Thursday, November 15, 2018 -
Print Edition

Mark of Cain

My first reaction to the latest controversial Meretz-sponsored bill in the Israeli parliament was, mark of Cain.

The original meaning of the phrase in Genesis is a sign of safety and protection for Cain, a warning to others that killing will him provoke the vengeance of G-d, that if Cain is harmed it will only boomerang sevenfold. Over time, and throughout Christian history, due to prevalent anti-Semitism, the phrase was interpreted negatively and in today’s parlance has come to mean a mark of shame.

Zahava Gal-On of the left-wing Meretz party has proposed a new bill that all would require food manufacturers to mark where their product was made, distinguishing between Israel and Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, as if it were not part of Israel.

I have heard responses from the settlement community, sarcastically thanking Gal-On for helping them out. Now they will know how to limit their purchases strictly to products manufactured in the West Bank.

This reversal in interpretation of the purpose of the bill is not the response shared by those in the leadership, who can’t afford the luxury of coping humorously with very serious situation.

While Israel is faced with the BDS pressure from the outside, now it has reached the point where this destructive pressure is being mounted from the inside as well.

The rest of this article is available in the June 12 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at or subscribe to our online e-Edition.


Tehilla R. Goldberg

IJN columnist | View from Central Park

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