08 April, 2011

Cantina Quote o' The Week: Berl Katznelson

You see this strong wall?  Although it understands nothing, it too will disintegrate, it too will split.  Disintegration has a logic of its own.

-Berl Katznelson
I can imagine putting Berl in a room with Confucius, Lao Tzu and some Zen masters of old, and getting some amazing philosophy out of the process.

Berl was instrumental in founding Israel.  It's too bad he's not still alive - I think he'd have a thing or two to say to its modern leaders that they desperately need to hear.  I will just snatch this quote whole from Wikipedia, and you will see why I admire the man:
I do not wish to see the realization of Zionism in the form of the new Polish state with Arabs in the position of the Jews and the Jews in the position of the Poles, the ruling people. For me this would be the complete perversion of the Zionist ideal... Our generation has been witness to the fact that nations aspiring to freedom who threw off the yoke of subjugation rushed to place this yoke on the shoulders of others. Over the generations in which we were persecuted and exiled and slaughtered, we learned not only the pain of exile and subjugation, but also contempt for tyranny. Was that only a case of sour grapes? Are we now nurturing the dream of slaves who wish to reign?
No more need be said.

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