Monday, September 23, 2013

Giving Up Jerusalem Would Mean the End of Zionism. By Ronen Shoval.

Giving Up Jerusalem Would Mean the End of Zionism. By Ronen Shoval. Haaretz, April 4, 2012. Also here.


Former prime minister Ehud Olmert said a few days ago: “It breaks my heart to initiate relinquishing sovereignty over the Temple Mount but there is no other choice.” However, conceding the Temple Mount means opting for a one-way road that leads straight to the annihilation of Zionism. And the heart that will be broken will not be that of Olmert but rather that of the Jewish people. There is only one meaning to giving up the Temple Mount: the end of the State of Israel. [The late defense minister] Moshe Dayan was mistaken when he declared that Sharm el-Sheikh without peace was preferable to peace without Sharm el-Sheikh. But the Temple Mount is not Sharm el-Sheikh.
No one gives up their heart in return for peace. If the aim was peace at all costs, the safest and most immediate way to achieve it would be simply to convert to Islam. Just as, for the sake of peace, even the most ardent left-wing activists would not be prepared to convert to Islam, not even in a symbolic way, so it is impossible to concede the symbols that express identity. Peace is merely a means for the Jewish people to exist and thrive.
Many Zionists support the establishment of a Palestinian state and with that end in mind, they are prepared to make far-reaching concessions. The argument within the Zionist movement is between those who believe that it is possible to forgo [the outpost of] Migron and perhaps even Ariel, and those who believe we must build in Judea and Samaria. The argument is between the issue of reducing the scale of the demographic problem versus the benefits of remaining in territories that are vital from the national-historic and security points of view.
But you cannot be a Zionist if you are prepared to yield the place that provides us with the moral, historic and religious right to this land - the Temple Mount. It is not by chance that the Palestinians are demanding an Israeli withdrawal from the Temple Mount. The leaders of the Arab world and the Palestinian national leaders understand the significance of symbols.
As early as 1895, Theodor Herzl wrote in a letter to Baron Maurice de Hirsch: “What is a flag? Is it nothing more than a pole with a rag of fabric glued together. No sir, a flag is something more than that. With the flag, the people are led wherever the leader wants them to go, to the land of choice. People will live and die for the flag, only for it will they be prepared to give their souls if they are educated to do so.”
Symbols have significance. If we are prepared to give up the heart of our homeland in difficult times, we will end up by also conceding those places which today seem more convenient. The Palestinian national movement is interested in an Israeli declaration, signed by the elected leadership of the Jewish people, that even in the place where the Jewish people’s demand to be entitled to the land is the most moral and justified, the right of the Palestinians – “the natives” - takes priority over the right of the Jews – “the colonialists.” That is why they are not prepared to make concessions. They want to have the symbol. The right to the land.
Abbas Zaky, the Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon, said some two years ago: “When the Jews leave Jerusalem, the Zionist ideology will begin to collapse. It will die a natural death.” Olmert has deserted the heritage of political Zionism which recognized the importance of symbols. Olmert has forgotten that decisions in the practical and material world have spiritual and moral significances that are likely to undermine the basis on which the Zionist ethos and the State of Israel rest.
The Jewish people need to decide between Jewish historic Zionism which views our settling of the land as a moral right, and colonialist post-Zionism which views the Jew as a foreign occupier of his land. It is impossible to maintain a nation-state which negates all connections with the past of the nation. It is impossible to create an ad hoc Zionism which views the Jew who settles in Ramat Aviv as someone moral and the Jew who settles in Jerusalem as a foreign conqueror. Zionism is based on an inseparable connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. Even thousands of years of exile were unable to sever this connection. This is a tie that is so deep that it grants the Jewish people moral preference to the right to the land even over the (small number of ) Arab fellaheen (farmers ) who were living on the land in the early days of Zionism.
I am not going to enter into the question of whether it is correct to implement this right over the entire land. It is possible that there are places where the demographic reality does not justify continued control over them. But there are places from which withdrawal would be the end of Zionism. “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning.”

Palestinians Want Peace — Just Not with a Jewish State. By Dennis Prager.

Palestinians Want Peace — Just Not with a Jewish State. By Dennis Prager. National Review Online, September 27, 2011.


They insist on ignoring the Jews’ ancient roots in the Holy Land.

About five years ago, I was invited by the Hoover Institution to lecture at Stanford University over the course of a week. Coincidentally, Israel’s Independence Day fell during that week, and so I was invited to speak at the celebration held by pro-Israel students. In my talk, I noted that the crux of the problem in the Palestinian–Israeli conflict was that most Palestinians wanted Israel to cease to exist.

After my talk, a woman walked over to me and introduced herself as a “peace activist.” She told me that she could not agree with me, because Palestinians, in her view, were quite willing to accept Israel’s existence.

