We are living in a world with “isms’…capitalism, socialism, racism. So many “isms” and so many failed.
Fascism began in 1933 and was defeated later in 1945. The German Third Reich that was supposed to live for one thousand years barely made it to 12 years.
Communism (Bolshevikism), created by the Russian Revolution of 1917 with the assassination of the Czar and the royal Romanoff dynasty, faded away in 1987… 70 years of a failed cruel regime.
Zionism, the dream of the Jewish people to return to their holy city of Jerusalem and to rebuild their nation began in the Babylonian exile of 586 Before the Common Era.
Nebuchadnezzar destroyed their holy Temple of King Solomon and set Jerusalem ablaze, while marching off the defeated Jews to Babylon where they sat and wept when they remembered Zion and proclaimed, “if I forget thee O Jerusalem, may I forget my right hand, may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember thee, if I raise not Jerusalem up above my chiefest joys”.
For two thousand years in exile, dispersion, persecution, oppression, Inquisitions, pogroms, Holocausts, the Jewish people never forgot Jerusalem and their age-old yearning to return to Zion.
It was given its voice in 1893 in Basle, Switzerland. The voice was that of the Austro-Hungarian writer and journalist, Dr. Theodor Herzl, who assembled the first representatives of the Jewish people, scattered across the world, in two thousand years to the first ever Zionist Congress which gave formal recognition of Zionism as a political movement and a promise to create a new Jewish state on the foundations of the old.
Herzl’s dream came true within 50 years and he is known as the Father of Zionism.
There is an apocryphal story of the French Emperor Napoleon. He was passing in his carriage by a synagogue in Paris and he could hear loud cries and sobbing. It happened to be on Tisha B’Av, the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av.
Turning to his adjutant he inquired the reason for all the crying. And he was told, “Your Majesty, today on the Hebrew calendar marks the date of the destruction of their Temple in Jerusalem two thousand years ago. The Jews weep and mourn for it”.
Emperor Napoleon replied: “A people who mourn for two thousand years for a destroyed Temple shall succeed in rebuilding it from its ruins”.
No more fascism (although there are fascists). No more communism (although there are communists). But Zionism lives on and grows stronger. Why?
Because although not all the Jews of the world observe ancient religious practices, they all remember their history. History has preserved them as a people. Religion has preserved them as a faith. In their daily, Sabbath and holiday prayers, Jerusalem and Zion are imminent as they turn in their worship facing east to Jerusalem.
Mentioned more than 900 times in the Jewish Bible, and never once in the Muslim Quran, Jerusalem remains holy to the Jews across the globe. Jews face Jerusalem in prayer. Muslims do not. They face Mecca, their primary holy city, during their five daily calls to worship.
From 1948 to 1967, nineteen years of occupation by the Jordanian army, not one king, ruler, sheikh or imam from the Muslim world ever made a visit to the mosques in Jerusalem.
The Bible states that God gave Jerusalem to the Jews. Who gave it to the Muslims? Mohammed himself recognized the historic Jewish connection to Jerusalem and to the Land of Israel.
Today, millions of devoted Christians defend the right of the State of Israel to its capital in Jerusalem.
Since President Trump’s announcement that the American Embassy would be moved from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, other countries are following his announcement in defiance of the United Nations General Assembly.
Rumania, the Czech Republic and Guatemala have courageously announced that their respective embassies will also be moved to Jerusalem. Other nations will follow. Zionism has triumphed.
Who are the Palestinians and from whence did they come? They are not related to the nations who inhabited biblical Canaan. Most of the pre-1948 Arab population immigrated from Syria and Lebanon into Palestine because they knew that the Jews had made the land prosper and the desert bloom. Good salaries, hospitals, schools were now available to them.
Until 1967 they rarely referred to themselves as Palestinians. They simply called themselves Arabs. Most came from southern Syria and spoke the Syrian dialect of Arabic. Under Zionist commerce and industry they thrived and many clans like the Husseinis and the Nashashibis and the Nusaybahs became leaders of the early Palestinian nationalist movements.
Fascism and Communism failed because they were movements which oppressed, tortured and put to death their opponents.
Zionism succeeded and will continue to thrive and grow because it remained faithful to Herzl’s dream and to the philosophy of the movement, its national goal:
“Livnot u’l’hibanot ba”. To build the land and, in turn, to be rebuilt by it.