Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Hannukah Gift

To any Jewish readers of my blog, I wish you a happy Hanukkah. Although I don't share your religion, I have a deep respect for Israel and Judaism.

Part of it is directly connected to my faith. As a Lutheran and a follower of Jesus Christ, my faith wouldn't exist without you. And contrary to what some might claim, I fully acknowledge Jesus was a Jew. How can I not love a people that gave me my Savior?

Part of it is based on Israel's history. Throughout the centuries, Israel has been an underdog, a people who have endured the machinations of those who wanted to wipe them off the face of the Earth. Yet, they've not only survived, but they've thrived. Out of their little corner of the Middle East, they have carved out an existence that is nothing short of miraculous. It's a testament to who they are as a people and their potential to survive in spite of those who would do them harm.

Part of it is what Israel's presence in the Middle East represents. Compared to the other counties and religious factions in that neck of the world. Israel represents an oasis, both literally and figuratively. Israel is proof that a democratic or near-democratic form of government CAN exist in the Middle East. Consider the scientific and technological giants that have come from Israel! That alone should make a fan of Israel out of most people.

I don't always say it, but my actions almost always reflect it. I am a proud supporter and ally of Israel. To some, that makes me a target for hatred, criticism, or worse. So be it. I'll gladly suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous criticism to defend a country and a people I've grown to love and respect.

God bless you, Israel!

11 comments:

Bartok said...

And you have to admire Israel for their socialized medicine.

ex-Hollywood Liberal said...

As a fellow Lutheran, I agree completely. Like all neighbors, Israel is not without faults. But good neighbors should always protect and defend their good neighbors. I pray that our countries will always be connected by faith, respect, and God.

Happy Hanukah - Merry Christmas!

TLindaman said...

Bartok said...
And you have to admire Israel for their socialized medicine.

December 5, 2007 10:07:00 PM CST

No, but I admire them for starting to privatize their socialized medicine. :-)

Bartok said...

Yes, Israel has been “starting to privatize their socialized medicine” for about 40 years now. Israelis see medical care as a basic human right which is anathema to today’s American right-wing.

They are also a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, allow gays in the military and recognize gay marriages. They have two official languages and a healthy minimum wage (around 45% of the average wage). Yes, Israel is a shining example of a modern democratic welfare state. Much to admire.

TLindaman said...

Bartok said...
Yes, Israel has been “starting to privatize their socialized medicine” for about 40 years now. Israelis see medical care as a basic human right which is anathema to today’s American right-wing.


Yeah. Yet, many countries that have socialized medicine have privatized medicine that surpasses it. Why is that, do you suppose?

Oh yeah. It doesn't suck out loud.


They are also a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, allow gays in the military and recognize gay marriages. They have two official languages and a healthy minimum wage (around 45% of the average wage). Yes, Israel is a shining example of a modern democratic welfare state. Much to admire.


1) The Kyoto Accord isn't worth much because it seeks to fight pollution by letting big polluters continue to pollute. Why would we sign into an agreement that is destined to fail?

2) We do that, too.

3) Big deal. The Old Testament still says homosexuality is a sin.

4) Two official languages? Nice, but hardly something that came about strictly due to modern liberalism, which is exactly what you're suggesting Israel represents. Remember, the left in this country doesn't want an official language.

5) A healthy minimum wage? Now for the $64,000 questions: How many Israelis MAKE the minimum wage, and who is making it?


Let me cut to the chase. Israel isn't great because of the "democratic welfare state" status you've given it. It's great because it represents something the modern left cannot understand: it survives without surrendering to its enemies.

Bartok said...

Tlindaman said. . .
“The Kyoto Accord isn't worth much. . .”

The great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel disagrees with you.

“We do that, too.” (Referring to allowing gays in the military.)

In 2005 the GAO reported that the military discharged 9,488 troops from between 1994 and 2003 for being discovered gay. In contrast, Israel allows openly gay men and women to serve at all levels in their armed forces.

“Big deal. The Old Testament still says homosexuality is a sin”

The OT called a lot of goofy things sins: women wearing men’s clothing, eating pork, working on the Sabbath, divorce or marrying a divorced person. And yet the OT condones: slavery, gang rape, incest, the slaughter of innocents.

Being someone who holds fast the laws of the OT, do you and your family turn your property over to the poor every seventh year so that they can prosper from it, or return homes built without walls around them to their original owners every 50 years?

Any other pointless ancient cultural references you would like to contribute?

“Two official languages? Nice, but hardly something that came about strictly due to modern liberalism”

I never claimed it came about strictly due to modern liberalism. Do you often make straw-men arguments?

I brought it up because right-wingers drone on-and-on (especially around election years) about needing a Constitutional amendment to make English the official language, all while pining over Israel who gets along fine with two.

“Now for the $64,000 questions: How many Israelis MAKE the minimum wage, and who is making it?”

I don’t know and don’t care how many Israelis make the minimum wage. It enough people that changes to it create quite a bit of local news. The point is that the great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel recognizes that everyone who enters the workforce deserves dignity and protections from being exploited.

I guess I forgot to include the fact that the great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel only permits capital punishment for treason during wartime and genocide. And yet the Old Testament commands the death penalty for over 30 different offenses.

Yes, there are many reasons to admire the great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel.

TLindaman said...

Tlindaman said. . .
“The Kyoto Accord isn't worth much. . .”

The great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel disagrees with you.


That's nice. Doesn't change the fact that the Kyoto Accord would do little to address the problems its supporters claim it would.


“We do that, too.” (Referring to allowing gays in the military.)

