Archive for Zionism/Nationalism

Three of Israel’s Basic Flaws

During the past three decades, patriots of Israel—religious and non-religious—have been bewildered by the political instability and political ineptitude of Israel’s government. Anyone who has studied the great classical political scientists, above all Plato and Aristotle, would have detected three basic flaws in this so-called Jewish state.

First and foremost is the country’s lack of clear, consistent, and constructive foundational principles. As everyone knows, Israel was founded by political Zionists who, at the same time, were Labor socialists influenced by Marxism. Therein is the first contradiction. For whereas political Zionism is a form of nationalism, Marxism is a form of internationalism. Indeed, this internationalism is the seedbed of the post-Zionism or anti-Zionism evident in Labor Party leaders such as Shimon Peres, Israel’s president.

Thus, if anyone is wondering why Israel does not have a clear, consistent, and constructive goal, the great political scientists will tell you: “Your state was ill-founded.”

Israel’s second basic flaw is this: Its universities, so far as concerns the social sciences and humanities have failed to produce leaders who possessed an adequate understating of Israel’s Jewish heritage on the one hand, and of the true nature of Israel’s enemies on the other. » Continue reading “Three of Israel’s Basic Flaws”

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From Martin Buber to Michael Oren

What does Martin Buber have in common with Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States?

In response to the Obama administration’s objection to settlements, Mr. Oren is reported to have said: “Settlements are not the issue.” “The issue is the recognition of the mutual legitimacy of these two peoples, the legitimate claim to these two states [the Jewish state and the projected Arab state].”

Underlying the words I have emphasized is a mode of thought that has long influenced the mentality of Israel’s political and intellectual elites: historical or cultural relativism. I discuss the pernicious influence of relativism in my book Israel and the Malaise of Democracy, written shortly after the Israel-PLO Agreement of September 1993. Here are some key passages:

“Because it cannot transcend [cultural relativism], the government [of Israel] is psychologically incapable of asserting the preeminence of Jewish [over Arab] rights to Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Note the subtle influence of relativism [and subjectivism] in this statement of Dr. Eliahu Ben-Elissar, [once] Likud chairman of the Knesset foreign affairs committee: ‘In our eyes we have a right to this land’ (The Jerusalem Post, June 5, 1992, p. 5a, emphasis added).

“We see in Ben-Elissar the shallowness of the Likud’s political Zionism…. » Continue reading “From Martin Buber to Michael Oren”

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What Should Israel Look Up to?

What is most decisive about the character of a nation is what its people look up to and admire. Sometimes what people look up to and admire is a myth.

Consider Israel’s “Declaration of Independence.” The Declaration is taught and public schools, and Israel’s Supreme Court has said it embodies the “credo” of the State of Israel.

It so happens, however, that the first sentence of the Declaration, which states that the Jews became a nation in Eretz Israel, is a lie. The Jews became a nation at the Law-Giving at Mount Sinai, hence, before they ever entered the Land of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that foundational falsehood on June 14, 2009 at Bar-Ilan University. There he had the audacity to negate God’s Covenant with the Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state on the land chosen by God for the Jewish people. » Continue reading “What Should Israel Look Up to?”

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The Likud: A Dead Man Walking

The Likud is a dead man walking, and no one can enliven that intellectually sterile party. This means that political Zionism is dead. It died in May 1996 when Benjamin Netanyahu was elected prime minister and said his government would abide by the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement which the Labor Party had foisted on the nation in September 1993.

Unknown to the general public, Oslo presaged the establishment of an Arab-Islamic state in the Land of Israel, a state Netanyahu unlawfully sanctified on June 14, 2009 at Bar-Ilan University. Let us probe the little known perfidious nature of the Likud via political Zionism.

It never entered the minds of political Zionists that the return of the Jews to the Land of Israel was to culminate in the construction of the Third Temple and the restoration of Jewish law. The founders of political Zionism, such as Herzl and Pinsker, started from the failure of liberalism to solve the Jewish problem, but continued to see the solution in liberal terms, as a merely human problem. As Leo Strauss has written:

The terrible fate of the Jews was in no sense to be understood any longer as connected with divine punishment for the sins of our fathers or with the providential mission of the chosen people and hence to be borne with the meek fortitude of martyrs. » Continue reading “The Likud: A Dead Man Walking”

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Then and Now

Back in 1920, an event took place in Israel that redounds to the honor and courage of many Jews, secular and religious. Indeed, since these Jews were then subject to British rule, their noble conduct shines all the more brilliantly when contrasted to the behavior of many Jews in the supposedly sovereign state of Israel—and I have especially in mind Israel’s ruling elites.

The event is recorded in Dr. Joseph B. Shechtman’s excellent biography of Vladimir Jabotinsky, from which I shall quote and paraphrase.

At the end of 1919, Jabotinsky formed the Jewish Defense Corp (Haganah) in reaction to Arab violence. On April 4, an Arab mob, inflamed by anti-Jewish speeches, began attacking Jews in Jerusalem. “Soon Jewish blood was shed and the mob rushed into the Jewish quarter to kill and to pillage, shouting: “El Dowleh ma’ana (the government is with us).”

