Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Captured soldiers, hostage citizens: A Hertzl-ite Zionist 's view

Remember this guy?

I guess I'm a Hertzl-ite Zionist because there are a few verses in Psalm 136, that are a bit problematic for me, personally.

יז לְמַכֵּה, מְלָכִים גְּדֹלִים: כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.
17 To Him that smote great kings; for His mercy endureth for ever;
יח וַיַּהֲרֹג, מְלָכִים אַדִּירִים: כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.
18 And slew mighty kings, for His mercy endureth for ever.
יט לְסִיחוֹן, מֶלֶךְ הָאֱמֹרִי: כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.
19 Sihon king of the Amorites, for His mercy endureth for ever;
כ וּלְעוֹג, מֶלֶךְ הַבָּשָׁן: כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.
20 And Og king of Bashan, for His mercy endureth for ever;
כא וְנָתַן אַרְצָם לְנַחֲלָה: כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.
21 And gave their land for a heritage, for His mercy endureth for ever;
כב נַחֲלָה, לְיִשְׂרָאֵל עַבְדּוֹ: כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ.
22 Even a heritage unto Israel His servant, for His mercy endureth for ever.

I don't think it's possible to be a Religious Zionist/Dati Leumi without believing literally in the above. And I don't.

It would be easier if I did. As it stands, I suppose I can't really justify having a Jewish State in the current Israel, as opposed to Uganda (see the first link), except on grounds of history (that's where we started as a nation) and nostalgia (what do you mean, no Kotel HaMaaravi/Western ["Wailing"] Wall?).

But I was born in 1949, and can't imagine a world without an "escape hatch" for persecuted Jews after the horrors of the Holocaust. If the Jews weren't safe even in such a supposedly-civilized country as Germany, who says we're safe anywhere (including my native United States)? One never knows. I don't think it's possible not to be a bit paranoid after the Shoah.

This makes the Israeli government's failure to protect its citizens in recent years even more upsetting. Why can't the government of the State of Israel wage a war that actually meets their stated objective of bringing captured soldiers home? Why are the people of S'derot and other nearby locations sitting ducks for terrorists? If we Jews can't trust a Jewish State to protect Jews, who can we trust? Hertzl must be turning in his grave.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're judging Zionism by its ability to protect Jews, its pretty much a fiasco isn't it? The whole idea of concentrating half the world's Jews in one place sounds kind of risky to me.

Wed Jul 23, 10:21:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

The safe haven for Jews that *should* have been Zionism's crowning achievement is still necessary, but, on the other hand, I agree that it isn't safe for all of us to be in one place. Sadly, the safety of Jews is not guaranteed either in the Jewish State or in any other country. It's no wonder that Jews who are more traditional than I am are still praying for mashiach/the messiah.

Thu Jul 24, 08:01:00 AM 2008  

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