There has been an inseparable bond between the land of Israel and the Jewish people even before there WAS a Jewish people. The first thing that G-d says to Avraham was– leave the land of your father and move to the place that I will show you. Later in Beraysheit, G-d makes a promise to Avraham that this land will always be bonded to his decedents.
Some Jews try to separate the two. This is impossible, just look at the fact that many of the 613 commandments only apply to Jews living in Israel. Ever since there was a Galut, every Pesach has ended with the words, “next year in Jerusalem” Let me suggest that those who think that the fate of the Jewish People is separate from the fate of the land of Israel do not truly understand what being Jewish is all about.
Anti-Semites understand this bond, that is why they substitute a politically correct “Anti-Zionism” for their hatred of Jews. But there is no difference, they use old European Shylock-type stereotypes to portray Israelis, publish the blood libel from 19th century Russia, the Protocols of the learned Elders of Zion to cast aspersions on Israel. They even have found a way to unite the two, with the new libel of the “Jewish Lobby” that controls US foreign policy (the only Jewish Lobby I know of is in my Shul and it just got a paint job–TWO COATS !)
Last week I returned from a series of lectures in Switzerland where I spoke of the odyssey of the illegal immigrant ship Exodus in 1947. During my stay I was interviewed by several newspapers, including one of Europe’s leading publications Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
The interviewee, a well known newspaper veteran, obviously asked me about Israel today and the conflict in the Middle East. He presented several articles (translated into English) that I had published in recent months, and asked me whether I was not exaggerating in declaring that anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide.
“Perhaps you are mistaken?” he said. “Perhaps it’s not anti-Semitism, but rather, anti-Zionism and opposition to the Israeli leadership’s conduct towards the Palestinians.”
And this is the root of the problem. For years anti-Semites have been hiding behind the argument of their opposition to Zionism and Israel’s policies in regard to the Palestinian issue. “We have nothing against the Jews,” they reiterate repeatedly,” yet we do not agree with Israel’s policies.”
This is a blatant lie. Are the attacks on synagogues and community intuitions, desecration of cemeteries and assault of orthodox Jews an expression of “anti-Zionism”
Was the murder of a young Jew wearing a skullcap and the attempted “lynch” of another (both in France) carried out in “opposition to Israel’s policies”? Last month, half of Ukraine’s population announced that there are “too many Jews in their country” and that “their numbers should be minimized.” Is this also anti-Zionism?
A few days ago a reputable German institute publicized a comprehensive survey pertaining to the Germans’ attitude towards Israel. The results of the survey are worrying: It appears that 44 percent of the population has a negative opinion regarding Israel and that a sweeping majority of Germans (78 percent) believes that Germany should treat Israel as it does any other nation.
As if the grandparents or the parents of the respondents did not partake in the murder of six million Jews. As if there are no Jews still living, who miraculously survived the German style “final solution.”
‘No to the Jewish State’ That very same outspoken apathy by 78 percent of the new German population towards the Jewish State, which was founded on the ruins of European Jewry, is nothing but an expression of latent anti-Semitism.
Otherwise they would have responded by saying that although Germany is committed to the survivors and the inheritors of those who perished, they would express reservation towards the State of Israel’s policies. But they simply said: “No” to Israel. “No” to the Jewish State.
When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeatedly says outright that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth, he is not saying that “the Zionists should be wiped out.” He is demanding that the entire Jewish State be wiped out.
The fact that not a single state has demanded that Iran be ousted from the United Nations due to its wild incitement against another state – which is also a member of the organization – is the best indication of the world’s attitude and stance towards the Jews. The absence of protest testifies that the madman from Teheran is not alone.
No, there is no anti-Zionism and there is no anti-Israel, there is only anti-Semitism, even if it is presented in a different guise.