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Gerald Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral work in Middle East studies, has lectured on numerous university and other platforms. He has debated many of the best Arab and pro-Arab academics in public debates and on television. Mr. Honigman is widely published in academic journals, magazines, newspapers and other publications.


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PostMon Jul 28, 2008 10:55 pm     Obama's Example for Israel...    


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Obama’s Example For Israel…Change

by Gerald A. Honigman



Israel has a very important lesson to learn from Barack Obama…and it better do so quickly.

I checked out Obama’s official website, Obama For Change, and here’s what’s highlighted:

With the right leadership, and a change of attitude and focus, Barack Obama brings a new viewpoint to discover solutions to the problems at hand.

It's about time...It's about change.

Exactly.

Now, I’m a registered Independent voting for John McCain, but certainly my own country needs a good dose of proper change…in how we get energy, as just one example. McCain knows this as well.

Certainly, if this idea is important for America, it is even more so for Israel.

Jews and/or Israel have been undergoing change imposed from the outside for centuries.

In the 19th century, the Reform movement emerged among Jews who--among other things--were determined that the days of the imposed ghetto, degradation, and such (from which Napoleon had freed them) should never return.

Assimilation was the name of the game--to the point of recommendations to change the Sabbath to Sunday. The idea was to rid themselves of their identities as Jews. Henceforth, they would just be Frenchmen, Russians, Poles, Germans, etc. of the (much diluted) Jewish faith…not German or French Jews.

Sounded reasonable--if not a bit pathetically nauseating--no?

Too bad the Germans, Poles, French, and so forth didn’t see things this way.

Modern political Zionism, leading to the resurrection of the state of the Jews, arose because--in perhaps the most enlightened of nations in the 19th century--France--the most vile anti-Semitism proved to be alive and well, targeting even the most assimilated of Jews--whom Alfred Dreyfus, of the infamous Dreyfus Affair, symbolized. And it flourished amongst the intelligentsia as well as the rabble.

Another assimilated Jew, Theodore Herzl, was a reporter from Austria covering Captain Dreyfus’s railroaded trial. Shocked to the core at seeing mobs shouting such things as “death to the Jews,” he later wrote, Der Judenstaat--The Jewish State.

So much for that change…

It was as if G_d was saying, “ Israel will be reborn--whether you Jews like it or not!”

In the Jews’ quest for normalcy, they bent over backwards in the pursuit of modern political Zionism to create a state like all others…somewhat reminiscent of the Reform movement’s motivations, but on a national scale.

Now, don’t get me wrong, not all saw things this way. Religious Zionists saw G_d’s hand in all of this…the Hebraic prophecies unfolding as planned. I agree. And they too had many supporters.

But most of the Zionist leaders who came to rule both pre-state and post-‘48 Israel also deluded themselves into believing that the rest of the world would forget that Israel was the Jew of the Nations.

Well, since Auschwitz, it’s not proper--in at least some circles--to be “anti-Semitic.”

No problem…

Utilize absurd double and moral equivalence standards, and replace anti-Zionism for anti-Semitism, and the age-old animus now remains kosher.

All other peoples can demand national liberation except the one people who needed it the most…the condemned to wandering “G_d-killers” of the Christian West and the “slayers of Prophets and Jew Dogs” of the Arab/Muslim East.

Being the oldest, still existing victims of imperial conquest, the Jews were expected to simply remain that way.

Seeking to gain acceptance in an “Arab” world which sees them as sons of apes and pigs, too many Jews then continued to pursue this change even further in pursuit of a “post-Zionist” Israel.

Again, recall one of the key motivations of the Reform movement…What can we do to change ourselves so we’ll gain acceptance from the Gentiles?

Unfortunately, ignorance of one’s enemies has characterized too many of those who have called the political shots in Israel. The very idea that dhimmi Jews (or Kurds or Berbers or Copts or black Africans, etc.) should demand political rights in what Arabs consider to be purely Arab patrimony and the Dar ul-Islam is laughable to anyone truly familiar with this subject.

Add to post-Zionism a continued movement away from the idea of Israel as a Jewish State, and you have the mess Israel now finds itself in.

So, so much for those changes as well.

Therefore, guess what?

It’s time for Israel to try another type of change…a return to its proud roots.

It’s time for Israel to stop trying to alter itself to be accepted by others.

The values of Jews became the moral guidelines for much, if not most, of the modern world; and, despite its imperfections, Israel is still that light unto the nations the Bible asked it to be.

