There is one capping truth that Israel, and Israelis can no longer deny: Israel is locked in a perpetual struggle, and I fear that the right wing in the country might be regrettably right in the fact that Israel can no longer give leeway, nor exhibit any soft approach to its situation. In other words, those such as Naftali Bennett who have been throughout this long war explaining Israel’s situation to the Western Media, might just have brought to light a very important truth which has been evident since 1948: Israel is surrounded by enemies, and the longer Israelis continue to kid themselves that peace is possible amid extremists, it will only have to suffer.
The truth is, how can it not? When the only democratic nation amid a sea of tyranny, or as Bennett himself has described Israel as a “Lighthouse nation” rightly referring to its heed to develop advanced technology and seemingly strong economic progress, is trying to install and maintain a peace with those who have made it part of their constitution the complete annihilation of the Jewish people. And that is the ultimate fact, that anti-semitism is and will continue to be the main reason why Israel will fight wars with its neighbours. How many times does this have to be repeated?
It seems that every time you ask someone: “What would you do if your home was showered with rockets” they quickly avoid the question, and rightly they do so because none of them are surrounded by enemies who would shower them with missiles. They cannot possibly understand. Their vision of the situation this past summer, and any other wars Israel was forced to engage in in the past, is thus the product of two things: the inability to discern Israel and its position, and second the ever continual and constant presence of anti-semitism, either actively or subtly being promoted.
Perhaps I have not been clear what this perpetual struggle is, and to be honest you do not need me to tell you. The hatred that other’s foster for Israel and its people is unthinkable, precisely why peace, however many times Israel tries to push it forward and will continue to do so, will be answered with more rockets and with more terror tunnels. The next time more funds are sent into Gaza, more tunnels, more rocket sites will be fashioned rather than infrastructure for the Palestinian people.
It is this hatred that forces Israel to have to defend itself and its people. Yet, perhaps the question should be the same one asked by the famous Hitchens who although criticized Israel, was an ardent critic of anti-semitism: “Has Zionism made Jews more safe or less safe?”. Although the late Mr. Hitchens did provide a less than positive answer, I on the other hand would like to highlight the salience of this question, today more than ever.
Not only has Zionism made Jews more safe today, the Iron Dome project being the best practical evidence, but it has kept Jews safe since the horrid events of the Second World War, and more precisely since 1948. The reason I say this, is because regardless of Israel’s existence or not, anti-semitism has always been present since the 3000 years of recorded history, and has caused preposterous damage to the Jewish people. It is in fact the need for safety which leads to Zionism. This has been proven historically, and more so today, through people such as Naftali Bennet.
Israel’s perpetual struggle is not just about anti-semitism. No. It is the need and craving for safety that Israelis and Jews constantly feel, but are not awarded as their inalienable right, as a result of anti-semitism. As long as Israel and its people will be threatened, it will continue to be a “Right” nation, similar to Woolridge’s famous characterization of the U.S.
What would Gurion say?