Sunday, December 03, 2006


The Right of Return

One thing that puzzles me about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is why there is no movement amongst Palestinians to convert to Judaism. After all, if a Palestinian wants to return to Israel, all he needs to do is convert to Judaism and then, voila, he has the right of return he wanted, nu? Throughout history members of religious minority groups have undergone pro-forma conversion in order to improve their lot in society. As a proud member of such a religious minority group, I am happy that not everyone thinks that way, but it is human nature that there will be some who do think this way. Of course, Judaism discourages pro-forma converts in ways that many other religions do not, but still, if it's so important for some to return to their homeland, you'd think a few would at least try to be pro-forma converts to Judaism. So where is the movement among Palestinians to convert to Judaism?

I'm reminded of the best response upon hearing a white whine of a particularly cloying vintage, "would you really want to suddenly become Black?" If we Jews have it so good, how come so few people are trying to become Jewish?

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