Haaretz, Dec 30, 2015


I asked [Rabbi Soloveitchik] he would agree to lead [...] a seminar on the Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel and the concept of “kedushat haaretz” (the holiness of the land), and how these are to be differentiated from concepts such as “blut und boden” (blood and land) at the heart of German fascism and other totalitarian regimes.

Soloveitchik [...] told me he could not lead such a seminar because “I would have difficulty explaining that difference even to my own children.” 

[...] I did not fully understand Soloveitchik’s refusal to tackle the subject of implications of the concept of the land’s holiness until I saw the video of settlers —young Orthodox Jews with the longest payot (side curls), the tzitzit (ritual fringes) and largest skull caps—asserting their Jewish and Zionist authenticity by reenacting and celebrating the incineration of a Palestinian baby.

[...] An Israeli prime minister who appoints as his minister of justice an advocate of the murder of mothers of Palestinian terrorists and considers Palestinian babies little snakes that should be exterminated cannot disclaim his paternity of settlers who celebrate the incineration of Palestinian babies