As it happened, about 50 feet behind the pro-Israel celebration was an anti-Israel demonstration led by Palestinian students. So, I told the woman to go over and introduce herself to the Palestinian students as a peace activist — that way they would immediately trust her — and ask them if they were willing to acknowledge the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist. I told her that I would bet her five dollars that they would not answer in the affirmative.

She accepted the bet and went to the Palestinian students.

After about ten minutes, she returned.

“So,” I asked her, “who won the bet?”

“I don’t know,” she responded.

“I don’t understand,” I replied. “Didn’t they answer you?”

“They asked me, ‘What do you mean?’” she answered.

I told her she owed me five dollars, but that I wouldn’t collect.

Earlier this month in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority, I interviewed Ghassan Khatib, director of government media for the Palestinian Authority, and the spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. I asked him the same question: Do the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state?

He was more direct than the Palestinians students at Stanford.

His long answer amounted to, “No.”

There is no Jewish people, he told me, so how could there be a Jewish country? The Palestinian position is that there is a religion called Judaism, but there is no such thing as a Jewish people. (Interestingly, the Jews are only referred to as a religion once in the entire Hebrew Bible — in the Book of Esther, by the anti-Semite Haman.)

In other words, Palestinians, a national group that never existed by that name until well into the twentieth century, deny the existence of the oldest continuous nation in the world, dating back over 3,000 years. Now, that’s chutzpah.

Indeed, the Palestinians deny that the Jews ever lived in Israel. That is why Yasser Arafat could not even admit that Jesus was a Jew; rather, according to Arafat, “Jesus was a Palestinian.” To acknowledge that Jesus was a Jew would mean that Jews lived in Israel thousands of years ago — in a Jewish state moreover — long before Muslims existed, long before Arabs moved there, and millennia before anyone called themselves Palestinian.

In the Palestinian president’s speech to the United Nations last week, this denial of Jewish history was reaffirmed. Thus, in a speech about Israel and the Palestinians, he never once uttered the words “Jew” or “Jewish.”

Here is an example of Abbas’s Jew-free view of the history of Israel/Palestine:

“I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the birthplace of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) . . . ”

No mention of Jews. Apparently, only Christians (does Abbas know that Jesus was a Jew?) and Muslims have lived in “the Holy Land.” And for Abbas, the Holy Land is not Israel, it is Palestine. That it was the Jews who made that land Holy is a fact of history denied by the Palestinians.

Israel, in the Palestinian view, is an Israeli state, not a Jewish state.

As Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, wrote in the Washington Post this past Friday (emphasis added):
Two Israeli peace proposals, in 2000 and 2008 . . . met virtually all of the Palestinians’ demands for a sovereign state in the areas won by Israel in the 1967 war — in the West Bank, Gaza and even East Jerusalem. But Palestinian President Yasser Arafat rejected the first offer and Mahmoud Abbas ignored the second, for the very same reason their predecessors spurned the 1947 Partition Plan. Each time, accepting a Palestinian State meant accepting the Jewish State, a concession the Palestinians were unwilling to make.
That is the issue. Not settlements. Not boundaries. The Palestinians, like most of their fellow Arabs and like many Muslims elsewhere, have never acknowledged that the Jews came home to Israel because they have never acknowledged that the Jews ever had a national home there. And they don’t even acknowledge that the Jews are a people.

Do the Palestinians want peace? I have no doubt that they do. Just not with the Jewish state.

Six Lies Most People Believe About U.S. Public Schools. By Joy Pullmann.

Six Lies Most People Believe About U.S. Public Schools. By Joy Pullmann. The Federalist, September 23, 2013.

Raise standards for teachers and free them to teach. By Joy Pullmann. Washington Examiner, July 2, 2013.

Teacher Prep Review 2013 Report. By Julie Greenberg, Arthur McKee, and Kate Walsh. National Council on Teacher Quality, June 2013. PDF.

Beyond Words: Causes, Consequences, and Cures for Palestinian Authority Hate Speech. By David Pollock.

Beyond Words: Causes, Consequences, and Cures for Palestinian Authority Hate Speech. By David Pollock. The Washington Institute. Policy Focus 124, September 2013. Also at Real Clear WorldPDF.

Israel Wants Peace. Period. By Israel Kasnett.

Israel wants peace. Period. By Israel Kasnett. Al Jazeera, September 13, 2013. Also at Yahoo! News.

The White Queen: Amanda Hale on the Visions of Margaret Beaufort. By Chris Harvey.

The White Queen: Amanda Hale on the Visions of Margaret Beaufort. By Chris Harvey. The Telegraph, August 18, 2013.

Amanda Hale as Margaret Beaufort in The White Queen.