Sunday, May 04, 2014


Dr. Gabi Avital spoke a few days ago about how the modern state was formed, reminding us of betrayals by would-be allies too:
The days between Holocaust Remembrance Day and Israeli Independence Day tend to reveal the true faces of the many who oppose the modern era's biggest humanist endeavor: the movement to bring Jews back to Israel. The Jewish people have returned home after many years in exile, but our ship, which constantly navigates the tempestuous sea, nearly drowned forever in history's biggest massacre.

The gates of Israel were shut when the survivors came knocking, but the gates did not shut themselves. The British, and their friends, made sure those gates were locked tight. The U.S. did not lag far behind in the race to win over the hearts of the Arab states, be it out of greed for oil or a fundamental lack of understanding of the global order, and more specifically, of the Middle East. Immigration ships were ejected back into the stormy sea as they tried to enter the land of freedom and equality.

In Israel, a storm raged. The Palmach were ratting out Jews. The "saison" ("hunting season") -- the name given to the Haganah's suppression of the Irgun's insurgency against the government of the British Mandate in Palestine -- ended, barely, when the Altalena was sunk. A civil war was evaded. The underground movement was made up of three competing organizations (Irgun, Stern Gang, Haganah), but even that was too late, and for a short time. The state was established under smoke and fire, with contempt and denial, despite and in spite of everything. Even then, there were already a thousand reasons why a Jewish state should not be established. Even then there were already demographic arguments, Jewish arguments and democratic arguments against its establishment.
Despite all this, there came victory for the Jewish people. But still more needs to be done if we're to ensure that it'll remain that way, and that past damage will ever be rectified.

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