Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Judaism and Israel?

How is the belief that a certain group of people are God's "chosen people" not racist/discriminatory towards other groups of people? How is that any different than the views of the Nation of Islam and old Rastafarian religion (where Black people are considered God's people)? Is Zionism a valid reason for the Jewish people to impose a state over the people who used to live there? Also, why is it not possible for Israeli Jews and Palestinian Muslims to live under a secular democracy rather than Jews wanting a Jewish state and Muslims wanting an Islamic state?


Well, I should make it clear that I'm talking about the religious belief. This has nothing to do with ethnically Jewish folk.

It's the religious belief that I'm questioning and also it's usually the ultra-orthodox Jews who may hold such a belief (if any). A large population of Israel is Orthodox. Again, I'm comparing their religious beliefs to the religious beliefs of the NOI.

Update 2:

gratvol: Even a Jewish homeland in an Arab state seems problematic because it's an Arab state. It should be a secular and pluralistic society, which I understand won't be really pluralistic because of the saturation of Arabs, but the law should be made neutral. Like how Christian and Muslim Lebanese live together in Lebanon (granted there are many tensions in that country too, but at least they're trying).

Update 3:

I'm glad many of you have clarified the term "Chosen Ones" for me. I understand that concept much better now.

Moreover, I didn't confuse Zionism with Judaism. However, I did ask both questions in one "breath" so that's why it seemed that way. I understand that Zionism is a political ideology and the Jews are not exclusive in having such an idea. For example, the Kurds wish to have an ethnic homeland for themselves which they call Kurdistan. The Sikhs wish to have a religious homeland that they call Khalistan. Similar groups of people have already established such homelands for themselves such as Pakistan, etc. But, it is my opinion, that such homelands are not precedence for each having their own "homeland". The world should be shared, not divided. We should learn to live with each other, not only with our own "kind".

My question was--as it is the case with all questions--an attempt to better understand an aspect of the problem.

Update 4:

I don't see how exactly Israel is a perfectly secular democracy. Democracy, yes. Secular, no. Not when the Star of David is on the flag. That is similar to Saudi Arabia having their "Kalima" on the flag. Or Iraq having the words "Allah Akbar". Or the USA having the words "In God We Trust" on their money. Separation of church (or mosque or synagogue) and state has not been completely realized in these nations and so, they are not completely secular.

Update 5:

gratvol: Two groups of people can't live next to each other? Muslims and Jews live next to each other in the States and Canada. Once we stop seeing the world in an "Us vs. Them" manner, then we'll be able to just see each other as fellow human beings. That idea, however, may be a bit too farfetched for now.

For the person who said that Jews were already in present-day Israel before 1948, you are correct. But that is because the move was encouraged around the First World War. Look into Britain's goal of establishing a Jewish homeland when they passed the Balfour Declaration of 1917. After this Declaration, Jews were encouraged to move into Palestine, so the creation of the nation would be more smoother. Hence, the reason why they didn't carve out Germany after the Second World War to create a Jewish homeland. The plan to create it in Palestine was already underway.

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Just out of curiosity when was the last time you heard a Jew assert himself as chosen and better than anyone else.

    We dont do that, it is others that paint us in this light because it is good for their agenda.

    As for a secular state that is neither Jewish or Muslim, trust me that has been tried.

    In the early 20th century that was the goal of the Zionists, a Jewish homeland, in an Arab state.

    Eventually violence changed that view when it was seen that both sides were not willing or able to get along.

    Even now the idea of a bi-national state is very unpopular both among Israelis and Palestinians.


    But as you stated look at Lebanon, they are trying but it dose not seem to be getting any better. Israelis are not interested in living in another Lebanon and most Palestinians are not willing to live side by side with Israelis.

    Until that changes, I dont see them doing what you want. Some times two groups of people just cant live with each other, its sad, but often true.

  • 1 decade ago

    1) The belief that the Jews are G-d's "chosen" is a Xtian one, not a Jewish one. In our religion, we got the title because we "chose" to follow G-d's Torah. It doesn't mean we are any more special than anyone else--just that we have more rules to follow.

