Thursday, November 11, 2021

Weekly column by Vic Rosenthal



Amichai Shikli, the dissident member of Naftali Bennett’s party and the only coalition member to vote against the budget, had an op-ed in today’s Israel Hayom newspaper that got my attention. I’ll translate the first few sentences:

At the end of a virtual tour of the back streets of the Old City, the Temple Mount appears, in all its glory; in the background, the skyline of Jerusalem with Augusta Victoria [monastery] and Mt. Scopus. Welcome to the Palestinian pavilion at Expo Dubai.

Now we enter the Israeli booth. The word “Israel” appears in all the colors of the rainbow, the headline “toward tomorrow.” Presenting the official video is Lucy Ayoub, the daughter of a Christian [Arab] father and a Jewish mother who, in an interview with Ha’aretz, boasted that “she does not surrender to occupation.”

He continues that the exhibit focuses on the great technological accomplishments of the “startup nation.” The Palestinians, on the other hand, emphasize the historical Muslim connection to Jerusalem and “Haram al-Sharif” (the Temple Mount), which is at the center of Palestinian identity. The Israeli exhibit, he notes, “concedes the national and historical aspect from the start.”

This doesn’t surprise me. Whoever designed our exhibition wants to present Israel as ultra-diverse (i.e., the rainbow and Lucy Ayoub) and hyper-modern; the part about the roots of the Jewish people in the land from Biblical times and their deep connection to it, especially to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, was played down. The designers seem to have presumed that this isn’t the Israel that works well for people in Dubai, or Europe for that matter. Only “religious” Jews care about that.

They are wrong. The Marxist and secular David Ben Gurion, made it clear in the very first paragraphs of Israel’s Declaration of Independence:

Eretz Yisrael was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and political identity was shaped. Here they first attained to statehood, created cultural values of national and universal significance and gave to the world the eternal Book of Books.

After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom.

For Ben Gurion as well as his arch-enemy Menachem Begin, Zionism was not only about defending the Jewish people against antisemitism, it was (primarily) about the return of the Jewish people to their historic homeland, and, as Allen Hertz puts it, the realization of their aboriginal rights of entry and settlement. In this connection, I’m reminded of a story about Chaim Weizmann. When asked why the Zionists insisted on Palestine when there were many other places they could settle, he supposedly responded “That is like my asking you why you drove twenty miles to visit your mother last Sunday when there are so many old ladies living on your street.”

But many Israelis apparently don’t agree. What is important to them is physical security and economic success. They would have agreed with Moshe Dayan who, upon seeing the newly-conquered Old City, said, “what do we need all this Vatican for?” Perhaps they would even have agreed with Israel Zangwill, who in 1905 led a faction at the Seventh Zionist Congress favoring the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Uganda, Canada, or Australia. They don’t see a problem with the increasing number of non-Jews making “aliyah” to Israel, as long as they are loyal to the state. Certainly the idea of ceding Hevron, for example, or other parts of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians would not bother them if they were convinced that this could happen without compromising their security.

I have two objections to this point of view. One is legal, and the other is, for lack of a better word, spiritual. The legal point is this: there is a string of documents and treaties, beginning with the Balfour Declaration, continuing with the adoption of the British Mandate for Palestine at the San Remo Conference in 1920, the Anglo-American Convention on Palestine of 1924, and of course Israel’s Declaration of Independenceall of which rest their case for a Jewish homeland in Eretz Yisrael on the Jewish People’s historical connection to the land, which confers upon them the Aboriginal Rights mentioned above.

The Palestinians understand this quite well, which is why they attack every aspect of it. That is the reason they exist that we are not a “people,” but “just a religion.” One of things (in addition to our unique language, religion, and culture) that makes us a people, of course, is our long and exceedingly well-documented connection to Eretz Yisrael, so of course that is a problem for them. At the same time, they attempt to deny – and physically destroy the evidence for – the presence of the Jewish people here over the centuries. Sometimes this can be amusing, as when they insist that a place should be called by its “original” Arabic name, which then turns out to be a transliteration of an older Hebrew name.

Regarding the second objection, I used the word “spiritual” in a larger sense than just the religious one. Although the military challenge to Israel presented by the Palestinians is small, the cognitive and cultural war that is being waged against Israel from all around the world on their behalf has only become nastier, and is beginning to threaten both our relations with other nations and our own internal social health. In particular, we are beginning to give up on our self-definition as a Jewish, Zionist state.

The pogroms of May, in which Arab citizens viciously attacked Jewish residents of mixed cities, the recent attack on an Israeli police officer by private Arab security contractors, and the degree to which Bedouin criminals are running wild in the southern part of the country show that even Israel’s Arab citizens respond to perceived weakness.

There is a long list of things that we can do to push back against the abandonment of our Zionist consciousness. Most urgent is that we cannot afford to have a government that contains anti-Zionist elements, such as the Islamist Ra’am party of Mansour Abbas (not to be confused with Mahmud Abbas of the PA). I fully understand how it came about, but it is not acceptable. The presence of Ra’am in the Knesset (never mind the governing coalition!) violates section 7a of Israel’s Basic Law governing the Knesset, because the party platform “[negates] the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people.” Although it isn’t necessarily wrong to allocate a large amount of funds to improve services to Arab citizens, it is scandalous to place 30 billion shekels (almost US $10 billion) in Abbas’ hands to distribute as he wishes. By our cynicism, we have anointed him King of the Arabs.

Most important is the reinstatement of the Zionist goal of settling all of Eretz Yisrael by Jews. Programs should be created that will provide inexpensive homes in Judea and Samaria to young families who are priced out of the housing market today. This will require finding the gumption to oppose the US and Europe in order to build in Judea and Samaria, but we can do that.

There’s a great deal more, but readers can fill it in. Israelis often use the word “Tzionut” (Zionism) ironically. When I first made aliyah in 1979, someone asked me why I came. Tzionut, I said. He looked at me like I was insane. But it’s the reason there is a state at all, and if we forget the importance of Eretz Yisrael to the Jewish people, there won’t be one very much longer







Printfriendly

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

comments

Speaking

translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Categories

#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 6 months

 


A new, better definition of antisemitism


Blog Archive