Yisrael Medad
Analyst and commentator on political and cultural issues.

Mapping Out a Detour of Zionism

Those who seek a weakening of Israel do so, whether or not they believe they are actually helping Israel or simply seek to harm her, do so first and foremost by diluting Zionism.  Their tact is to redefine the movement for the national expression of the Jewish people – for their own benefits.

One such voice is that of Peter Beinart.  Here he is in an op-ed last week:

Our principle should be…labeling and boycotting settlement goods. It means joining and amplifying nonviolent Palestinian protest in the West Bank. It means denying visas to, and freezing the assets of, Naftali Bennett and other pro-settler leaders. It means pushing the Obama administration…punish — yes, punish — the Israeli government for rejecting it. It means making sure that every time Benjamin Netanyahu and the members of his cabinet walk into a Jewish event outside Israel, they see Diaspora Jews protesting outside.

Of course, he himself could be liable to criminal procedures under Israeli law (Par. 2A here) but then Beinart (and friends) would lambast pre-67 Israel even more in the way he did in that article (“Israel has wielded brutal, undemocratic, unjust power over millions of human beings in the West Bank and Gaza Strip…an occupation that reeks of colonialism and segregation.”), proving their “love” for Israel.

Coming out of Washington is this JTA report on the J Street Conference, singular in that they finally invited a Republican – James (F*ck the Jews) Baker:

J Street is launching a campaign to encourage Jewish organizations to distinguish between Israel and the West Bank, including in fundraising.
“We plan to challenge Jewish communal institutions to remember the physical and symbolic significance of the ‘green line,’” said Jeremy Ben-Ami…Among questions Ben-Ami encouraged the 3,000 activists present to ask was whether Jewish fund-raising reached West Bank settlements. “Do the Jewish institutions that you give money to, does your money stay within the green line?” he said. He also encouraged the activists, including over 1,000 students, to replace maps of Israel in Jewish institutions with maps that clearly delineate Israel and the West Bank.

I understand his apoplexy with “settlements” or civilian residential communities in areas of the original historic homeland of the Jews which was intended to become the future Jewish state.  Nevertheless, has he forgotton that while the region of Transjordan was removed from the territory of the mandate area the British deemed to be Jewish (actually, Article 25 only permitted Britain “to postpone or withhold application of such provisions” such as prohibiting Jewish settlement activity there, a right guaranteed in Article 6 of the mandate [“The Administration of Palestine…shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes”] but not invalidate it), Judea and Samaria, west of the Jordan River, were – and are – surely within any map that Jews have quite legitimate claims within?  His father, an Irgun member, didn’t.

But if he does hand out maps, I hope his students and others quickly realize that much of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall and the more holy Temple Mount, will be missing.

If J Street seeks to rip the heart out of Israel and Zionism, I hope the backlash would be, at least, as harsh as their own reactions to the democratic election victory of the national camp here in Israel.

These persons and groups cannot be permitted a free ride in their attempt to derail Zionism and make detours on the maps of genuine Zionism.  If they wish to distill and dilute their own beliefs, they have individual privileges to drop out.  They do not have the right to qualify for the Jewish people what Zionism actually is.

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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