Yisrael Medad
Analyst and commentator on political and cultural issues.

First They Came for the Zionists and Then the Jews

There is a certain malaise lodged deep within the editorial offices of Haaretz, a newspaper in which Ze’ev Jabotinsky was published albeit it 1919.  Amos Schocken not only promotes a state of Arab Palestine but intermarriage. To his mind:

The settlers forged a new vision for Israel, an anti-Zionist vision.

And now, one of the most notorious of the editorial executive’s writes, Gideon Levy, takes it one step further in this piece, Israel’s ‘Jewish majority’ obsession sub-headlined:

What can we say about the Jewish majority if it’s a majority for fascism, racism and hatred of Arabs and foreigners?

He gets more invidious as he breaks down, against all logic, the mainstays of Jews and their Judaism as a people with a land referring to it as:

…an obsession: Israel must be a Jewish state at any cost. Just or unjust, good or not good, flourishing or not flourishing — the main thing is that it be Jewish…On the day Israel shakes this obsession and becomes a country like any other, a democracy like any other, it will become a safer and more just place. For the time being, we have a major stumbling block.

To celebrate the Jewish New Year this evening, there’s no need for a Jewish state. In New York, Johannesburg and Uman, Ukraine (and even in Tehran), the holiday will be marked the right way. To maintain a Jewish lifestyle there is no need for a Jewish state.

Gideon Levy possesses an obsession and it is an evil desire to obliterate Israel as the Jewish national home.  He, and other friends of his, are in a vortex of mass deconstruction of identity.  These concepts have existed for years or even centuries but they always failed the test: is Jewish survival supported by and assisted by such ideologies and from Ahad Haam to Brit Shalom, from conversion and assimilation to Neturei Karta and its non-Orthodox complement, Peter Beinart, and the answer is the solutions proposed cannot succeed.

Levy, as are his comrades, is attempting to shed his makeup due not to what he thinks is Israel’s immorality and what he defines as its wrongdoings but to his discomfort with the required policies the challenges of Israel’s physical, cultural and spiritual enemies pose.

He ends on a note of redefinition:

Why should a liberal Israeli want to live in a country with a Jewish majority based on settlers and nationalists? Wouldn’t it be better to establish a community of democratic, liberal, secular people fighting the fundamentalists, anti-democrats and nationalists?…

…now is the time for the second war of liberation — a war of liberation from Israel’s Judaism.

The answer should be a resounding no.

We need be just, we need be considerate of differences and we also must be aware that if we aren’t Jews, we deserve nothing.  Liberalism and such are required for a society that is fair and law-abiding but the do not define Jews nor Judaism.

And surely Gideon Levy is not one to be a definer.

About the Author
Yisrael Medad, currently is a Research Fellow at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem and Deputy Editor of the English Language Anthology of Jabotinsky's Writings. American-born, he and his wife made Aliyah in 1970. He resides in Shiloh since 1981. He was a member of the Betar Youth Movement World Executive and is a volunteer spokesperson for the Yesha Council. He holds a MA in Political Science from the Hebrew University and is active is many Zionist and Jewish projects and initiatives.
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