    2) Zionism is a belief that the Jews should have a Jewish homeland in Israel. It is not a valid reason because it is not a reason at all it is a belief system--because there are reasons, there is Zionism, not because there is Zionism, there are reasons...get it? Secondly, yes the reasons are as valid as they were when Israel was chosen as the Jewish homeland.

    a) Jews needed a place to go. Every nation on earth had hated us, and we needed a place of our own where we could be safe. Israel provides that--we live our own people in our own land and if a new Hitler ever came to power, we'd have Israel to vouch for us.

    b) Jews already had ties to Israel. Not only from Biblical times but Jews were still living there (as opposed to Uganda or Argentina)

    c) Beginning with the first Jews returning to Israel before Zionism was ever a huge movement, Jews had begun buying land from their Lebanese owners and so by the time the state was established, already owned large tracts of Israel.

    3) It is not possible for Jews and Muslims to live under a secular democracy for the reasons you said. Jews want a Jewish state and Muslims want an Islamic state. I can explain the Jewish part, and I'm sure the Muslim part is very similar, but I cannot speak on their behalf. Jews have always been a minority. If you live in the Diaspora as a Jew, you know how hard it is to be a Jew. One of the reasons we need at least one place on earth with a Jewish state is because it's where Jews can at least be Jews, not to mention it's the place where all Jews can go to be safe from anti-Semitism.

    4) I'm confused as to which ultra-Orthodox Jews you mean and to which beliefs you think they subscribe to. Zionism technically is not a religious belief, it's a political one that people sometimes mix with politics. You can be a Jew and not be a Zionist, and you don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist, either.

    Peace to you and all

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Not every Jew in the world is a Zionist. Zionism is a colonial movement created in the west. On the other hand, Palestine population was made up of Muslims, Christians and Jews living to gather in peace for years before Zionism. Zionism must vanished from the holy land or reformed in order for peace to come back to the Holy land the Land of Peace. Peace is the missing link in the Zionist state and Israel is nothing but a war zone country. The Holy land for the people who live in it Jews and Christians and Muslims too. Its racism if you call it a Jewish state like calling the USA a WASP state.

  • BMCR
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Well, a secular democracy does in fact exist in which both Jews and Arabs are citizens with rights. Its called Israel.

    And although you clarify that you are talking about religious belief, you seem to be confusing that with Zionism which is a political ideology, not a religious belief.

    For the record, although a significant part of Israel's population is Orthodox (including both "ultra" and not), it is still a minority of the population as a whole.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Every group of people seems to believe that they are superior in some way or another. Christians and Muslims also believe they are in possession of the supreme or ultimate truth (and are often more dogmatic about it than Jews-- Judaism is not a missionary religion).

    I have never heard any Jewish person assert that we have rights over other people because we are "chosen." Most nonreligious Jews would reject the characterization entirely, and for religious Jews, being "chosen" usually refers to additional responsibilities in terms of our relationship to God, not to rights over fellow man.

    Zionism refers to the belief that the Jews, like other peoples, deserve their own sovereign State in their own homeland, like the English have England, the Chinese have China, and Persians have Iran. Jews lived in Israel and had an independent nation for many years, and despite the Diaspora, at least small numbers of Jews have always lived there.

    Justice and fairness would indicate that Jews, after centuries of persecution in both Christian and Arab realms, are far more in need of their homeland than the Arabs are in need of a 23rd Arab state. Return of Palestinian refugees would mean exactly that: another Arab state-- undemocratic, inegalitarian, and unfair to minorities (you might want to read about how Christians, churches, and holy sites are faring under Palestinian control).

    No, I think a proper sense of justice mandates a Jewish state in Israel, and resettlement of Palestinian Arabs in Arab nations and/or in a Palestinian state, if they can stop attacking Israelis long enough to build one.

  • 1 decade ago

    Research the U.N.'s reasoning for placing the Jews where they are and you'll see it isn't really all that bad of an idea. They didn't take into account the people that lived there, however. The Jews also need to be a little more open but the muslims also have a lot of the blame. Both parties need a good kick in the bum...

    ...most of us do anyway! :o)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Non-Jews are often confused about the phrase 'chosen people'.

    It does not mean chosen as in 'favorite', it refers to 'chosen to keep the law'. As is, we agreed to partake in the covenant which G-d offered.

    This phrase has been twisted by those looking for an excuse for anti-semitism.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    God isn't a racist, but he does keep His promises, and He made specific promises to the Israelites because they are the only ones who believed in Him. And no, history shows us that Jews and Muslims can't do the peace thing.

  • ST
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    G-ds chosen people means only that they were chosen to follow the Torah, not that they are superior to others.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    History confirms that ancient Israel was a Hebrew nation that belonged to the Jewish people... it was their territory, and they have the right to rebuild their country...

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