In 2005 the GAO reported that the military discharged 9,488 troops from between 1994 and 2003 for being discovered gay. In contrast, Israel allows openly gay men and women to serve at all levels in their armed forces.


So? Doesn't change the fact that we DO allow gays to serve. Remember "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?


“Big deal. The Old Testament still says homosexuality is a sin”

The OT called a lot of goofy things sins: women wearing men’s clothing, eating pork, working on the Sabbath, divorce or marrying a divorced person. And yet the OT condones: slavery, gang rape, incest, the slaughter of innocents.

Being someone who holds fast the laws of the OT, do you and your family turn your property over to the poor every seventh year so that they can prosper from it, or return homes built without walls around them to their original owners every 50 years?

Any other pointless ancient cultural references you would like to contribute?


Considering Jews still hold to the laws of the...OLD TESTAMENT...it's not a "pointless ancient cultural reference" as you claimed the Old Testament is.

Why are you disrespecting the Jewish faith?


“Two official languages? Nice, but hardly something that came about strictly due to modern liberalism”

I never claimed it came about strictly due to modern liberalism. Do you often make straw-men arguments?

I brought it up because right-wingers drone on-and-on (especially around election years) about needing a Constitutional amendment to make English the official language, all while pining over Israel who gets along fine with two.



It's not a strawman argument. It's clear that you praise Israel for being liberal, so logic suggests that you believe the two languages comes about due to its liberalism.

And by the way, "right wingers" don't beat the drums for a national language that much. Seems there are other issues that are more pressing, like the war on terrorism. You know, that war the "great liberal welfare state of Israel" supports?

“Now for the $64,000 questions: How many Israelis MAKE the minimum wage, and who is making it?”

I don’t know and don’t care how many Israelis make the minimum wage. It enough people that changes to it create quite a bit of local news. The point is that the great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel recognizes that everyone who enters the workforce deserves dignity and protections from being exploited.


It's interesting you praise the minimum wage without knowing the basics behind it. Knowing who makes it and why they make it is just as important as knowing how much one makes. How do you know someone is being "exploited" merely by looking at what they make? They may...now follow me on this...be making exactly what their skill set allows them to make. Not knowing or caring about the essential questions I asked doesn't help your case, nor does it establish the notion that Israel cares more about the working class than America does.


I guess I forgot to include the fact that the great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel only permits capital punishment for treason during wartime and genocide. And yet the Old Testament commands the death penalty for over 30 different offenses.


So? We have more violent crime that can be prosecuted than Israel.

Oh, and did you know the "great liberal democratic welfare state of Israel" allows average people to carry guns in public? Another way Israel differs from your ideology.


Yes, there are many reasons to admire the great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel.

December 6, 2007 9:40:00 PM CST

Not the least of which being that it contradicts you in significant ways. :-)

Bartok said...

Tlindaman said. . .
“So? Doesn't change the fact that we DO allow gays to serve. Remember "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?”

I guess the distinction between having to make sure one’s homosexuality is never discovered versus being allowed to serve without hiding one’s sexual orientation escapes you.

“making exactly what their skill set allows them to make”

The great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel understands what you do not—that everyone who enters the job market has intrinsic value.

Perhaps one day if you are ever lucky enough to visit the great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel, as I have done on more than a dozen times, you will learn to share its concern for even the weakest of their workers.

“Considering Jews still hold to the laws of the...OLD TESTAMENT”

Perhaps during your trip you will also see how many of the 613 laws of the ancient Hebrew Scriptures are still adhered to by the general population. There is even a slight chance you may come to understand the evils of replacement theology. That is probably too much to hope for, perhaps you could just come to understand how actual Jews interpret and understand their own scriptures.

TLindaman said...

Bartok said...
Tlindaman said. . .
“So? Doesn't change the fact that we DO allow gays to serve. Remember "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?”

I guess the distinction between having to make sure one’s homosexuality is never discovered versus being allowed to serve without hiding one’s sexual orientation escapes you.

“making exactly what their skill set allows them to make”

The great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel understands what you do not—that everyone who enters the job market has intrinsic value.

Perhaps one day if you are ever lucky enough to visit the great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel, as I have done on more than a dozen times, you will learn to share its concern for even the weakest of their workers.

“Considering Jews still hold to the laws of the...OLD TESTAMENT”

Perhaps during your trip you will also see how many of the 613 laws of the ancient Hebrew Scriptures are still adhered to by the general population. There is even a slight chance you may come to understand the evils of replacement theology. That is probably too much to hope for, perhaps you could just come to understand how actual Jews interpret and understand their own scriptures.

December 7, 2007 11:30:00 AM CST


Ah. I see you're getting frustrated with every bit of factual information I've presented so far. For every point, I've produced a counter. For every notion, I've found a contradiction in your notion. For every assertion, I've found an explanation that you can't or won't counter.

Put simply, you brought a slingshot to a gunfight, and you aren't David.

Bartok said...

Well I see you have run out of substantive responses. I accept your surrender.

But do try to make it to the great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel someday. The pride you feel for your “love and respect” of the country could then actually be earned.

TLindaman said...

Bartok said...
Well I see you have run out of substantive responses. I accept your surrender.

But do try to make it to the great Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Israel someday. The pride you feel for your “love and respect” of the country could then actually be earned.

December 8, 2007 8:08:00 AM CST


Let's see...if the lack of a substantive comment is an admission of surrender, by your stated logic, that means you surrendered with your first post.

Checkmate. You just lost by your own admission. :-)

Hopefully you will learn more about the country you claim to have visited so that you won't look so foolish the next time you talk about it.