Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Losing a sense of statehood - Dr. Haim Shine

by Dr. Haim Shine

A profound sense of statehood has been a cornerstone in Israel since the days of first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, but it no longer exists on the Left.

It should come as no surprise that some members of the Zionist Union and Yesh Atid reportedly intend to boycott Wednesday's state ceremony, which will mark 50 years of settlement in parts of the land of Israel liberated after the Six-Day War. The so-called Zionist Union falsely carries the name Zionist, and Yesh Atid, meaning "There is a Future," does not represent the future in the Knesset at all, but rather the here and now.

A profound sense of statehood has been a cornerstone in Israel since the days of first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, but it no longer exists on the Left. Instead, petty political considerations have been monopolizing the limelight. When the opposition's star speaker MK Eitan Cabel (Zionist Union) lashes out against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – calling him the leader of the radical Right and accusing him of steering Israel into a gaping abyss of doom and, as usual, capitalizes over and over again on the terrible assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin – it is clear just how low the Zionist Union has sunk into the pit of despair. Petty politicians will never regain power in the State of Israel.

The settlement enterprise in Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights is the bastion and beacon of Zionist aspirations. Obviously, the members of the Zionist Union and Yesh Atid don't think too much of our people's return to a unified Jerusalem, to the City of David, to the Tomb of the Patriarchs or to Rachel's Tomb. They disconnected long ago from the aspiration and belief in Zion, in whose name we returned to our historical homeland, ingathered the Diaspora and established a glorious state. They pulled roots out of the ground and planted them in the air, exchanging the mighty Israeli spirit for an industry of gloom. It is such a shame they do not internalize that "a nation unfamiliar with its past will see a poor present and uncertain future," as their late and great leader Yigal Allon said in his 1959 book "Curtain of Sand." Whoever denies the past will never be able to claim that there is a future (yesh atid).

The settlers of Judea and Samaria are the successors to the pioneers of the prestate days and the state's first decades. They were sent ahead as trailblazers as per the decision of successive governments, including those led by the left-wing Rabin and late President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres. They did not take foreign land, but rather redeemed their patrimony. Anyone in Israel with half a brain understands that the settlement enterprise today, besides being an ideology, safeguards the security of those in the coastal cities. Without the towns on the mountain ridges, no airplane can safely take off from Ben-Gurion International Airport. We can only imagine what would happen if the Golan Heights were no longer in our hands.

Therefore, I suggested to Mr. Avi Gabbay, the head of the Zionist Union, to show leadership and not be captivated by the wheelers and dealers, those left-wing and so-called center MKs, and to rise above foreign and petty considerations. I suggested he respect the faithful citizens who allow us to live in peace everywhere we may live and understand that "where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18). Remember that the greater the schism, the greater the strife.

The locomotive of construction, development and settlement is accelerating forward. It is just a shame there are those who continue to stand on the platform and wave white flags for peace. Peace is made first of all at home, and only then with the evildoers.

Dr. Haim Shine


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