional and way off track.  We have a president that thinks he has Gd's knowledge to tell the world what they should do in their best interest... chutzpah...

Yitzhak:  Not disrespectful... I honor the office but dislike the man...

Jeanie:  I didn't say you don't have the right to do so... just that you were doing so in a disrespectful way, in my opinion.  I continue to think that.  It is possible to express disagreement and displeasure without resorting to such language.

Sarah:  What chutzpah!  Next week we have an election here in Israel and I'm voting even further right than [Benjamin Netanyahu].  Bayit Yehudi is gaining momentum and we need to protect our country. [Gd willing] this is the way to go!!

Jeanie:  Israel cannot be compared to the U.S. in terms of guns and happily, one doesn't find armed Israeli civilians entering Israeli elementary schools to murder 6 and 7 year olds and their teachers.  "I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense.  But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home." --Ronald Reagan, 1989

Sarah:  Of course Israel cannot be compared to the US in terms of gun control.  It's horrific what keeps happening in America, but as an American liberal (I've always voted that way) I still believe that taking away guns from good guys doesn't stop the bad guys from causing terror and tragedy.  Laws should be looked at and reevaluated, especially when it comes to an armed public.  I think the bigger issue is mental health and health care in America.  I wrote about it in a blog a few weeks back.  I still think that it's chutzpah of President Obama to slander Israel and say we don't know what's best for ourselves.  It's easy to sit on the sidelines and assume... it's different to live here and understand the truth.  The Israeli public knows what they need and this coming [Israeli] election will show a huge move to the right.  As far left as my American politics go, my Israeli politics go just as far right... obviously since living in Judea (the West Bank).  I'm for peace, everyone is for peace, but America could be supporting Israel instead of undermining us.

Jeanie:  I agree that the issues of gun control and mental health (or lack of it here) are definitely linked and they make for a toxic and disastrous mix.  Most reasonable thinking people here do not oppose citizens owning guns for legit reasons however, many feel that regular folks in this country do not need assault rifles, for example, any more than they need tanks, grenades or rocket launchers.  Such things need to be legitimately controlled in order to safeguard the rights of unarmed citizens such as schoolchildren.  Those who are most pushing guns via the NRA are weapons manufacturers and quite frankly, I believe they are motivated by the opportunity to make huge profits regardless of the collateral damage.  Their desire to make money must be balanced by the right of people to be safe from gun violence.  I support gun control measures, including ammunition tracking measures, and mental health services for the population as a whole.  Good guys have nothing to fear from mental health services generally or gun control measures!  Indeed, responsible gun owners should be at the forefront of the debate calling for controls to keep weapons out of the hands of idiots, the morally corrupt, the mentally ill, and violent people overall.  

"I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns.  I believe it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses." -- 1934, NRA President Karl Frederick

[By the way]... I happen to think that President Obama should not presume to speak for Israel.  Israel knows better than the U.S. where its interests lie... the U.S. president is authorized by virtue of his election to speak for the American people.  Duly elected Israeli leaders are authorized to speak for Israelis.

Sarah:  I also hear what you're saying about assault rifles and you're right those issues need to be seriously evaluated.  I just wonder if there is something different that can and should be happening to get the guns away from the mentally ill, gangs, mobs... essentially all the wrong people.  That's what scares me more than some 2nd amendment-NRA-gun collector.  The moral decline that I keep reading about in America along with the leap of crazies shooting up schools, malls, etc would make me want to go out and get a gun... and with a quickness.  I wanted one when I lived in LA for the same reasons, but my roommates out voted me 3 to 1 anti-gun so I never got one.  I'll tell you what, there were several times that I would have felt much safer if I did have one tucked away somewhere.  I hope that America does what's best for America and that sanity prevails!

Also, I'm glad that we agree that President Obama should NOT speak on Israel.  He doesn't have to like the politics of our country, but I'll tell you what... his song would change if he was surrounded by neighbors like; Hamas, Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood... PLO, rocks and riots, terror on the roads, civil wars in neighboring countries, Iran, etc.  I think any American who doesn't think Israel is doing right for herself should spend a while walking in Israel's shoes before condemning them.

Last but not least... it's not up to us to judge anyone else.  America to Israel.  Israel to America.  Human to Human.  It's not our job.  It's Ha'Shem's job and His only.  "Those who bless Israel, will be blessed.  Those who curse Israel, will be cursed." -- Genesis 12:3

Jeanie:  It's funny... when I was in Israel, I felt safer and breathed many a sigh of relief whenever I saw the beautiful, armed young men and women of the [Israeli Defense Forces] whose courage and sweetness I cherish in my heart.  In America, one's safety is much more tenuous and is not, in any way, enhanced or assured by the presence of so many guns.  In this country, there is a great deal of random violence unrestrained and mixed with mental illness and racial hatred... there are people who think they have the right to shoot black kids or Hispanic kids, or Sikhs at prayer or innocent people in shopping malls or movie theaters or children at their lessons in school and it could just as easily be any one of us.  And despite the Wild West rhetoric and false bravado, the simple fact is more innocent people are killed with their own weapons here than bad guys.  It truly is an armed madhouse and there is little political will to fix the problem in large part due to the efforts of powerful weapons manufacturers who comprise the great majority membership of the NRA and whose lobbyists make substantial contributions to politicians' campaign funds, co-opting those elected representatives' votes on many issues.  The problem is not with responsible gun owners but with the simple fact that more weapons means more money for manufacturers with little care or consideration of the consequences or fallout for the country as a whole.  As for President Obama's remarks, as I said he ought not to presume to speak for Israelis but doing so does not mean he is an "idiot" merely that he spoke presumptuously and while the 1st amendment permits one to speak one's mind, I maintain that to refer to a sitting president in such terms is simply disrespectful and does not convey that the speaker honors the office.  If presumptuousness equals idiocy then a great many of us must fall under this label, including some of my dearest friends and [family]! Torah rightly enjoins us to guard our speech and we would do well to heed this!  And that's my two cents.  Blessings on you and your loved ones... may you be protected in our holy land!

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