The national liberation of the Jewish people in the land in which they have thousands of years of continuous history--Zionism--ranks as noble as any of such movements can be. If Arabs can have almost two dozen states--conquered and forcibly Arabized from mostly non-Arab peoples--then why not one resurrected state for Jews?

No, Israel has nothing to cover up for…certainly nothing to revise its very being. If compared with the same set of lenses to the “Arab” world (rarely done), Israel should indeed be canonized. Indeed, as I write this article, black Muslim African refugees fleeing Arabs from Darfur are fleeing to Israel.

What’s needed now is change--but done the right way…

There are Jews in Israel who still have the sense of justice, passion, and compassion of Golda, Ben-Gurion, Jabotinsky, and Begin. Where are they?

Where are the leaders who will insist that Israel no longer trade live, captured, rabid butchers for the bones of dead Jews--regardless of how nice they make it sound? Where are the leaders who will institute a quick death penalty for such “heroes?” Better yet, why are they taken alive?

Where are Israeli leaders who will insist on “peace for peace” instead of “land for peace?” It’s obvious that the latter has not worked…it’s only brought closer to fruition the Arabs post-’67 “destruction in stages” plans for “their” kilab yahud--Jew dogs. Think Gaza…the same will happen after a total Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, aka, the “West Bank.” Not to mention the Golan. Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion Airport, the Knesset, and so forth will receive what Sderot gets daily now.

Where is the change which will bring new Israeli leaders who will insist that Israel get a reasonable territorial compromise granting it real borders to replace former, UN-imposed, suicidal Auschwitz/armistice lines a la UNSC Resolution 242? America’s United Nations’ representative in ‘49, Ralph Bunche, openly stated that those lines were never meant to be Israel’s permanent borders.

The Arabs will never play ball, you say…

Of course they won’t. So what?

They don’t accept a 9-mile wide Israel either. Think about what other nations have done thousands of miles away from home in the name of their own national security and interests.

Israel must do what it must do to thrive--not just survive.

Demanding reasonable territorial compromise merely undoes the injustice created by the Arab invasion of a nascent Israel in 1948 and the mostly armistice lines--not borders--which emerged as a result. Those lines simply marked the points at which a half dozen invading Arab armies were turned back. As would become all-too-common later on, the UN only got involved after the Jews turned the tide and had the Arabs on the run…not before, to stop the Arabs’ initial aggression.

Where are the new Israeli leaders who will tell the State Department’s next James Baker or Condi Rice, when he or she insists on such things as Israel supplying its enemies with weapons (which were then used to massacre Jews in yeshivas, etc.), to go fly a kite?

Where’s the change which will bring to the fore proud Zionist Jews who will draw the lines beyond which no further retreat will be allowed--regardless of who is twisting the arms, turning the screws, and increasing the heat from across the sea?

If it means losing American aid, then so be it. My prediction is that such games will backfire big time on any White House which lowers itself this way.

Millions of fair-minded people will not expect the sole, resurrected Jewish State to sacrifice itself on the petroleum greased altar of international hypocrisy so that Arabs can get their 22nd state--and second, not first, in the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine. Jordan sits on almost 80% of that territory.

So, as a solid McCain supporter (despite some concerns ), I’m now hoping that Israelis will do some real soul searching and take a cue from the Obama camp.

Replacing Olmert with someone of similar ilk will accomplish nothing but a continuation of the sort of change we’ve explored earlier…the change that gave Israel its first military defeat, handed over a live Samir Kuntar, and so forth. The latter’s head needed to have been parachuted onto Hizbullah’s headquarters.

That Condi loves Tsipi Livni should send another disturbing signal as well.

Israel must get itself new leaders, at all levels, who will place the overall Zionist forest ahead of individual, parochial trees which hold fragile coalitions together. Olmert should have been dumped long ago.

The change that Israelis must insist upon may very well determine if the Jews’ long-awaited, reborn state will continue to even exist.

Hamas and Fatah’s Abbas refuse to recognize a Jewish Israel. Abbas’s “moderates” just sung praises to a returning butcher--Kuntar--who murdered a father while his 4-year old daughter watched and then beat her skull in with his rifle butt against a rock until she too was dead.

In short, the type of change that Israel must have will bring forth leaders who will know how to better address such things. And for those who care, it’s time to do all that’s legally and humanly possible to see to it that this happens sooner rather than later.


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