Face it, people like to complain. Give them a mic, a keyboard or a public forum and the discontent pours out; a lamentation worthy of the Western Wall magnitude. Add to that the Jewish holidayof Tisha B’Av which remembers the destruction of the second temple and put the context of Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel squarely in Jerusalem and on this day, you can put blessing together with the word mixed and have a complaint fest. Or in Jerusalem, a complaint kvetch. We live in a society of dissent, of which the American Election will be the classic example. The left hacks a piece of of Romney’s backside for visiting the state on a day of solemn commemoration,a day of fasting, over the destruction of the temple, yet they adhere to secular atheist values.
Maybe, just maybe, what gets termed rebellious critical critique is another form of status seeking; and from ambitious right-wing pundits in Israel as well who shred Romney in the same context of criticism as the left. These status games are almost invariably negative, here playing on the idea of consumer behavior, and Judaism and Israel being a product of consumer behavior to be wringed out an apportioned as blessing to various candidates. The premise of a them as opposed to us, is in large measure a kind of fiction, invented to give a rebel or countercultural edge
that is almost absurd. The ultimate paradox of all the critique was the iconic photo of Kurt Cobain on a Rolling Stone cover wearing a t-shirt that read “corporate magazines still suck.” Dissent is our system today and the main driver of consumer behavior and it functions very well without the old notion of cultural hegemonies, and in this sense multi-culturalism works very well.
Romney’s belief in a messianic age, and the subsequent in-gathering of the exiles, was totally lost on his visit as well as his wife fasting and wearing no leather shoes…
An article that got many responses that illustrates the dissent machine in operation, and an unwillingness to view events with a “positive eye”, and also exposes the contradictions as well between Zionism as a political convention and Judaism as religion, the former being State of Israel and the latter Land of Israel which traditionally are opposed. ( see link at end)
….Four years ago, I wrote a column criticizing an American presidential candidate for coming to Israel as part of his election campaign. I felt that he was manipulating our country as a backdrop for a photo op. He wished to transmit a message from here to his Jewish voters – and more importantly, his Jewish donors – that they could clear their consciences. They could support him and still be able to call their Jewish mothers and tell them that Obama is a friend of Israel. As “proof” of that, he took time from his busy election campaign schedule to visit the Jewish state and tuck a note in the Western Wall.
…As many American Christians and others have come to realize, the practice of blessing Israel blesses them in return. A strong Israel is a benefit to America, because it is a reliable ally, like no other in this difficult region, maybe like no other anywhere.
For those who believe in the Bible, the explanation is easy to come by. In Genesis 12:3, G-d promises a blessing to those who bless Israel. For those who don’t read the Bible, our track record will have to do. America has never gone wrong for standing with Israel, and has not done so well when it hasn’t. …
Regrettably, I feel unhappy today with Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel: not because of the intention, which I believe is good, but because of the choice of the visit’s date – which is terrible.
…On this day, the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av, the Jewish people mark the anniversary of the destruction of our holy Temple in Jerusalem – the greatest symbol of Jewish national sovereignty in the land in the long history of Israel. This is the saddest day in our yearly cycle. We fast from before sundown the day before, until after sundown of the day itself. We go shoeless and do not bathe; we don’t even wash our hands or brush our teeth for some 25 hours. On this day, we sit on the floors of our synagogues and read the book of Lamentations.
This is not a day for us to host honored guests. In accordance with our tradition, we don’t even greet one another. How could our national leaders show such an important guest around without disregarding the laws and customs of our most intimate day of public mourning? But on the other hand, they do not want to be disrespectful to such a guest and turn him away. …
…I do not expect Romney himself to learn all the manners and customs of the Jewish people, but I do expect one who sets out to repair relations with Israel to be a little more considerate.
Think of this distinguished visitor coming to the Kotel for a photo op, all shining clean and smiling – while walking by Jews sitting on the ground in mourning for our Temple that once towered over that very spot.
