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Saturday, March 18, 2006

More Gaza Theodicy

I guess I should have seen this coming:
The bird flu outbreak in southern Israel is God's punishment for the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank disengagement, National Jewish Front Chairman Baruch Marzel says.

"You were punished by God and now you'll have to ask for the forgiveness of Gush Katif residents," Marzel wrote in a letter to southern residents whose communities were affected by bird flu.

In the wake of the bird flu outbreak, rightists have been voicing various theories regarding the connection between the disease and the implementation of the pullout. Marzel himself is certain such connection exists.
I'm glad he is "certain". And apparently, not only does he feel that this is a general punishment, but the particular community that is affected by the avian flu is getting directly punished for their actions during the disengagement:
"The kibbutz was used to house the expulsion headquarters because of greed, and therefore the bird flu outbreak happened there of all places," the far right leader wrote in his letter to Ein HaShlosha kibbutz.

Marzel later told Ynet that anti-pullout activists were pained by the fact nearby southern communities did nothing to help Gush Katif residents.

"They were neighbors, and so even if politically they do not support (the settlements of) Judea and Samaria, they should have assisted their neighbors," Marzel said. "Yet they made money from the expulsion of Gush Katif residents."

Marzel added southern residents should ask former Gazans for forgiveness and then seek advice with leading rabbis.

"Maybe that will help them," he said.
I imagine that if some in the anti-disengagement camp felt that the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina that befell the destitute of the United States Gulf Coast was somehow in retribution for the disengagement, it's to only be expected that the same people would draw similar conclusions about God's intent when tragedy falls so much closer to the scene of the "crime", as it were. I can only echo now what I said back then. I detest any attempts to declare, with certainty, any sort of misfortune that befalls our fellow humans as punishment for one supposed crime or another.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ugh. Here we go again. I'm surprised we didn't see hay made out of Ariel Sharon's unfortunate decline in health. I would have expected that to be a no-brainer.

8:57 PM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

why does everyone feel the need to explain every reason for why things happen? OM, have you figured out what you've been doing wrong to warrant all of those parking tickets stuffed underneath the seat in your car?

9:54 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

OM, have you figured out what you've been doing wrong to warrant all of those parking tickets stuffed underneath the seat in your car?

LOL. Yes, that one happens to be a bit easier than some of the others. I frequently run out quarters...

10:01 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

And the Israeli right wonders why there isn't as much support for them among American Jews as there used to be?

11:08 PM  
Blogger Jak Black said...

"I can only echo now what I said back then. I detest any attempts to declare, with certainty, any sort of misfortune that befalls our fellow humans as punishment for one supposed crime or another."

One might add that it is wrong, foolish, and dangerous to claim with certainty *any* knowledge of G-d's intentions or motivations - even for the good.

7:27 AM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

Is there something about Israeli politics that results in such strange theodicity? Here is yet another example:

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3229425,00.html

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

Well, now those who live in Israel can actually vote for this guy in the upcoming elections (http://www.hazit.co.il/). Of course doing so forfeits the place in heaven guaranteed to all Shas voters.

2:37 PM  
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