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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Zionism represents the Jews' refusal to depend upon world opinion

There's a great article in Thursday's Times of London that hits the spot. The article was written by Daniel Finkelstein whose Aunt was a friend of Anne Frank's sister. Here's the key part (Hat Tip: Dovid R.):
So when Israel is urged to respect world opinion and put its faith in the international community the point is rather being missed. The very idea of Israel is a rejection of this option. Israel only exists because Jews do not feel safe as the wards of world opinion. Zionism, that word that is so abused, so reviled, is founded on a determination that, at the end of the day, somehow the Jews will defend themselves and their fellow Jews from destruction. If world opinion was enough, there would be no Israel.

The poverty and the death and the despair among the Palestinians in Gaza moves me to tears. How can it not? Who can see pictures of children in a war zone or a slum street and not be angry and bewildered and driven to protest? And what is so appalling is that it is so unnecessary. For there can be peace and prosperity at the smallest of prices. The Palestinians need only say that they will allow Israel to exist in peace. They need only say this tiny thing, and mean it, and there is pretty much nothing they cannot have.

Yet they will not say it. And they will not mean it. For they do not want the Jews. Again and again - again and again - the Palestinians have been offered a nation state in a divided Palestine. And again and again they have turned the offer down, for it has always been more important to drive out the Jews than to have a Palestinian state. It is difficult sometimes to avoid the feeling that Hamas and Hezbollah don't want to kill Jews because they hate Israel. They hate Israel because they want to kill Jews.

There cannot be peace until this changes. For Israel will not rely on airy guarantees and international gestures to defend it. At its very core, it will not. It will lay down its arms when the Jews are safe, but it will not do it until they are.

And if you reflect on it, doesn't recent experience bear this out? Just as Herzl was borne out?
Read the whole thing. But first, if you haven't voted in the last 24 hours, please vote for Israel Matzav (that's me) as Best Midsize blog in the 2008 Weblog Awards by going here.

More on this article here.


At 6:30 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6:33 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Zionism is a demand for Jewish equality. That's precisely why Islamists hate Zionism: Jews must be subordinate to Islam or else be dead. Israel's refusal to submit to that choice which in truth is no choice is all, is what has enraged the Muslim World. In certain quarters, the idea Jews could be equal to any one else is preposterous and Zionism in essence reflects the Jewish resolve never to be under any one else's power again. After the Holocaust and Arab wars waged to wipe out the Jewish State, being dependent upon the good grace of the world is not an option for the Jewish people. It did not save them before in their hour of peril and it won't save them today. So yes, Zionism is perfectly logical and all Jews apart from the Naturei Karta understand that without Israel, Jews would have no real voice in the world.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger Jan Jansen said...

The Daniel Finkelstein article is incorrect, the Palestinians DID recognise Israel and the right to live in peace on September 9th, 1993.

The U.S. State Department website has the full text here;


At 1:52 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Jan Jansen,

If that's correct, why do both Hamas and Fatah's charters call for wiping out the State of Israel?

Why did Arafat go to Johannesburg two weeks later and tell a packed church that it was all a show?


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