Sunday, May 16, 2010

Palestine/Israel: Trying to Look at Both Sides

The Hebrew Republic by Kai Bird
The Nation - April 21, 2010

...The problem--then and now--with this formulation is that messianic Zionism did not die with the establishment of the State of Israel. Unfortunately, messianic Zionism continues to thrive in the hearts of a sizable minority of Israelis--just as political Islam, under the banner of Hamas, has gained increasing support among Palestinians. And even the majority of Israelis still find it unthinkable to repudiate the notion that Israel is a "Jewish" state rather than a Hebrew-speaking secular state in which Jewish culture and religion are merely components of Israel's national identity.

"Messianic Zionism's claim of a Jewish right to Eretz Israel, the biblical Holy Land," we wrote in The Nation in 1981, "impels modern Israelis to conclude, as did an early Zionist, Dr. Arthur Ruppin, in 1936, 'It is our destiny to be in a state of continual warfare with the Arabs.'" Messianic Zionism cannot afford to compromise, precisely because it claims to speak for all Jews, everywhere, and not just the Hebrews of Israel. The editorial quoted Golda Meir telling a group of battle-hardened soldiers on the Golan Heights in the midst of the 1973 October War, "If all the blood that was shed in keeping Israel alive was only for the 3 million [Israelis] of today, it is not worthwhile." to complete Nation article

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