It started over a century ago with the ‘Uganda Plan’ brought by Herzl to the Sixth Zionist Congress which in 1903 voted overwhelmingly to consider a British plan to create a Jewish homeland in East Africa.
The plan failed and with it the health of Herzl who died the following year. But this didn’t stop the noted Jewish author Israel Zangwill and other leftists from rallying this ‘Zionism without Zion’ cause for another twenty years. It was dubbed ‘Territorial Zionism’ and one of its leading lights happened to be a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. (I mention this because I suspect that, like so many of today’s deputies, he was simply looking for honours from the British government which had dreamed up this scheme, clearly to please the rulers of Arabia.)
For these progressive Jews a homeland without Zion would have been Dayenu; good enough.
And so it continued with their ‘enlightened’ heirs and successors. Good enough to accept the British gifting half of our mandated homeland to Abdullah of Jordan. Good enough to maintain the status quo without that ’terrorist’ Menachem Begin upsetting the British and forcing them to leave.
For these people the Old City of Jerusalem wasn’t that important, and the State could do just fine without any parts of the ‘West Bank’ and it was perfectly safe to evacuate South Lebanon and the Golan. Give us peace within the 1967 ‘borders’ and Dayenu, it will be good enough.
Which brings us to the present day, when the most benevolent presidency of the United States wants to give us the sovereignty we want and the eastern border security that is so vital to our survival. True to form, the Zangwills of today are lobbying against the Trump Plan.
I have often remarked that hindsight has shown us that the Almighty has consistently been protecting Israel from the folly of its own leaders. Just think of how much we came so close to losing by the stroke of a pen.
Israel cannot keep relying on miracles. It must seize every opportunity with both hands as there are rarely second chances. Almost certainly there will be no second Trumps.
Happy birthday Israel.
And never blow out the candles.