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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Caroline Glick on Netanyahu, Ben Zion Netanyahu z"l

If only our Prime Minister were more like his father.
Netanyahu wrote his study of Herzl at the same time as the Zionist leadership in pre-state Israel was debating Britain's Peel Commission's partition plan. Although it provided for the establishment of a tiny, indefensible Jewish statelet, the plan involved Jewish renunciation of their sovereign rights to the overwhelming majority of the land they had lawfully received sovereign title to under the 1917 Balfour Declaration and the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. That sovereign title included all of present day Israel as well as Judea and Samaria, and arguably present-day Jordan as well.

Netanyahu argued that the tragedy of Zionism is that the leaders who took over after Herzl's death - first and foremost Ahad Ha'am and Chaim Weizmann - lacked the courage to demand the rights of their nation, preferring to be loved than respected.

Lamenting this failure of will and what it was liable to mean for the future of the Jews as the drums of the next war grew ever stronger, Netanyahu wrote that the one thing that Herzl worked towards but failed to achieve was to change "the character of the nation."

"This change," he wrote, "which Herzl believed was critical, was not manifested in the spirit of its leaders, or more precisely, in the spirit of those, who conducted negotiations in the name of the Jewish people, and afterwards managed its affairs. When it was necessary to demonstrate the courage of a sovereign, which Herzl spoke of, when it was necessary to dare and demand from the world the Jewish State and sovereignty over that state, the nation's representatives issued no such demand."

In the end, despite Netanyahu's reiteration of Herzl's warning, the Zionist leadership accepted the Peel Commission's partition plan, just as 10 years later they accepted the UN Partition Plan.


The challenges the world Netanyahu departed last week present to the Jews bear striking similarities to those that faced the Jews throughout our history, and certainly since the dawn of modern Zionism. Unlike the options Abravanel had to weigh, since the dawn of modern Zionism, our leaders have had the option of demanding and commanding the respect of the nations of the world and so securing the lives of the Jews and nationhood of the Jewish people in our land.

Today the heirs of the failed utopian movements of the last century have joined forces with the jihadist heirs of the Mufti of Jerusalem to deny the Jewish people our sovereign rights to our land. If they succeed they will finally and irrevocably destroy Herzl's greatest achievement.

The most ardent hope that comes through clearly in Netanyahu's life work is that the Jews find a leader of Herzl's stature, capable of demanding and commanding the world's recognition and respect for our rights, and the ability to finish Herzl's work by convincing the Jewish people that it is our right and our duty to assert and secure our destiny in our land.
Read the whole thing.



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