The Inalienable Right of the Jewish People to Eretz Israel
"The Inalienable Right of the Jewish People to Eretz Israel"
ONCE UPON A TIME every Zionist—before he or she was declared to be a racialist—believed that Eretz Israel belonged as of right to the Jewish people. Who was more moderate than Chaim Weizmann? He said that Zionism meant that "Eretz Israel will be as Jewish as England is English and France French". Yet today Arabs draw attention to that definition to prove the "extremism" of Zionism—and there are "Zionists" who agree with them.
True, about twenty years later Dr. Weizmann agreed to the partitioning of Western Eretz Israel and the establishment of a Jewish State in its smaller section. But he, the most moderate of the moderates, told the British High Commissioner at the time that the partition was a terrible injustice to the Jewish people and the day would come when the other parts of Eretz Israel would be liberated.
That day came eight years ago. Then, in June 1967, we—all of us—said, in the name of the Government and the Zionist Movement, that the heritage of our ancestors had been liberated. Even Mapam and the Independent Liberals agreed to that announcement. Today, they are tearing out their hair because they agree to that "extremism". Because if it is the heritage of our ancestors, then obviously it is the inheritance of our children. And if it was liberated, it is not conquered and therefore liable to be handed over to Arafat.
It is true that at the recent Diaspora leaders' solidarity conference in Jerusalem, held in protest against the U.N.'s equation of Zionism with racism, we all once again affirmed that "the historic right of the Jewish people to Eretz Israel is inalienable".
But it cannot be denied that a special effort was needed to convince all the factors of the urgent need of that answer to the ploy of our enemies and the U.N. decisions taken as a result of their initiatives.
Was it moderation or extremism? Well, the decision was universally accepted—even the Mapam representative did not disassociate themselves from it. So is it, then, possible to return to the original Zionism and prove that there is no extremism in the demand for Jewish sovereignty over Eretz Israel and to Jewish settlement in it. The answer is not so simple. It seems that by some strange process between that declaration and reality, between Jerusalem and Elon Moreh (where the Gush Emunim sought to settle a week ago) this accepted moderation turns into annexationist extremism.
In that case, were they all extremists at that Jerusalem Jewish unity conference? All of them—including the President of Israel, the Speaker of the Knesset, the Prime Minister and the representatives of scores of Diaspora communities? All of them signed that declaration that our right to Eretz Israel is inalienable.
It was generally accepted not so long ago that Arafat and his lieutenants could never be permitted to set foot on the soil of Western Eretz Israel. Even those who fervently believed in a new partitioning of Eretz Israel—in favour of Hussein—stressed that what they called the P.L.O. would never rule over what they called the "West Bank". They meant to insist that Judea and Samaria were being kept in trust for Hussein, an [and-JC] not for Arafat.
However, Hussein has been maintaining that since the Rabat conference he is no longer a factor in determining the future of the "West Bank".
Which means that any Israeli concession over Judea and Samaria means—handing it over to Arafat.
Nevertheless, we are now witness to respected "Zionists", V.I.P.s, people in authority, claiming that our lack of readiness to recognise an entity which, in the jargon, is called "Palestinian", and to allow it to establish a State in the heart of Western Eretz Israel is intolerable extremism.
The Prime Minister, Mr. Rabin, still vigorously rejects any idea of such a State being established (though, if a Transjordanian-Palestinian Federation were to have come into being, as the Labour Pary proposed, who would swear that an independent "Palestinian" State would not break away from that federation and establish itself in Judea and Samaria?)
Yet there are already circles in the Labour Party who insist that Mr. Rabin's stand is too hard, too emotional, too irrational. Since Hussein is unwilling to accept the "West Bank" from them, they are beginning to demand that there should be a "Palestinian State" in the parts of Eretz Israel which they say Israel should give up.
Israelis who reject their "progressive" point of view are, of course, "extremists". Who are those extremists. They include Mr. Rabin. Why? Because he still rejects the idea of an Arafat State in Judea and Samaria and Gaza, with a corridor to link them.
Once it was accepted in Israel that there could be no negotiations with those who had drawn up what they called the Palestine Charter (for the dismemberment of Israel) and that there could be no agreement to their participating in discussions over our future.
But suddenly there is a new slogan: If they recognise us, we'll recognise them.
Here we are laying a mine at our own feet.
We are begging that the State of Israel's right to exist be recognised by the 'Liberators of Palestine' (liberators of Palestine from whom?)
Thus is the glory of Israel fallen.
We have let it be known that we are ready to recognise those "liberators". So why should the Swedes not be ready to do so?
America has pledged itself to us not to recognise what it calls, with our consent, the "Palestine Liberation Organisation", as long as it does not recognise Israel's right to exist. That pledge caused great satisfaction in official Israeli circles—who did not realise that there was implicit American recognition in that statement, conditional recognition, but indeed recognition in principle of those murderers.
And that is how we found ourselves in the situation where they are invited to sit around the tables of the Security Council—with America's agreement.
The Israel Government has announced that our representatives will not participate in sessions of the Council in which Arafat's emissaries participate.
But even now there are voices saying that our non-participation is an emotional reaction and an extremist stand. Who are the extremists this time? Rabin and Allon.
Kafka could have written the drama now unfolding before our eyes. The enemy has not hidden his intentions. At his request the United Nations adopted resolutions calling for Israel's complete withdrawal to the lines of June 4, 1967—and for the return of the Arabs to that portion of Eretz Israel in which the State of Israel existed until June 4, 1967. Combine those two resolutions—and you have the formula for the destruction of the Jewish State.
Yet in the face of these two extremist resolutions, Israel is not standing firm, but continuously yielding. Those who do not yield are "extremists". Everyone is an extremist, except for that vocal minority which regards surrender as a sign of strength and retreat as progress. Let us remember Munich!
For the past five years, as readers will recall, I have continuously warned against the danger of Jewish "Palestinianism". Where is the nation, I have asked, that agrees that its country should be called by an alien and alienating name? Why, for 18 years, could we use the term "Israeli Arabs"—and what prevents us now from talking of "Eretz Israeli Arabs"? If we call an Arab in Jericho a "Palestinian", how should an Arab living in Acre or Nazareth call himself?
By accepting the fiction of a "Palestinian entity" in Eretz Israel as a fact, we are ourselves cutting through the branch on which we are sitting,
That has been our warning all these years.
What we feared has come to pass. The vote in Nazareth was not pro-Communist. It was "Palestinian". The sixty-seven per cent in Nazareth who voted Communist do not know what Marxist-Leninism is. But Rakah, the Communist Party, unfurled the "Palestinian" flag—and it was that that attracted the thousands who continuously hear Israeli Cabinet Ministers referring to a special "entity" and the need for it to have self-expression.
Well that self-expression has been given—in Nazarath.
It is a lesson to take to heart before it is too late: Jewish "Palestinianism" is self-destructive.
What is urgently needed is a Jewish return to Zionism.
(Translated from the Hebrew by Joe Kuttner).