This Place called Hope

28 Jan

I recently came across a link to the article “This Place called Hope” at Purple Parrot’s blog discussing Zionism and the State of Israel.

Here is an excerpt from Daniel Gordis’s article.

Israel has progressed, but the world hasn’t changed much. Normalcy hasn’t come. And it isn’t likely to. Exit Herzl and Nordau. Enter the desperation.

When faced with the realization that Zionism has brought neither safe refuge nor normalcy to the Jewish people, how hard is it to understand state of Israelis’ morale? “What’s the fight about?” they ask. If the experiment called the State of Israel still leaves us vulnerable both at home and throughout the world, why pay the price? Why send generation after generation to the front, with thousands of mothers and fathers waiting up at night, night after night after night, anxiously waiting for their son to call, so they’ll know he made it back once again? If we got security, or normalcy, then maybe it would be worth it. But all this, just to remain vulnerable? All this, just to remain the only country in the world without a right to be?

It’s not hard to understand the fact that there are no protesters in the streets. This is something way too big for mere protests.

The issue, of course, isn’t really Israel, or even Zionism. It’s the Jews. Again. Amos Oz has written with sadness about the irony that when his father was growing up in Europe, he saw signs that said “Jews Go Home to Palestine,” but that when he, Amos, was growing up in Palestine, the signs said “Jews out of Palestine.” Oz, one of Israel’s best known left-wing intellectuals, summarizes the unavoidable point. “Don’t be here. Don’t be there. In short, don’t be.” An exaggeration? I don’t think so. What did Gaarder call his editorial objecting to Israel’s military policy, claiming that Israel is now “history”? “God’s Chosen People.” How on earth is the issue of Israel’s conduct of the Lebanon war connected to “God’s Chosen People,” unless the issue really isn’t Israel?

It’s not.

Which leaves us with a decision – the Jews have to decide, once again, if we want to survive. If we want to make it, then we need to rekindle one of the basic premises of Zionism, and take matters into our own hands. It’s not enough to simply feel that we’re back where we started, 110 years ago. The question is what we’re going to do about it. The question is, how do we restore hope?

Yes – the real question is how do we as a nation (both secular and religious) restore hope to a nation that has not achieved peace within its own country, peace with its neighbors and peace with the rest of the world?

My suggestion is to start working on the hope for a better future of our country by looking on the inside of each one of us. What are our goals for this country? What do we want our legacy to be for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren?

Once we figure that out we can restore hope and internal peace with the way the world works and how our neighbors view us.

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