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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Passover: A celebration of nationhood

The upcoming Passover holiday is, in essence, a celebration of Jewish nationhood. It is the anniversary of the creation of Jewish national consciousness. Its annual commemoration is proof positive that the Jewish people do not merely share a faith, but that we are all part of the historic Jewish nation.

Today's Arabs and their ideological partners have been espousing the myth that there is no such thing as a Jewish nation. Their desire to create a modern Palestinian Arab nationalism, which has no historic basis at all, forces them to deny the obvious: the nationhood of the Jewish people and their millennia-old, deep emotional attachment to the Land of Israel. There is no Arab or Muslim phrase comparable to "Next year in Jerusalem!", and there never will be, despite their fake newfound attachment to a city and a region that Arabs and Muslims roundly ignored and never recognized as distinct for hundreds of years.

The nationhood of the Jews, on the other hand, was well known to even the most dispassionate observer. One of thousands of examples can be seen in this New York Times article on Passover, April 9, 1855, which may be the first description of the holiday in that newspaper. It is a surprisingly good description of the holiday for that time. Highlighted are the parts that show how Passover and Jewish nationhood are intertwined.