Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I can't give up on Israel

About a month ago, Joseph Farah, an American Christian Arab, and founder of World Net Daily wrote an article entitled, "I give up on Israel".

The gist of the article, for those who haven't read it, is that Farah, who has long been known as a staunch defender of the Jewish State, is calling it quits. No, he's not quitting his job as a journalist, but he is no longer going to devote his time and energy towards advocating on behalf of the Jewish State when its leaders seem to be hell-bent on committing national suicide. In short, he's giving up on Israel.

Since the article first came out, I have read it numerous times, and have devoted it much thought, and I have come to the conclusion that Joseph Farah is right. I don't blame him. If I were in his shoes, I would probably feel the same exact way.

However, there is one small difference between myself and Joseph Farah, and it is that difference which prevents me from giving up on Israel.

Before I elaborate upon the point of difference, it is important to understand how one of the Jewish State's strongest supporters in an otherwise hostile media has come to the point of giving up on Israel.

I am through defending Israel – at least the regime currently in power in Jerusalem, this useless coalition seemingly hell-bent on committing national suicide... I'm through trying to understand the incomprehensible moves of a self-flagellating nation. I'm through trying to point out the moral rightness of a state and a people who themselves fail to discern right from wrong...

I know I speak for many Jews and Christians throughout the world who see Israel's surrender as a cowardly betrayal, a sign that the Jewish state puts more faith in Washington and "international diplomacy" than in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob...

Enough of "land for peace." It has never worked – not in Israel's history, nor in any other nation's history. Enough of retreat. Enough of unilateral withdrawals. Enough of staged surrender. Enough of the appeasement with evil. Enough of the madness.

Compromise with evil is evil. And that's what Israel is doing. As for me and my house, I will not be a part of it. I will continue to serve the Lord and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

One thing is for certain. That peace will not come under the leadership of men like Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon. If the Israeli people want to disengage, it should be from so-called "leaders" like this...

The Truth is, I agree with just about 99.9% of what Joseph Farah writes in the above article (minus his reference to Jesus, of course), and yet, I can't agree with his conclusion. I can't give up on Israel.

Why you ask? What is it that allows Joseph Farah to walk away; to give up on Israel, but that does not allow me the same privilege?

I found the answer in a song.

I was recently at an event, at the close of which, the Israeli song, "Ein li Eretz Acheret" ("I have no other Homeland") was played, to the tune of which I walked down to my chuppah. (For the Hebrew lyrics, click here, and to listen to the song, click here). The words to the song are as follows:
Ein li eretz acheret
Gam im admati bo'eret
Rak mila be'ivrit
choderet el orkai el nishmati -
Beguf ko'ev, belev ra'ev
Kan hu beiti --

Lo eshtok
ki artzi shinta et paneha

Lo avater lehazkir la
Ve'ashir kan be'ozneha
Ad shetiftach et eineha

Ein li eretz acheret
Gam im admati boeret
Rak mila beivrit
hoderet el orkai el nishmati
Beguf koev, belev raev
Kan hu beiti --

Lo eshtok ki ertzi
shinta et paneha
Lo avater lehazkir la
Veashir kan beozneha
Ad shetiftah et eineha

Ein li eretz aheret
Ad shetihadesh yameha
Ad shetiftah et eineha

Ein li eretz aheret
Gam im admati boeret
Rak mila beivrit
hoderet el orkai el nishmati
Beguf koev, belev raev
Kan -- hu beiti

Beguf koev, belev raev
Kan -- hu beiti


I have no other Homeland
even if my land is burning.
Just one word ever turning
In my mind, into my soul.
Though wracked with pain,
I murmur again,
This is my home.

I must speak - for my homeland seems to be changing.
I will not give up reminding her,
Sing although my heart is breaking,
Until I see that it's waking.

I have no other Homeland
even if my land is burning.
Just one word ever turning
In my mind, into my soul.
Though wracked with pain,
I murmur again,
This is my home.

