Friday, January 20, 2006

I love Israel more than you do...

Poll: Israelis biggest patriots in West

Before we delve into the findings of this poll, it is important for us to understand the definition of the term patriotism:
A) Love of and devotion to one's country.

B) love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it [syn: nationalism]

Now that we have an understanding of what it means to be a patriot, let's take a look at the results of the study which examines what it means to be a patriot in the State of Israel today, and which segments of Israeli society are the most patriotic.
Israelis are the most patriotic people in the Western world according to a survey taken by the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya...

"Patriotism is a sentiment that is often neglected in Israel; it is almost a taboo subject," said Arad. "We are very quick at self flagellation and criticism."

But patriotism he noted is a vital component in measuring national security. "It is impossible to measure a country's strength without addressing the patriotic component among its citizens," said Arad...

85% of all respondents did express a willingness to fight (to defend Israel) compared to 63% in the US, 53% in Italy, 51% in France, 37% in Spain, 32% in Germany and 32% in Japan...

Patriotism among Jewish citizens is stronger among people on the political right than on the political left. It is also stronger among religious and traditional Jews than it is among secular Jews; and older people tend to be more patriotic than younger ones.

One might have expected the poll to reveal that the most patriotic segment of Israeli society would be those living in Tel Aviv; the Meretz, Labor and Kadima voters - those who, in the name of democracy and rule of law would throw their own brother out of his home and into the street.

Yet, amazingly enough, we find that those portrayed by the Government, media, IDF, police and Supreme Court as being the enemies of the State of Israel - namely those on the political and religious right - are in fact the most patriotic segments within Israeli society today.

This poll sheds light on an amzing fact. In the State of Israel, being patriotic is more than merely an expression of subservience to the rule of law or democracy, but to a belief in higher ideals and principles.

What is it about the relious and political right - the enemies of democracy and the rule of law - that have earned them the distinction of being among the most patriotic members of Israeli society?

I belive that it is specifically because for these Jews, the purpose of there being State of Israel is not to be a "nation like all others" or the "only democracy in the Middle East". These Jews share the belief in the right of the Jewish People to a Jewish State in the Land of Israel - as promised to them by the G-d of Israel - and it is this belief that allows them to remain the ultimate patriots, standing in the face of those who have shown a willingness to sell our Jewish birthright for the proverbial bowl of lentil soup.
Although education is one of the tools to encourage patriotism, the survey found that patriotism was stronger among people without university education than among those with academic degrees.

This is hardly surprising, as Israel's Universities have become dens of post-Zionist and anti-Israel sentiment, full of professors who aim to poison the minds of all who pass through their doors, by teaching them to hate their Jewishness and to hate the very idea of the right of the Jewish people to a Jewish State.

It is the traditional Jew, the Jew of simple faith, who understands what it means to be a Jew without the need of any university professor; he knows where he has come from and where he is headed and what it means to have a Jewish State after 2,000 years of Exile. This Jew of simple faith may not be the most educated, but it is not he who undermines the existenace of the Jewish State of israel, or seeks to leave it for greener pastures abroad.
All in all however, Arad's assessment is that there is a "patriotic deficit" attributable in part to post-Zionism... National pride was eradicated in the post-Zionist era he said...

Patriotism in the State of Israel is directly linked to Jewish Pride. Without pride - Jewish pride - whereby one knows why he is a Jew and why the Jewish should People continue to exist - and the role that a Jewish State in the Land of Israel plays in that - one can't possibly be a true patriot to the Jewish State of Israel.
"And without pride there is no patriotism."

And no State of Israel...

Perhaps there is what to learn from the religious and the "settlers" after all?



9 Comments:

Though comparison may not be fair, did not the Soviet Union (Lenin and Stalin in particular) purge their dissidents who were very patriotic but at the same time were (or were deemed to be) political enemies?

By Blogger GregoryT, at Fri Jan 20, 04:11:00 PM GMT+2  

Just a thought, rather than dismissing the entirety of the University System as undermining the simplicity necessary to support zionism (I'm guessing that's not what you meant but that is how it read) it might be slightly more productive to promote a return to intellectual zionism (which might not be your cup of tea personally but it is a necessary, normative, and plausible alternative to what your objecting to)

By Blogger Alie, at Sat Jan 21, 10:01:00 PM GMT+2  

*Snort*

By Anonymous PP, at Sat Jan 21, 11:31:00 PM GMT+2  

I am an American, non-Jew supportive of Israel, dismayed by injustice.

In the America the religous right are also the most patriotic. But they are scary people. They are scary because they have a zeal without knowledge. I'm with Alie... Zionism needs a solid intellectual footing- and I believe there is one. Earlier Zionism wasn't conservative... it was radical. I'm not sure the religious right really understands the radicalness of their faith. What good is land if it is held without tzedek. Where is "True Chasidim — righteous, immersed in holiness, struggling to recognize the divine in everything, demanding justice." When Moshiach comes will he find even one minyon of faith crying out for justice day and night?

By Blogger thom, at Sun Jan 22, 01:51:00 AM GMT+2  

I have no problem witrh "intellectual Zionism", but as I see it, what is needed is a return to our roots - and not specfically speaking in religoous terms.

In state run schools Judaism / Bible / jewish history is taught fro ma critical perspective, as a foregin history almost. It is taught on the same level as Roman History and American hitory. Jewish students are taught that their right ot he Land of Israel is questionable - and then they enter the IDF which, under its new code of ethic named the "Spirit of the IDF" almost all mention to Israel being a Jewish State and the IDF being the army of the Jewish People and State is removed.

As such, the results of this education are ot surprising.

We need to teach Jewish students in israel and all over the world to take pride in their Judaism and only then will we see a change.

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