Sunday, March 02, 2014

Why Israel does not Need a President

ל' לחודש השנים עשר תשע"ד

I must admit that I was surprised by the several good point Tami Arad made in her Op-ed. I did not bother to copy and paste any of those points here. You may want to go to the original, and see if you agree.

Of course, the premise upon which Arad's piece is based is completely irrelevant.
Shimon Peres
President of Israel
YNET: Why Israel Needs A President, Tami Arad, February 18, 2014
Op-ed: A country which sees itself as part of the family of nations has to have at least one figure to represent it in the world according to the acceptable diplomatic standards. 
"Sees itself as part of the family of nations?" Who does? I sure as heck don't.

"Acceptable diplomatic standards?" Acceptable to whom? Acceptable according to what?
...the absence of a representative figure towards the world. For example, if Angela Merkel arrives for a visit in Israel and decides to voice irresponsible criticism against us in German. The honorable chancellor may find herself attacked in witty Hebrew not just by the Bayit Yehudi's defenders of ethics but also by the prime minister, who out of political factional motives may find himself on the offensive, forgetting that he is supposed to be the goalkeeper.
Again with the "world representative" rhetoric.... So, when the recent envoy from the European Union [EU] expressed his criticism, what was our supreme leader president supposed to have done? Comfort us, after we finished just sitting there and taking it?

A story of the wife of a well-known rabbi in Southern California comes to mind. She, her daughter, and a friend were attending a fundraiser. When this prominent rabbi's wife dared to bring up some possible halakhic (Torah legal) problems with the event to the chief organizer, and in private, she and her companions were asked to leave. Upon being escorted out, she was heard saying, "I've been thrown out of better places than this!" 
And so a country which sees itself as part of the family of nations needs at least one figure to represent it in the world according to the acceptable diplomatic standards. In addition, when the president is an authority and a popular figure, he may serve as a mediator on ethical and social issues or during labor disputes, when the parties need a reconciling formal figure.
Again with the family of nations analogy. (SIGH) In Arad's defense, whether she wants me to defend her or not, she does say "sees itself." She observes, quite correctly I might add, that this is how Israel sees itself.

Of course, I find this unfortunate, as it nothing less that the same ol' Galuth (exile) -minded drive to be "just like everyone else." Even though we are supposed to be a separate and distinct people, with many of out roles being separate and distinct from everyone else's.

And before any of you start getting in my face about how Israel asked Shmu'el HaNavi for a king, like everyone else had (I Sam. 1:5-7), The Almighty foresaw this already (Deut.17:15), as He is all-seeing and all-knowing. As the Ramba"m elaborates in his the Laws of Kings and Wars, Jewish kings are to have distinctively Jewish (ie. not goyshe) qualities. Thus the idea of a proper, Jewish King of Israel cannot be seen as "being like everyone else."

And so, when we finally have a proper, Jewish king, as part of a proper, authentically Jewish Government, which we do not at all currently have, then the king

However, I will hazard a guess that the king will not be representing Israel to the international "family" in the manner which Arad believes to be appropriate. Rather, he will function according to Jewish (ie. Torah) Law, whether that ends up rubbing the "acceptable diplomatic standard" keepers the wrong way or not.
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