It is about as close as an insult to our dignity as could be conceived. It is something like coming to someone’s mother’s funeral and asking for cake, and then posting your picture all over the internet eating the cake, and commenting how much you love your host and promising to put in a good word for him if he has a problem with his neighbors….Read More:http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4261982,00.html
( see link at end) …On Tisha B’(the 9th day of the month of) Av, the Jewish people mourn the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. It is one of the four mandatory fasts of the Jewish faith, and one of the more difficult ones, since it takes place during the heat of the summer months, starting before sundown and ending after sundown the next day.
On Tisha B’Av, even pregnant women and those who have recently given birth are to fast, although they are not required to do so on the other three fast days. All are forbidden not only from eating, but also from bathing and other pleasantries that are permitted during the other fasts.
The reason that the rules of mourning are so strict is that on this day, the Jewish people are remembering the greatest national catastrophe in our history. The devastation of our army, country, and the leadership of our homeland all culminated in that final tragedy, the burning of our holy Temple in our capital city, Jerusalem. The destruction of the central holy place of the nation of Israel symbolized the taking of our land and all of our dignity with it.
This is what we should consider when trying to understand the suicide of the last remaining Jewish fighters at Masada shortly afterward. They saw no home to return to after the war – nowhere to be proud again. Read More:http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/what-are-we-fasting-for/2012/07/29/
…To be fair to the Romneys, the Wall, the Kotel, is something of a tourist mecca, people click photos all day long, and a great many could learn from the Romney’s who dressed modestly and carried themselves with more dignity and elan than many. It is a bit loud and unruly there, especially compared with the overall decorum in churches. The speech was well thought out and conveyed, and it has to be remembered that the Wall is a remnant reminder of the Third Temple to come and only a portion of what is actually sacred which is the Temple Mount, which he wisely stayed away from as an issue, though his opinion would be interesting to know. To a Muslim, it can be imagined that if the Alawite sect in Syria is a heresy, infidel worse than Judaism and Christianity, what portion could be reserved for Mormonism?
Even if the timing was touchy, Romney managed to turn it into a positive, at least for jews by showing support for a unified Jerusalem on that day of Tisha B’Av. Apparently even some of his family members fasted for a period in support. Romney’s scheduled meeting with Israeli officials- Mofaz ( Kadima) and Yechimovitch ( Labor) were dropped in favor of the Wall and more time in Jerusalem. As anyone can figure out, why would anyone build a city there? There is no coherent, logical reason for this city to be where it is. Yet no city in the world is more contested. – his statement on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was unequivical.
(see link at end)…economic success compared to its Palestinian neighbours was due in part to “the hand of providence”, Mitt Romney told a $25,000-a-head fundraising event in Jerusalem on Monday.
“And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognise the power of at least culture and a few other things,” the presumptive Republican candidate told his audience. He cited a climate of innovation, the Jewish history of thriving in adversity and the “hand of providence”.
Around 40 people attended the fundraising breakfast at Jerusalem’s famous King David hotel, raising more than $1m (£600,000) for Romney’s campaign. The event was moved from Sunday after Romney aides realised it had been scheduled during Tisha B’Av, a Jewish day of mourning and fasting.
Sheldon Adelson, the Jewish American billionaire casino magnate who has bankrolled Romney’s presidential campaign, sat next to the candidate at a U-shaped table. Adelson also owns Israel Hayom, the Jewish state’s biggest circulation newspaper, which is a staunch supporter of Binyamin Netanyahu’s government.
Among the other guests were the New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and hedge fund manager Paul Singer….
…The Palestinian official Saeb Erekat condemned Romney’s comments. “What is this man doing here? Yesterday, he destroyed negotiations by saying Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and today he is saying Israeli culture is more advanced than Palestinian culture. Isn’t this racism? Israelis and Palestinians have a conflict, but they are people, they are equal, it is not a better culture or advanced culture.
“It’s Israeli occupiers and Palestinians under occupation, and that’s why Palestinians cannot realise their potential,” he said….Read More:http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/30/mitt-romney-israel-economic-success