I must speak - for my Homeland seems to be changing.
I will not give up reminding her,
Sing although my heart is breaking,
Until I see that it's waking.

I have no other Homeland
until she will renew her glorious days
Until I see that it's waking

I have no other Homeland
even if my land is burning.
Just one word ever turning
In my mind, into my soul.
Though wracked with pain,
I murmur again,
This is my home.

Though wracked with pain,
I murmur again,
This is my home.
Joseph Farah, as he points out, is an "American journalist of Arabic heritage". Joseph Farah does not owe the Jewish State his loyalty. He does not owe the Jewish People his loyalty. This does not discount his support for the Jewish People and State, but at any moment, as Joseph Farah makes clear in his article, he is free to walk away, to give up on Israel.

I am afforded no such luxury. I see the same Israel the Joseph Farah sees. I see the same shortcomings and am pained by the same failures and weaknesses. I am troubled at the lack of Jewish leadership that exists within the leadership of the State, and the consequences that come as a result.

Yet, in spite of all of that, I do not have the luxury, as Joseph Farah does, as giving up on Israel.

At the end of the day, Israel is my (only) home, and the Jewish People are my family.

One does not give up on his family and one does not abandon his home - never, no matter what, no questions asked...

As painful as it may be, at times.




13 Comments:

Ze'ev- there are many instances when a person can - and must- give up on their family or their home.

And I can't believe that Gali Atari walked to your Chupa!!

(Joking, I like that song too)

By Blogger tafka PP, at Wed Jun 07, 02:55:00 PM GMT+3  

Ze'ev-

I agree with you and Mr. Farah on parts of this issue. It is so difficult being a Zionist and loving Israel - her leaders do such stupid things that work to the detriment of her own people. The world hates Israel. I am both a devout Christian and a devout Zionist and there are portions of the Christian population that don't like that I'm a Zionist and portions of the Zionist population that don't like that I'm a Christian.

I think people either have a heart for Israel or they don't. By that I mean someone who loves Israel and cares about her unconditionally, not because of politics or economics or technology or decisions of leaders or any other earthly, worldly reason.

As much as I'd like to shake Israel's leaders, I couldn't give up on Israel if I wanted to. In its most simplest form - I love the people of Israel, the land of Israel, and, most importantly, the God of Israel. He hasn't given up on Israel, how could I?

By Anonymous z4zion, at Fri Jun 09, 07:24:00 AM GMT+3  

Amen!
Giving up is a form of suicide. It's our home, and we have to fight for it, and considering that the "others" are willing, we will win in the end.

By Blogger Batya, at Sun Jun 11, 10:03:00 PM GMT+3  

Z4Zion's comment was enlightening to this whole debate. Z4Zion calls himself a Zionist, and a Christian. That very fact shows how far the distortion of the term Zionism has come. Zionism is the movement for the self-determination and self-realisation of the Jewish people. By its very definition, one must identify as part of the Jewish people in order to be a Zionist. The distortion enacted by religious Anti-Zionists such as Ze'ev and the Lubavitcher Hasidim and the Mitnahalim of Yesha has inverted the term. Instead of signifying the Jews' breaking out of the oppression of exile, the term as used by the settlers and their christian backers now means the Jewish people's desire to submit (Islam) themselves to the will of G-d, or his representatives on earth (the Chief Rabbi and Jerry Falwell). This distortion is the key to the feelings of identification between the religious zealotry of Ze'ev and the religious Zealotry of Farah - both hate Arabs and believe that their christian god wants the jews to destroy Islam. Both want ot use the Jewish people for their own religious ends. The Jewish people must stand strong against these false friends. Both who pretend to be actual Zionists and those who call themselves Christian Zionists. Both serve the same g-d - religion and both work against the interests of the Jewish people.

H

By Anonymous H, at Mon Jun 12, 11:48:00 AM GMT+3  

Haim, in a nutshell, you are saying that G-d / religion is the enemy of the Jewish People - basically saying that Traditional Judaism is the enemy of the Jewish People...

