web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Do Jews Really Want A State?


At first glance, the question posed by our title appears ludicrous. After all, the Jewish people have a state, and went to great lengths to establish it. Israelis continue to sacrifice themselves in its defense and pay the highest income tax in support of the highest per capita military expenditures in the world. Jews in the Diaspora volunteer their treasure and energy defending Israel’s right to exist.

On further examination, however, the answer to the question is not as obvious as it first appears. Recent Jewish history raises serious questions about our willingness to accept the responsibilities inherent in state power. We must ask ourselves the following:

● Why, after 60 years, has Israel never declared its borders?

● Why, after five major victories, does Israel sue for peace, as if it were the defeated party, and prove unwilling to resist a single demand of a significantly weaker Palestinian foe?

● Why in the recent war in Lebanon did Israel fail to achieve a victory against so weak an enemy, and why did Israel’s government refuse to order the army forward after a month of deadly and unprecedented bombardment of Israeli cities?

● Why does Israel continue to allow the bombardment of its towns and the slaughter of its citizens around Gaza as it’s done for six years?

● Why, in a Gaza completely surrounded by and dependant on Israel, is Gilad Shalit still held hostage without consequence to the enemy?

● Why does Israel place its capital city up for negotiations and why – within its own sovereign territory – does the Jewish state allow its enemies to physically destroy the holiest sites in Judaism?

The only possible answer to these questions is that Jews do not really want a state, or, to be more precise, they do not want the responsibilities of power that come with it.

Yes, we enjoy the benefits of having a Jewish state. We relish seeing coins and stamps with Jewish themes. Jews everywhere are glad of the status and acceptance that come with having a sovereign state – but only if there is not a single voice raised anywhere in opposition.

So unsure are we of our rights to our land that individual Arab objections prompt the Israeli Supreme Court to order a protective border fence – one costing billions of dollars – destroyed and moved, not once but four times!

For 60 years Israel has avoided finalizing its borders so as not to offend enemies openly seeking its destruction. Also lest it offend anyone, the Jewish state stands by mutely while Jewish holy sites like the Temple Mount and Jacob’s Tomb are physically ravaged or destroyed, its cities rocketed, its citizens taken hostage and massacred.

Two hundred years ago John Stuart Mill wrote about an America then still struggling for its sovereignty:

A people may prefer a free government, but if, from indolence, or carelessness, or cowardice…they are unequal to the exertions necessary for preserving it, if they will not fight for it when it is directly attacked … they are more or less unfit for liberty: and … unlikely long to enjoy it.

Americans today enjoy the benefits of liberty only because they stood their ground and fought for it for two centuries. They fight for it still. On the other hand, nations that value peace over liberty enjoy neither. Having a Jewish state means not only enjoying and learning about our land, it means declaring its borders and defending them, even if the enemy objects, even if the entire world prefers otherwise.

Having a state means that we do not put our capital city, our holy city, up for negotiation. A state does not exist in the ether. It exists on land with a defined border, a capital city and sacred sites that are non-negotiable. A state educates and produces a citizenry ready to defend its sovereignty against all opposition. The state in turn holds the life and liberty of its citizens sacrosanct, not allowing them to be captured, bombed and slaughtered without consequence.

Jews today do not face an enemy with overwhelming power. What we face is our own unwillingness to shoulder the responsibilities of power. We Jews need to search our collective soul and ask: Are we ready for the responsibilities inherent in state power, or would we prefer to return to the more familiar moral purity of powerlessness?

About the Author: Devin Sper is a senior fellow at the Center for Advanced Middle East Studies and author of “The Future of Israel,” winner of a 2005 GLYPH award. Sivan Raine, Mr. Sper’s daughter, graduated from Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College with a BA in English Literature and a minor in Psychology and edited “The Future of Israel.”


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Do Jews Really Want A State?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A general view of the Bat Ain community at Gush Etzion.
US Pushes PA Agenda and Tells Israel to Cancel New Gush Etzion Town
Latest Indepth Stories
1347905461_5613_Mideast_Israel_Palestinians_Rosh_Hashana_05475

“these soldiers are on the front lines of a war that the entire world is fighting”

yesha1

Hayovel’s vision: to share with them (Jews) a passion for the soon coming jubilee in yeshua messiah.”

Tibets spiritual leader Dalai Lama.

Dalai Lama: In the interest of Tibetans today to have peaceful co-existence with the Chinese.

Hamas Quote on Death

However, 40+ countries still use capital punishment for a variety of offenses.

The War projects to lower Israel’s 2014 GDP 0.5% but will have little influence on foreign investors

It is in the nature of the Nations of the World to be hostile towards the Jewish People.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.”

The bad news is that ISIS and Al Qaeda are on the Syrian Golan. The good news is that every terrorist in Syria is killing each other.

The congregants, Ethiopians spanning generations, were beaming with joy and pride.

The withdrawal from the Gaza Strip nine years ago did not enhance Israel’s security.

How does a soldier from a religious home fall in love with a soldier from a non- religious kibbutz?

In 19th century entire ancient Jewish communities fled Palestine to escape brutal Muslim authorities

Responsibility lies with both the UN and Hamas, and better commitments should have been demanded from both parties in the ceasefire.

But the world is forever challenging our Jewish principle and our practices.

If this is how we play the game, we will lose. By that I mean we will lose everything.

More Articles from Devin Sper and Sivan Raine

At first glance, the question posed by our title appears ludicrous. After all, the Jewish people have a state, and went to great lengths to establish it. Israelis continue to sacrifice themselves in its defense and pay the highest income tax in support of the highest per capita military expenditures in the world. Jews in the Diaspora volunteer their treasure and energy defending Israel’s right to exist.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/do-jews-really-want-a-state/2007/04/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: