The Jewish people is only second to the Chinese in the length of its history. Beyond this difference, there are a few others to note in the context of this paper. The important ones are the territorial and religious dimensions. The Chinese are atheists and what kept them together as a nation was the vast territory they control. The glue that binds the Jews together is the religion. To become a nation, we Jews need a territory but throughout our long history we controlled territories only briefly. In the overwhelming majority of our history, we were a religious group spread across the globe under the rule of others. To assert our nationality without a territory, we looked for alternative attributes and found them in our language, culture, tradition etc. It is convenient for us to argue that Judaism, unlike the rest of the world, is a combination of religion and nationality.
Israel, the chosen land, promised by God to his people, creates a moral problem for all those who see the world in black and white. People like Ahad Ha’am saw Israel as only a spiritual center. Others, like Magnes, the first president of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who was professed Zionist advocated a bi-national state. Peter Beinart, doubts whether the Jewish people need a territory under its control to survive. The undersigned, like many others, argues that for the Jewish people to survive we must have our own state and not just any state – the State of Israel. To prove this point, just look at Uganda and other attempts to settle Jews in other places around the world. Further, under any other scenario the Jewish people face annihilation.
In today’s Israel, there are three different populations: Zionist Israelis, orthodox Jews and Arab – Palestinians.
In the hotbed we all live in, there is no chance that these three groups will ever reach understanding, compromise, and harmonious living. The orthodox Judaism will never compromise the idea of a religious state. Additionally, their adherence to the procreation command will, over time, exponentially increase their percentage of the population and increase their electoral power.
The Palestinians, too, use demographics to increase their share of the population and political power. Additionally, those of them who adhere to radical Sharia will never accept the existence of Israel as a Jewish sovereign state on the land of Israel. The recent riots in Israel, on the heels of the last round of hostilities in Gaza points to a significant increase of Hamas’ influence within this population.
The Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas coalition does not show signs of weakening. On the contrary, their power increases.
Antisemitism these days is not what it used to be – hatred toward all who are of a Semite decent. Today, antisemitism is directed only at Jews, whether they live in Israel or not, whether they are religious or not, whether they are Zionists or not, whether they hate Palestinians or not. If the post WWII world, despite the 76 years that have elapsed since it ended wasn’t able to rid the world of antisemitism, despite great efforts and similar budget, means that antisemitism is part of the human DNA, which ebbs and flows over the course of historic time, in response to other components of the human nature. History teaches us that authoritarian nationalist regimes are fertile ground for the growth of antisemitism. If we examine the general direction humanity is going towards, there is little doubt it points to nationalist, anti-democratic and xenophobic regimes. If the above is true and we couple it with a serious economic crisis we have the complete recipe for a re-run of WWII Holocaust!
It is certain that a “sage of the moment” will rise and foolishly claim that history doesn’t repeat itself. Sorry to disappoint, but the undersigned’s opinion corresponds directly with god’s words to the prophet Ezekiel “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me” (Ezekiel 3:17).
If the people of Israel want to live and successfully cross the next millennium, it must solve, peacefully and with compromise, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The orthodox Jews is an internal issue which can be easily solved through one governmental four year term their political parties spend in the opposition benches where they will be disconnected from the financial teat they have been sucking on for decades and reduced to their natural proportion.
The Palestinian issue is more complex but also solvable within the course of a few years. The building block for that solution are:
- American willingness to lead the process
- The Saudi proposal from 2002 (Arab League) for a two-state solution as a draft for the negotiations.
- The agreements arrived at over the years between Israel and the Palestinians.
- Involvement of the moderate Arab states and KSA in the process.
- Assuming that at the end of the negotiations there will be open items, the application of an American and the moderate Arab states pressure on both sides will be required.
A forced solution? Yes! It is preferable to perpetuating the conflict!
* The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT).