An assault on Zionism
By Michael Freund
The Jerusalem Post
September 22, 2011
Not since the United Nations debate denouncing Zionism as racism has Israel been in the dock as it is this week.
On November 10, 1975, then-Israeli ambassador Chaim Herzog ascended the podium in the lion's den in New York to face a hostile world, much of which sought to deny the Jewish people's right to our state.
Now, nearly 36 years later, the international community is on the verge of rejecting our right to our land.
Despite the passage of time, these two diplomatic assaults are very much linked. The slander that Zionism was a form of racial discrimination was nothing less than an attempt to label the Jewish people's dream of settling the land as illegitimate.
The same holds true for this week's proposal to confer statehood on the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. By recognizing the Palestinian claim to these areas, the membership of the world body is necessarily rejecting the Jewish one.
This too is an effort to declare the Jewish presence in our ancient homeland unlawful and forbidden.
Indeed, when Herzog addressed the UN, he pointed out a central and fundamental truth, telling the representatives that, "the key to understanding Zionism is in its name. The easternmost of the two hills of ancient Jerusalem during the tenth century B.C.E. was called Zion."
And now it is those very same hills in eastern Jerusalem that the world wishes to turn over to Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.
If this is not an assault on Zionism, then what is?
ON THE ground, of course, the vote will change nothing. It will neither create a Palestinian state nor bring peace a moment closer.
But it will signify the triumph of fiction over fact and injustice over integrity, marking yet another low point in the sordid history of the UN.
As much as our anger and disappointment over this turn of events is entirely justified, we must nonetheless acknowledge the painful truth that it is our own folly which contributed mightily to the current predicament.
For what we are witnessing now is the wages of our own weakness, the price that is to be paid for our lack of belief in the justness of our cause.
The roots of this ruin can be found in the events of 18 years ago this month, when prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat gathered on the White House Lawn to sign the Oslo Accords on September 13, 1993.
It was then that the Jewish state formally conferred legitimacy on Palestinian national aspirations at the expense of our own.
With its own hands, the Israeli government proceeded to create the Palestinian Authority, foster it and support it, and now, predictably enough, it has turned against us.
Instead of resolutely insisting on our own fundamental and inalienable right to all of Judea and Samaria, we repeatedly capitulated by turning territory over to Palestinian control and even conceding support for the "two-state solution."
The fruits of our frailty are now evident as we face the prospect of an emboldened Palestinian entity with backing from nearly the entire planet.
But it is not too late to stand tall and affirm our red lines, rather than the Green Line, and I pray that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will do just that.
He should tell the world in no uncertain terms: the jig is up.
The Palestinians have buried the peace process once and for all, and Israel has learned a painful, yet obvious lesson from the past 18 years of fruitless concessions: we cannot and we will not yield any more territory.
That must be the essence of his message if we are to have a chance of forestalling further calamity.
But whatever the extent of our own culpability for the current state of affairs, that in no way gives the nations of the world the right to do as they please.
Each will bear responsibility before history, and before God, for how they choose to vote on this crucial issue.
Every nation that raises its hand in favor of "Palestine" is raising its hand against the land of Israel and the people of Israel.
Consider the irony: for 2,000 years, the nations of the world told the Jews to leave, to go back home where we belong. Now that we have done just that, they are telling us once again to move on and make room for someone else.
But this time, there is a difference. We have nowhere else to go. And we did not wait two millennia to get back our land only to turn it over to our foes.
So let us draw a line in the sand and send the UN a clear and unequivocal message: there will be no more retreats or withdrawals. The Jewish people have returned to the hills of Judea and the outskirts of Jerusalem. We are here to stay. Get used to it.
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