Without Traditional Judaism the Jewish People would have ceased to exist long ago, and wouldh ave absolutley no reason to continue existing today - is that what you are advocating in your call for secualr Jihad against G-d and Judaism?

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Mon Jun 12, 12:21:00 PM GMT+3  

Jews have been gaining and losing Israel for 5,000 years. Some times bits and pieces some times the whole thing.

Why is the present any different from the past?

My take on the whole thing? Goad the Palestinians into a serious attack and you can move them off the land. I do not think any here have the nerve to do what needs to be done if you want to control all the land. It will cost you in blood, yours and the Arabs. And the screaming in the world for decades after.

Are you willing to pay the price?

I would in order to settle things for 50 or 100 years. Easy for me. I'm an American Jew and don't have to pay the price.

BTW I think Sharon's Gaza deal could work well into such a goading. My guess is that Olmert thinks the price too high. He may be right.

By Blogger M. Simon, at Mon Jun 12, 04:50:00 PM GMT+3  

Ze'ev,

I think you will find that your distortion has once again gone into overdrive - no where did I say anything about traditional Judaism, never mind it being an enemy of the Jewish people. What I said is that you and your christian fundamentalist supporters are working against the interests of the Jewish people. Never would i dare suggest that you represent traditional Judaism.

By Anonymous H, at Tue Jun 13, 09:30:00 AM GMT+3  

H-

I'm sorry if you have had bad experiences with people that have made you so hateful toward others. What's especially interesting is that you make these blanket statements about me when you know nothing about me. First and foremost, I'm not a he, I am a she.

As far as the rest of your statements go, I don't believe my Lord calls me or anyone else to kill Arabs. I don't want Arabs dead. I want them to act right. And I believe that Jewish claims to the land takes precedence over any claims made by Arabs. Would it make you feel better if I stated that I was a supporter of the Zionist movement then instead of a Zionist? I doubt it. Because of my faith you have already dismissed me from any right to love Israel. H, that is not your call to make. Of course as a person given free will by the Creator, you are free to not like it.

By Anonymous z4zion, at Tue Jun 13, 09:02:00 PM GMT+3  

After discussing this issue with my mother, I have come to see that my use of the term Zionist to describe myself is not accurate and offensive to some. I've read about and appreciated the support that Christians, whether laymen or pastors, have given to the modern Zionist movement since the 1800s. Instead of just going by the words other people use, I should have looked up the official definition in the dictionary. As someone who takes the meaning of words very seriously, I am sorry for having caused offense to H or anyone else. While the label Zionist can apparently no longer be used to describe me, my love, support, and unconditional devotion to Israel, Zionism, and the Jewish people is unchanged.

By Anonymous z4zion, at Tue Jun 13, 09:44:00 PM GMT+3  

Z4Zion, thanks for commenting. I appreciate the thoughtfulness and sensitivity in your comments.

I agree with you, in that my beliefs, based on the Torah (as well as history), make it clear that the Jewish people have the strongest claim to the Land of Israel. I am in favor of living together in peace with all those who are willing to accept that fact. However, sadly, there are many who are unwilling to accept that fact - those who seek to murder |Jews wherever they may find them, and who seek to destroy the Jewish State of Israel, and the State of Israel has an obligation to its citizens, and to the Jewish people, to respond against them accordingly.

I can't speak for Haim, but in his eyes, the problem with you calling yourself a Zionist was not b/c you are Chrisitan, because he doesn't believe that I am a Zionist either, even though I am a Jew living i nthe Jewish State of Israel and who seeks to strengthen Israel as a Jewish State.

Haim has a problem with anyone who believes in G-d and the divinity of His law and His relevance today...

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Tue Jun 13, 10:43:00 PM GMT+3  

Great Song,
is there a method that I can hear it?

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By Blogger hanly, at Mon May 17, 10:20:00 AM GMT+3  

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