Sunday, November 18, 2007

Is Israel Really a Jewish State?

Arieh Eldad

Shimon Peres, the president of Israel, was interviewed by IDF radio as he flew to Turkey, and he said, "One hundred and fifty thousand jobs for Palestinians in Judea and Samaria are more important than fifteen thousand olim [Jewish immigrants]."
Peres’ vision of a "new Middle East," which following the Oslo Accords drowned us in an ocean of blood, included the idea that economic prosperity would bring peace to the region. This idea was shot full of holes in the second intifada, but Peres has not despaired, and on his way to Turkey to proclaim his vision of a Palestinian State prospering by the side of Israel, he unhesitatingly revealed himself to be the first post-Zionist president of Israel.

Peres had recourse to a wide range of comparisons. Had he wanted to, he could have said that 150,000 jobs for Arabs are more important than 150,000 guns for the Israeli army, and this would have buttressed his position as a seeker of peace, clinging to his vision of a "new Middle East." But he chose in his comparison to undermine the foundation on which the Zionist basis for the State of Israel rests. The welfare of the Arabs is more important than Aliya to Israel; are these not the very words of the British White Paper that made the number of Jewish immigrants to Mandatory Palestine conditional on the country’s "economic ability to absorb" the immigrants, in other words, on their alleged affect on Arab employment and unemployment? At that time, didn’t the leaders of the Jewish community in Eretz Israel accuse the British of betraying Zionism?

Peres’ words reflect the policy of Olmert and his government. In the name of supposed demographics, and in order to "maintain Israel as a Jewish state," they are ready to retreat from Judea and Samaria, expel hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes, divide Jerusalem and establish in it for the first time in history an Arab capital.

If for the sake of Zionist appearances they were at least talking at the same time of the need to bring to Israel millions of Jewish olim, one might err and think that they really do care about the Jewish character of Israel. But Peres, Olmert, and Haim Ramon have already moved on. They are ready to bring into the country "no more than 100,000 Arab refugees" (what happened to the demographics they were worrying about?). Political pundits claim that Tzippi Livni and Ehud Barak are opposed to this idea. It can be safely assumed that their opposition to the entrance of refugees will evaporate as quickly as the thousand oaths they swore to Jerusalem, "the eternally reunited eternal capital of Israel forever and forever." They’re no longer Zionist, for there is no such thing as half-Zionism. He who betrays Eretz Israel and Jerusalem necessarily betrays the pillar of Zionism, Jewish aliya to Israel, and instead gives preference to Arab employment over Jewish immigration, and is ready to import Arab refugees to Israel.

The Olmert government is proud that it is the first Israeli government to have an Arab cabinet minister. Minister of Science Raleb Majadela appeared in the Knesset this week to reply to a parliamentary query of mine concerning the destruction of antiquities on Temple Mount by the Moslem Wakf. The minister of science is legally responsible for the implementation of the Antiquities Law, and the Antiquities Authority is accountable to him. And this first Arab minister, a member of Olmert’s cabinet, declared from the Knesset podium that, as far as he is concerned, the laws of the State of Israel do not apply to Temple Mount, and that if he had to choose between loyalty to his ministerial position and loyalty to Islam and his nationality, he would choose the latter. This minister who has sworn loyalty to the State of Israel and its laws has proven what many claim: that the Arabs are not loyal to the State of Israel but rather to their Arab national identity. But he need not fear for his job.

Apparently he faithfully represents the face of the Israeli government, a post-Zionist government, with a prime minister ready to implement the "right of return" of Arab refugees, to abandon the demand the Arabs disarm the terrorist organizations before any Israeli withdrawal, and to ignore Hamas’ declaration that it will immediately take over any territory evacuated by Israel in Judea and Samaria. If the president of Israel, the symbol of the state, prefers Arabs to Jews, Israel’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state is hypocritical. Why should Abu Mazen be more Zionist that Peres, more Jewish than Olmert? Abu Allah, representing Abu Mazen in the negotiations over the "central issues not being talked about," slapped the face of Israel as it runs as if possessed to Annapolis and announced that the Palestinians will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Undoubtedly, the government of Israel will recover easily from this slap in the face and come to the conclusion that there is no need to stand by a demand that they themselves no longer believe in.

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