To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.
For seven years the Israeli elites lived in a pretend world in which Jews were to blame for everything and Arabs were merely expressing ''frustration'' at being ''mistreated'' for so many years by Jews. The psychological war by Israel's elites against national pride, dignity and self-respect — indeed against national existence — was accompanied by a set of diplomatic policies expressing little more than self-loathing.
Israel was pursuing a policy that in effect let no act of Arab violence go unrewarded. Ehud Barak surrendered to terror and withdrew Israeli troops from Lebanon, and in so doing placed the Haifa bay and its refineries within rocket range of Hizbullah. Syria, despite decades of aggression, sponsorship of terrorism and government-sanctioned Holocaust denial, was begged by Barak to take back not just the Golan Heights but also parts of pre-1967 Israel with access to the waters of the Sea of Galilee.
This national policy of self-debasement was accepted with equanimity by much of the Israeli public, which hoped against hope that its leaders' promises of a light at the end of the Oslo tunnel would come to pass. The descendants of the Jews who had enlisted en masse to fight to defend Hungary and express their Magyar patriotism in the nineteenth century were now standing by and allowing Israeli politicians to demean Jews and make a mockery out of Jewish patriotism in Zion. And all the while they were subsidizing the venomous anti-Zionist extremists at the Israeli universities and elsewhere.
Secular ?Israeliness' Exposed
For thirty years or so after Israel's creation, few would have challenged the idea that secular Zionism had achieved unqualified success in its begetting the new “Israeli.” Israeli Jews were at last ''normal'' citizens of their own country, patriotic to the point of being intolerable, proud to the point of hubris, confident in themselves and in their military, sure of their moral justifiability.
But just a few years later these same Israelis were reduced to begging Yasir Arafat to allow his terrorist squad leaders to meet with Israeli army officers in order to maintain the facade of a ''peace process.'' Israeli politicians abandoned any pretense that further concessions to the Arabs would come only when Arabs abstained from violence. Israeli leaders and intellectuals in effect endorsed the idea of Israel paying reparations and tribute to the Arabs who had attacked the Jewish state and lost.
The 1990's were the era in which it became evident that a great many Israelis and most of the Israeli elite had lost their will to survive as a nation. After centuries in which Jews maintained the most militant sorts of pride and self-assurance even while being mistreated, despised and humiliated, here were the Israelis, possessing one of the great armies of the world, abandoning all pride and explicitly promoting self-humiliation.
The same Israeli military that had rescued the Jewish hostages in Entebbe was suddenly incapable of rescuing a wounded IDF soldier bleeding to death in Joseph's Tomb in Nablus or protecting children under fire in Jerusalem neighborhoods.
Here was an Israel unwilling to use force to prevent Palestinians from firing rifles and mortars into civilian homes, instead asking to hold talks with those doing the shooting in order to ''work out differences and reach understandings.''
An Israel no more than two generations removed from the Holocaust was willing to hold ''peace talks'' with people who denied there ever was a Holocaust and who insisted that Jews use the blood of gentile children to make Passover matzos. The same Jews who fought against enormous odds and won in 1948 were acquiescing in a ''peace process'' that involved unilateral peace gestures from Israel in exchange for the Arabs continuing to make war against the Jews.
No other nation on earth would tolerate such a thing. Why, then, did Israel? The only possible explanation is that the Israelis who pursued Oslo were not really a nation. They had never really developed a national consciousness, but had been merely play-acting all along.
Much of the problem can be traced to the bankrupt notion that some sort of ''Israeliness'' can exist separate from Jewishness. This is the assimilationism that has resulted from attempting to create a ''Post-Jewish'' Israel.
Any Israeliness anchored in Jewishness could never have sanctioned a set of policies based on the proposition that violent anti-Semitism was somehow the fault of the Jews and the result of mistreatment of others by Jews.
An Israeliness grounded in Jewishness would never have given rise to a struggle for acceptance based on the presumption that people hate Jews because of Jewish sins and shortcomings and misdeeds.
Only a people detached from and ignorant of Jewish history could have believed that violent anti-Semites would be bought off with promises of high-tech investments and five-star tourist hotels.
In the post-Oslo era, the charade has come to an end. It is clear now that secular Zionist ''Israeliness'' has undercut the will to survive and the very legitimacy of the State of Israel. Moreover, it was this secular Israeliness that gave birth to the pathology of self-deception and self-loathing that in turn produced the Oslo phenomenon.
About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.
A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.
Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165
Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.
When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.
I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.
Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.
The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.
Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.
Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.
In any event, the Constitution gives Congress what is popularly described as the “power of the purse” – that is, the power to raise revenues through taxation and to decide how the money should be sent.
It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…
The bill is the initiative of Knesset Member Eitan Cabel from what is left of the Israeli Labor Party.
Israel’s weenie gov’t refuses to pass law requiring instant execution of ALL terrorists at the scene
Conspiracism is a form of paranoid delusion taking over the entire lives&personalities of believers
The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country
Though secular, Hitman’s CV includes writing music for, recording, and popularizing religious songs.
Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/front-page/zionism-without-judaism-part-ii/2002/11/29/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: