Vic Rosenthal of Abu Yehuda
fame has a recent piece entitled simply, Ten Propositions
, and I intend to examine each – perhaps the first five in this piece and the second five at the Elder of Ziyon
this Sunday – and see where we agree and disagree and hopefully spark some interesting discussion.
I am a nationalist, Zionist, tribalist and hawk.
Here are ten things I believe:
What I like about Rosenthal is what I like about, for example, Caroline Glick, i.e., he’s got balls.
A nationalist, Zionist, tribalist and hawk, huh? That, my friends, is a very bold statement. I will go with number one and number two, particularly since in order to be a Zionist one must, by definition, be a nationalist. As for “tribalist,” I am not even certain what that means.
As for hawk, I simply consider myself a pragmatist. Nobody wants war… I guess… but when aggressors come to kill your children it is probably good policy to strike them back hard enough that they will never do so again.
OK, on to the first five of Rosenthal’s ten propositions. They are:
1 – ‘Israel is the Jewish state’ has a concrete meaning: the owners of the land of Israel are the Jewish people, not all its citizens.
2 – Arabs who live in Israel should have full civil rights, but they should understand that they are living in someone else’s homeland. It’s natural and correct that the flag, national anthem, primary language and other symbols are those of the Jewish people.
3 – It is not a civil right to call for the destruction of the state or the murder of its people.
4 – Israel should not welcome non-Jewish migrants.
5 – Everyone in Israel should have freedom of religious worship and be able to visit their holy places. But the government of Israel should be sovereign over every inch of the land of Israel, in particular the Temple Mount.
Let’s take these individually.
‘Israel is the Jewish state’ has a concrete meaning: the owners of the land of Israel are the Jewish people, not all its citizens.
This strikes me as a difficult sell and I am not entirely certain that I want to sell it.
The land of Israel belongs to the people who own land within Israel. Any Christian or Muslim or Rosicrucian who owns land owns that land. Period. Full stop.
I guess what I would say – and perhaps Vic and I are not quite so far apart on this issue as one might initially think – is that Israel belongs to the Jewish people in the sense that Japan belongs to the Japanese. That is, Israel is the place where Judaism emerged and where its culture and traditions and ways of being and thinking took root and developed for millennia prior to the diaspora.
Israel is unquestionably the home of the Jewish people, but if a non-Jew owns land in Israel, then they own land within Israel.
Arabs who live in Israel should have full civil rights, but they should understand that they are living in someone else’s homeland. It’s natural and correct that the flag, national anthem, primary language and other symbols are those of the Jewish people.
I could not agree more.
I might feel differently if the Arab-Muslim world had ever honestly been decent to my Jewish ancestors, but although dhimmi status was in some times and some places better and some times and places worse it was never better than the ugliest of Jim Crow.
And, of course, given the fact that the Arab-Muslim governments and people still generally hold Jews in Koranically-based contempt, and have repeatedly attempted the genocide of the Jews in the Middle East… we owe them nothing.
It is not a civil right to call for the destruction of the state or the murder of its people.
As we say, democracy is not a suicide pact.
I am not a big fan of sedition laws, but given the fact that the Jewish people in the Middle East are a tiny minority surrounded by a much a larger hostile majority that wants very much to see those Jews either dead or gone, Israel cannot afford treasonous politicians in the Knesset. There is nothing automatically wrong with Arabs, or any non-Jews, being members of the Knesset, but the Israeli government should prohibit anti-Zionists, or friends of terrorists, from participation in government.
Israel should not welcome non-Jewish migrants.
My first reaction upon reading this statement was to say to myself, “I disagree. Of course, Israel should accept a limited degree of non-Jewish migrants, just not so much as to significantly alter the demographic make-up of the state.” On further consideration, however, I think that Vic may have a point. The problem is that our numbers are so small, our enemies are so many, and Israel is all the Jewish people have to stand between the Jewish people of the Middle East and the hostile Arab-Muslim majority population that surround them in that part of the world.
Everyone in Israel should have freedom of religious worship and be able to visit their holy places. But the government of Israel should be sovereign over every inch of the land of Israel, in particular the Temple Mount.
The issue of the Temple Mount is particularly troublesome because it shows the world that the Jewish people are uncertain of our own sovereignty in the Land of Israel, the land of the Jews. In fact, the very reason that Muslims insist that the Temple Mount is theirs is simply because they wish to rob Jews of sovereignty on historically Jewish land.
The Temple Mount, of course, is symbolic. If the Arabs can deny Jewish sovereignty on even the place where the Second Temple stood then they can challenge Jewish sovereignty over the country, as a whole. And that is precisely the project that they have undertaken, lo these many decades, since the early part of the twentieth-century.
Furthermore, current Israeli and Jordanian policies concerning the Temple Mount are undemocratic and unjust. Only Muslims have unfettered access to the space and only Muslims are allowed to pray there. Given that Israel is supposed to be a Jewish and democratic state, this is a great humiliation to that country.
The Temple Mount issue exposes Jewish Israeli weakness while demonstrating their willingness to capitulate to Arab-Muslim authoritarianism.
It also should be noted that the Temple Mount is not the third anything to anyone. All the Temple Mount is is the holiest spot in the world to devout Jews. It is the site of the Temples and the Holy of Holies. The reason that some Muslims call it the “third holiest site in Islam” is simply because Islam is a conquering religion and its leadership is entirely comfortable with the genocide of the Jews, when they are not actively calling for it.
I will continue my conversation of Vic’s ten propositions