“Instead of assisting the victims, Arab police either adopted a passive attitude or joined the attackers. The pogrom lasted two days and resulted in five Jews and four Arabs killed, 211 Jews and 21 Arabs wounded; two Jewish girls were raped.” » Continue reading “Then and Now”

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“You Can’t Make A Crooked Line Straight”

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, December 22, 2008.

The Sages say, “You can’t make a crooked line straight.” This prompted the present writer to warn a reputedly right-minded organization against joining the Likud Party some ten years ago. This was before 23 Likud MKs betrayed the nation by voting for “unilateral disengagement” from Gaza in 2004—a policy rejected by a vast majority of the public in the 2003 election.

The Likud government’s expulsion of Gaza’s 8,000 Jewish residents was called a crime by Professor Benzion Netanyahu. He said this despite the fact that his son Binyamin was a minister in that government. The same crime would be re-enacted if Dan Meridor, who recently rejoined the Likud, prevails in a projected Likud-led government to yield the Golan Heights to Syria.

But what is there about the Likud that prompts the title of this article? To answer this question, I turn to Israel’s first and illustrious Chief Rabbi, Abraham Isaac Hakohen Kook.

The Likud is rooted in secular Zionism, in Theodor Herzl’s tract The Jewish State. Herzl severed Judaism from public law and relegated the Torah to the home and the synagogue. » Continue reading ““You Can’t Make A Crooked Line Straight””

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Without God Israel is Lost

Year after year I send this kind of message out.
Now, with catastrophe approaching ever nearer, I urge all forthright Jewish organizations to to reiterate these words:

Without God Israel is lost.

 

For 60 years, Israeli prime ministers have banished God from the domain of statecraft, and with the compliance of the religious parties. May there not be a connection between the absence of God in Israeli statecraft and the absence of wisdom, courage, and Jewish national pride in Israel’s government?

How is it that Israel, despite its awesome military power, appeases and retreats before a gang of terrorists, be it Hamas or Fatah? Can it be because Israel’s ruling elites are godless in contrast to Israel’s enemies, who never fail to invoke the name of Allah?

Juxtapose these Arabs and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (or his predecessors Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak). » Continue reading “Without God Israel is Lost”

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Victory Plan for Israel

Notes and Bio From A Frustrated Jewish, Zionist, Israeli, Texas American

by Bernard J. Shapiro
Courtesy of Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.

PART ONE: EARLY BIO

I was always a Jew, but something happened to me in 1959 that turned me into a Zionist. Don’t laugh, but I took a course in modern Jewish history and two of the reading assignments were: Exodus by Leon Uris and The Course of Modern Jewish History by Howard M. Sacher. Coming from a Reform Jewish background in a state known more for its Texas pride than Jewish pride, I have come a long way. It has been an exciting journey, but now I am sad and frustrated.

I went to Israel for the first time with the Israel Summer Institute in 1960, and of course, fell in love with Eretz Yisrael. I returned to complete my studies at the University of California at Berkeley. My love for Israel seemed to be growing daily and expressed itself in multiple pro-Israel activities on the campus. I turned Hillel into and instrument of Zionist influence on the campus. The Hillel rabbi (like most of them was not a true Zionist) and sought to rain me in. He failed as I formed the Student Zionist Organization and increased my activities. » Continue reading “Victory Plan for Israel”

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Churchill, the Jews, and the Arabs

Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, Israel National Radio, April 28, 2008.

Since anti-Semitism is sweeping cross England and Europe, I want to read some passages from England’s greatest statesman, Winston Churchill, who, more than any other man, saved England Europe from Nazi tyranny.

I propose to read passages from Churchill’s official biographer Sir Martin Gilbert, whose recent book, Churchill & the Jews (2007) is fascinating.

Before I begin, I want to point out that Churchill was first and foremost a British statesman, and his duties as a British statesmen must be taken into account in any assessment one makes of his attitude toward Jews and Palestine.

Despite the anti-Zionist attitude of many of his Conservative Party colleagues, Churchill was steadfast in his support of the Jews, as Gilbert thoroughly documents. » Continue reading “Churchill, the Jews, and the Arabs”

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The Unknown Origin of Post-Zionism: The Flawed Conceptual Foundations of the State of Israel

Extracted (apart from the conclusion) from Paul Eidelberg, Demophrenia: Israel and the Malaise of Democracy, 1994.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, post-Zionism did not begin with the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement of September 13, 1993. Zionism ceased to activate Israel’s political elites immediately after the 1948-49 War of Independence.

To understand this phenomenon, we must go back even before the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and examine the mentality of its ruling elites.

European education profoundly influenced the founders and faculties of Israel's academic institutions. Historical or cultural relativism has ever flourished in Israel's secular universities. Martin Buber wrote: “There is no scale of values for the [world-historical] function of peoples. One cannot be ranked above another.” It is in this light that we are to understand why this Hebrew University professor and his colleague, Dr. Judah Magnes (the university's first president), favored a bi-national Arab-Jewish state in the land of Israel. In 1947, they declared in a joint statement:

We do not favour Palestine as a Jewish country or Palestine as an Arab country, but a bi-national Palestine as the common country of two peoples…. » Continue reading “The Unknown Origin of Post-Zionism: The Flawed Conceptual Foundations of the State of Israel”

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