Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Israel's Existence

The recent remarks by the news commentator, Helen Thomas, that the Jews should leave "Palestine" illustrate why the people who hate Israel and Jews have prevented peace in the Middle East. In their view Israel has no right to exist. They might grudgingly accept Israel's presence as an anomaly because it is impossible to remove the Jews, but only with strict limitations and always with the understanding that Jewish sovereignty should be regarded as temporary. That is why in their view it is OK for Gaza to fire rockets into Israel, but it is evil for Israel to react. That is why the flotilla to break Israel's blockade of a country that makes war on Israel is regarded as a "humanitarian flotilla."
When Ms. Thomas was asked where the Jews of Israel should go, she said "back" to Europe. Back to Europe? Most Israeli Jews have never lived in Europe and are native born Israelis and/or descendants of refugees from Middle Eastern and African countries. And do you really think that those European, Middle Eastern, and African countries are ready to accept the Israeli Jews with open arms?
Israel has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to live side by side with an independant Palestinian Arab neighbor state. But the Clinton/Barak plan was rejected by Arafat and answered with a violent intifada. Israel's unilateral dismantling of the Gaza strip settlements and withdrawal from the Gaza strip was answered with the election of Hamas which has been firing rockets over the border into Israel. No wonder Israel has elected a right wing government. A decade ago the West Bank settlements were unpopular with most Israelis who would gladly have gotten rid of them to make peace. Now there seems to be no reason to get rid of them.
Israel's right to exist as a sovereign nation with a Jewish majority willing to accept as immigrants whomever they choose to accept and reject whomever they choose to reject is not because of the existence of a Jewish state there 2000 years ago or because of some biblical promise. It is because Israel exists now with a Jewish majority and a commitment to the Zionist promise of a country that will accept Jews from anywhere who choose to live there and has existed as such for 62 years since 1948. It is because the people of Israel have nowhere else to go.

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