Yoel Bin-Nun

Jews who support the enemies of Israel: A cry of protest

I am under no illusion that I will have any success convincing Peter Beinart and his friends, who serve as leaders of the “progressive movement” in America, and who define Israel as an “apartheid state” and oppose its very existence (as described in Zvika Klein’s interview with Beinart, Makor Rishon, 8 Av, 5781).

There is no hope of convincing these people to accept Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

But I cannot help but openly protest and cry out against the grave distortions of history, and against the grave violation of the fundamental rights of the Jewish people. Below I seek to correct a few of these distortions.

  1. The State of Israel, a nation-state in the United Nations, is the only state in the world today whose very existence as a state of the Jewish people has been denied by many UN member states. Some of those states are actively fighting against Israel, seeking to destroy it, even with nuclear weapons.|Taking up a position that recognizes the right to existence of many nation-states throughout the world while denying this right solely to the Jewish people can only be described as antisemitic. Unfortunately, there is no other word that describes it.
  1. Most of the Palestinian people live in the Kingdom of Jordan, within the territory of historic Israel, and the confrontation between the Jordanian leadership, the PLO and Hamas is a difference between three ideological leaderships (ie. three political parties) within one people.In the historic land of Israel — including Jordan — there are two states, but there are not three distinct peoples!
  1. Palestinians in Gaza live under a brutal occupation perpetrated by Hamas, which is pledged to the destruction of Israel in open cooperation with Iran. If Palestinian leaders in Gaza wanted to live in peace alongside Israel, they would invest the international money they receive in growth and prosperity, without missiles, explosive balloons and anti-Israel drones. Were they to do so, Israel would not attack Gaza with planes or missiles.Gaza is not under any form of Israeli control, and all Israeli military activity (including at sea) is purely defensive. All the children killed in Gaza are victims of Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel! It is Hamas that executes its children, by using them as human shields to protect its soldiers.
  1. The vast majority of Palestinians — and not just Hamas members — continue to admire Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini (from British Mandate times), who openly supported and identified with the Nazi regime. He appears prominently in their textbooks and in their ‘educational’ system. Al-Husseini was expelled from Mandate Palestine by the British and was granted refuge in Nazi Berlin, where he invested all his efforts in persuading the Nazi regime to occupy Palestine and extend its policy of extermination to the Jews in their ancestral homeland.
  2. The idea of ‘social Zionism’ in the spirit of Ahad Ha’am — which suggested relinquishing a Jewish state if it would have to fight for its existence — went bankrupt well before the Holocaust and the destruction of the European Jewish community. Arthur Ruppin, who shared the pacifist views of Martin Buber and Judah Magnes, went to check with the most moderate Palestinian leaders to see if they would allow Jewish Aliyah to the Land of Israel. They vehemently refused, leading Arthur Ruppin to understand that this approach did not stand a chance, since without a Jewish army there would be riots and pogroms to drive the Jews out.Arthur Ruppin eventually came to support the entire Land of Israel for the people of Israel!
  1. Even today, in a moment of extreme incitement, riots broke out in mixed cities within the State of Israel — in Lod and in Yaffo. In Acco a hotel was burned down, killing an important Jewish professor, Dr. Avi Har-Even. The Israeli police force was unable to control the situation. One must understand that under contemporary Middle Eastern conditions, a bi-national state with equal rights for all its citizens and Jewish social autonomy would mean civil war and the massacre of Jews, as was the case under the British Mandate. Anyone who supports such an idea can only intend to exile most Jews to America, in the belief that Jews — and only Jews — have no right to a nation-state that can protect itself and its citizens. This is certainly an antisemitic position, even if ‘progressive’ Jews support it.
  2. Effectively, Israel supports the United States even more than America supports Israel. The vast majority of American aid to Israel remains in America, financing the American arms industry, and helping it maintain its strategic supremacy as a superpower. Israel also develops such defensive innovations as the Iron Dome anti-missile system that America receives in exchange for its help.
  3. Without the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, most American Jews have little chance of surviving as Jews, given the enormous drain of assimilation. When the State of Israel was established, there were about a million Jews in Israel and about 6 million Jews in America. Today there are more than 6 million Jews in Israel and fewer than 5 million in America, of whom only about half are members of Jewish communities and involved in Jewish affairs.

Despite the fact that there is no chance of convincing those who have already closed their minds and hearts to us and who maintain an anti-Israel ideology, I call on all of our dear brethren whose hearts and minds are still open to hear:

Do not listen to Palestinian anti-Israel propaganda, which is tainted with anti-Semitism!

Support the State of Israel, whose right to exist as the state of the Jewish people cannot be in doubt. Support its right to protect itself and its citizens. Return to us!

About the Author
Dr. Rabbi Yoel bin Nun is one of the founders of Yeshivat Har Etzion. He received his rabbinic training at Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav and his Ph.D. from Hebrew University. In 1986, he established Michlelet Yaakov Herzog for training Jewish Studies teachers, especially in Bible instruction. Between 2000-2006 he served as the Rosh Ha-Yeshiva of Yeshivat HaKibbutz HaDati in Ein Tzurim.
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