Bintel Blog

Oren: Israel Is Part of God's Plan

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

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A fierce attack on J Street wasn’t the only notable element of Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s address to the biennial convention of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism earlier in the week.

During the prepared portion of his remarks, Oren issued a surprising proclamation of a personal belief in a divine plan behind the creation of the State of Israel. He said:

A God who fixes laws throughout the physical space can also intercede through the course of human history. Perfectly logical. To believe in the God of history is to believe in the reason why a tiny remnant of [the Jewish] people, rising from the ashes of the Holocaust, returned to [Israel].

… To believe in a God who cares about history leads one to assume that there is a reason why, some 3,00 years ago, this obscure group of nomads, wandering somewhere around the Middle East, came up with these extraordinary notions of a single God, and the extraordinary notion of universal morality. And there’s a reason why that faith enabled that people to survive as a people when so many other peoples have vanished, in spite of expulsions, inquisitions, and massacres. And there’s a reason to believe why this people was given a land in which to realize its national destiny, and to understand why that people, bound by its faith, longed to return to that land, even when that people was exiled.

The remarks seemed well received by the audience. Oren, who says he grew up Conservative but now attends a Modern Orthodox synagogue, is the official representative of the Israeli government in Washington. Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence calls Israel the “birthplace of the Jewish people,” but does not describe the creation of the state as an act of God’s will.



Comments
George Fri. Dec 11, 2009

'Oren issued a surprising proclamation of a personal belief in a divine plan behind the creation of the State of Israel.'

Hmm, a writer for the Forward states that a belief in an operational super-cosmic intelligence is 'surprising.' Well, yes, I imagine it would be for your typical Leftist secular Jew whose religion is primarily the Secular Torah for abortion, homosexual marriage and every other issue of primary importance to the Left's agenda.

moshe Sat. Dec 12, 2009

George's comments sound like they come straight from the Jews for Jesus playbook!

Joel Katz Sat. Dec 12, 2009

You raise an interesting issue that has been discussed by many researchers and scholars over the years.

Namely, what was the meaning behind two words found in the Declaration of Independence: צור ישראל‎ Tzur Yisrael (Rock of Israel).

Joel Katz http://religionandstateinisrael.blogspot.com/

george Sat. Dec 12, 2009

Moshe, allow me to update your lack of knowledge. Those who believe in a Higher Cosmic Intelligence are not only Christian fundies but members of all major belief systems AND some of the worlds most renowned physicists and biologists who are as supremely secular in their lifestyle.Only the most brainwashed PC automatons refer to Christian fundies when exposed to the subject.

julie Sun. Dec 13, 2009

can I have an Oy Vey?! Whatever Oren's religious beliefs, they have no place in statecraft. With a lie of thinking like his, how on earth to avoid duelling ideologies with the crazies amongst Muslims. Sheesh.

Jeff Mon. Dec 14, 2009

Let's see. Oren refers to Jews as a people who "came up with these extraordinary notions of a single God," which infers that they created him rather than the other way around, and then this god that they created were "given the land" by this very same god. Hmmmm. It seems that there is patent conflict of interest there. The same god then gave them instructions to eliminate a number of ancient peoples who happened to be in their way, while making occasional exceptions for good looking women for the men to take as their property. An honest reading of the Torah would suggest that the ancient Jews made god in their own image rather than the other way around. And that is why those who read it too closely, as we see every day in Israel, are dangerous nutcases. When it comes to war crimes trials, "God made me do it," won't work any better than it does in your local court house.

David Nitai Tue. Dec 22, 2009

Skeletons Michael Oren’s closet: http://bit.ly/5FoWPp

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