Robert Cohen: Chief Rabbi has made up a theology at odds with history & Jewish tradition

Responding to Rabbi Mirvis’s opinion piece in yesterday’s edition of the Telegraph, Robert Cohen has written on his Facebook page that it’s a shame there is no process to impeach a Chief Rabbi, ‘because this one deserves it.’

Read the post in full here.

Excerpt: Here’s what he said this morning about Zionism (a political movement that began in Europe in the 19th century) and Judaism:

“…one of the axioms of Jewish belief.”

“a noble and integral part of Judaism.”

“One can no more separate it from Judaism than separate the City of London from Great Britain.”

Is it just me or has the Chief Rabbi just reinvented Judaism and muddled/mangled classical Jewish teaching about ‘the Land’ and its relationship to the Jewish people with a modern (originally highly secular) nationalist project which most Jews (and certainly most Rabbis) rejected for decades as thoroughly unJewish? As I said this morning, Mirvis takes no account of the complexity that 2,000 years of Jewish dispersal brings to our story.

Finally, in making no distinction whatsoever between Judaism and Zionism, will all Jews in Britain be viewed as legitimate targets by anyone with a violent grudge against Israel? Why not? According to Mirvis support for Israel is part of the Jewish DNA.

On all these fronts Mirvis has done neither himself nor British Jews any favours at all. In fact he may just have made things a whole lot worse.

Robert Cohen lives in Yorkshire and began writing on Israel-Palestine in 2011. His work has been published at Mondoweiss, Tikkun Daily and Jews for Justice for Palestinians. His blog, Writing from the Edge broadens Robert’s remit to wider issues of Jewish interest from a British perspective.

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