Unless you live on the moon you probably already know that the British have voted to leave the European Union. What you might not know is that the UK has become a prime destination for French Jews leaving behind antisemitism.
With Britain in the EU, moving from France to the UK was as easy as getting on a train. Now the door will slam shut to those Jews looking to escape an ever worsening situation in France. Thankfully they still have Israel. An Israel where Lieberman is Defence Minister. An Israel where Bibi sits at the top of government surrounded by yes men or those so right wing even he runs for cover every time they speak.
The French example is just one more reason why it’s so important that Israeli leaders, political military and others remember the importance of their country to Jews around the world. It would be wise for Israel’s leaders to note this, abandon their own brands of bastardised Zionism in favour of more realistic policies that help Israelis and olim to gain an improved quality of life.
Instead, our politicians are too busy hiding behind notions of Zionism to take a peek outside of the Knesset and get to know the country they are supposed to be governing. The Ha’aretz expose of the The Fund for Nurturing the Zionist Idea is the perfect example of this. Whether or not it is Zionist to fund and build settlements that harm Israel’s international standing and further inflame the Palestinian populace shouldn’t be relevant. What is relevant is whether the tens of millions of shekels, being funneled into building such settlements would be better used elsewhere. Bearing in mind the problems of poverty, security and housing in Israel’s heartland there can be little doubt that such massive amounts of money would be of greater benefit to Israel and Israelis were it spent elsewhere. With a bizarre vision of Zionism this charity is hurting Israel while our own leaders turn two blind eyes to the situation.
Zionism was the vision of hope for a better Jewish future that inspired an entire people to overcome oceans and seas, mountains and deserts and forests in the quest to be a free people in our own land. We were blinded to the hardships of the endeavour thanks to the Zionism, we were spared the pain of our labour thanks to her soothing touch, we were spared the agony of the birth thanks to the anaesthesia inherent in an ideology that promised, if not a Utopian world at the very least a Utopian habitat for the Jews within it.
When Ben Gurion declared the state of Israel he resigned Zionism to the history books and replaced it with the living breathing state of Israel. And yet Zionism is still here, sapping the strength of the very country it brought into being. Propped up on a life support system because it suits politicians to peddle a nice sounding, vote winning myth rather than dealing with a harsh reality. It is high time they dropped the Zionist myth and dealt with the Israeli reality.