A long time ago the Jews of Leeds had a vicar. A self-appointed Chief Rabbi who, dressed in a goyisheke clerical shirt and dog collar, strutted his wares. In a twangy, verging on camp, accent, typing him as a second-generation Jew, he would do his spiel to the Jews and Gentiles. He had a repertoire of hackneyed hybrid homilies, a quilt of poorly patched Yorkshire and Yiddish folklore. Our vicar, our representative, was nothing less than upgraded Yiddisher market-boy, patter-merchant. He presented the Jews to the Gentiles and the Gentiles to the Jews. He united us all. Each universally disliked him. We all hated his guts. In Yorkshire terms, ’he were neither ought or summat- one thing or T'other.’

People who own a state demand clarity. They own the clarity. They decide what it is. Individuals who do not own a state want the opposite. It’s easier to survive when you must adjust to ‘their clarity.’
The rule is simple: You are Jews but British Jews. For us, be British; for you, be Jewish as much as you like. First and foremost, be British.


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Israel is a state; it is a state for all its people. We need to define our State. The State consists of a patchwork of communities. We tend to define ourselves religiously; there are four kinds of Jews: the ultra-religious; the conservative; the reform and the atheist. The four groups have devolved into political blocs. The political blocs, albeit will-nilly, have begun defining their national identity as part of the definition of ‘Israel.’
Add to the patchwork a large Muslim group consisting of Sunna- Palestinian; Bedouin, Druze and smaller groups. The Cristian Arabs complete the picture.
The Sunna-Palestinian Muslims have prevented two things: the Arab communities have not
evolved as have the Jewish ones. They have not moved from the religious definition of their identity. They do not see themselves in the context of Israeli Muslims, Israeli Druze, Israeli Bedouin or even Israeli Christians.
They
do not see themselves as part of the ongoing, covert discussion: ‘who and what is an Israeli?’ They have clung to a very nebulous Palestinian quasi-identity. They are not Palestinians; Palestinians, as all Sunna Arabs, has yet to find how to devolve into a political definition.
Not ‘being Israeli’ defines the so-called Palestinian-Israeli. There is no Palestinian national identity. In Yorkshire terms, they are neither ‘owt or summat.’
However, there is a vital difference. In Yorkshire, we juggled with two well defined existing, identities. The Palestinian- Israeli does the opposite.
The
so-called ‘Palestinian - Israelis’ excludes themselves from one loosely defined identity and attaches themselves to a non-existent other.



We Israelis must define Israel. Together we must describe our parts in the whole. Israel is our state, and it belongs to all of us. And we all belong to it. We all own it. We all demand clarity. Who and what is an Israeli? The Arabs must decide; do they want in or out? We all need clarity.
We are not a land; we are not a people;
we are not a religion—we are a state. We are more so.
The State of Israel is a part of the land of Israel; the State of Israel is a part of the Jewish religion—yes, a
crucially critical part; nevertheless, first and foremost we are a state; we are the Jewish Democratic State of Israel. Our State belongs to all religions and religious sub-divisions. Our State belongs equally to all our citizens. There is but one proviso. Declare yourself, unequivocally in word and deed to be an Israeli, and only an Israeli. We demand clarity.
Together, we will fight for equality to and for all.


We need a Prime Minister who sees Israel as a State. We need a Prime Minister to mold our State. We need a leader to unify us as Israelis.
Instead, we have a Prime Minister who is still living the pre-state era. A Prime Minister with the outlook of the Leeds Jewish vicar. Netanyahu’s leadership would be the best possible in the Krakow Schul. The Schul is long gone. Our state is a blessing. We paid an awesome price, can we start to enjoy our state.
We need a post- independence, post- Holocaust Prime Minister.


In his ‘me too’ post Jerusalem terror attack piffle, the vicar Netanyahu missed the point.
The Muslims of Europe went to Europe voluntarily. They have yet to learn the
rules we Jews learned. How to live at two levels of identity. The Europeans know it; the Muslims know it; only Netanyahu doesn’t. The European process led unwittingly and unwantedly to alienation frustration and acts of violence. But the process in Europe is clear and the parameters well defined. There is an end point.


The terror attack in Jerusalem was entirely different. The communities of East Jerusalem were cheated. No one asked if they wanted to be Israelis. We imposed statehood on them. They received the same active disregard as any other part of Palestine. They could only define themselves in the double-negative— Palestinian-Israeli. No wonder there is discontent. How could there not be?
The differences between the causes of the terror in Jerusalem and Europe are immense.
The inability to define the difference, the need to avoid the definition, the mindset which denies the need to
define is calamitous.


When cigar smoke clouds your vision, champagne befuddles your mind; what we see from here you don’t see from there.
We must define Israel. We must divide the goats from the sheep. The
sheepdogs are yapping, and the flock disperses.


The Israeli vicar is leading his flock to the abattoir.


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