Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The 4th of July vs. Yom Ha'Atzma'ut

Yesterday, the United States of America celebrated her 230th Independence Day, generally referred to as The 4th of July. To mark the occasion, Joseph Farah, Editor of World Net Daily, wrote a column about what American Independence Day is really all about - I'll give you a hint, it's more than fireworks, BBQ's, baseball and beaches.

Ironically, much of what Farah wrote can be said about Independence Day - Yom HaAtzma’ut, here, in the State of Israel, as well.

Therefore, as Editor of Israel Perspectives, I am going to use a bit of journalistic license, and slightly adapt Farah's article to reflect the Independence Day reality, here, in Israel.

(Original text will appear in "blockquote" and italics).

The meaning of independence

independence: freedom from control or influence of another or others

Today is July 4, 2006.

It has been 230 years since the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence by America's founders...

independence: freedom from control or influence of another or others

Today is July 5, 2006 (9th of Tammuz, 5766).

It has been 58 years (and a few months) since the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence by Israel's founders.

It's not just the day we shoot off Chinese-made fireworks. It's not just the day we barbecue burgers. It's not just the day we go to the beach. It's Independence Day – so named because on or about this date in 1776, a group of courageous men risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for a dream of freedom and sweet autonomy from an imperial power.

It's not just the day we shoot off Chinese-made fireworks. It's not just the day we barbecue burgers. It's not just the day we go to the beach. It's Yom HaAtzma’ut – so named because on May 14th, 1948 / 5th of Iyar, 5708, a group of courageous men risked their lives and their sacred honor for a 2,000 year old dream - that of the Jewish People returning (as sovereign) to their ancient and eternal Homeland, the Land of Israel, to (re)establish a Jewish State.

By the way, it wasn't just the birth date of American freedom. It was the birth date of freedom around the world. That's why the French called George Washington not just the founding father of the American Revolution, but "the father of freedom." He was truly the inspiration for freedom fighters everywhere.

By the way, it wasn't just the birth date of the (re)establishment of the Jewish State of Israel. It was the modern day birth date of the visions of the Prophets and words of the Bible coming to life. The ingathering of the Exiles from the four corners of the earth; military victories of the many in the hands of the few, the strong in the hands of the weak; the return of the Jewish people to their Homeland where they were able to make the desert bloom; the fulfillment of 2,000 years worth of prayers by the Jewish People, who never stopped yearning to return Home.

Unfortunately, too few Americans today put much value in independence. Most no longer celebrate, cherish or appreciate independence. Independence is not considered an ideal.

Unfortunately, too few Israelis (Jews) today put much value in Israel existing as a Jewish State. Most no longer celebrate, cherish or appreciate what it means to live in a Jewish State. To some, the State of Israel is merely a place of refuge, while for others, it is meant to exist as a state like all others. Living in a Jewish State is not considered an ideal. In its place now stand the values of "peace" and normalization, in the name of which everything (Jewish) must be sacrificed.

It's no accident. Our political and cultural elite don't want to see a nation full of independent-minded, self-governing citizens who will hold their leaders accountable to their will and the laws of the land. They would prefer sheep.

It's no accident. Our political and cultural elites don't want to see a nation full of independent-minded, self-governing Jews who will hold their leaders accountable not only to their will and the laws of the land, but also to Jewish Heritage and the traditions and teachings of our fathers, and who want to live their lives as jews and not Israelis. They would prefer sheep; sheep who will sit passively, while, in the name of the "rule of law" the army of the Jewish People and State will expel Jews from their homes in the Land of Israel and hand them over to those who seek their very destruction, and who will replace Jewish heritage and identity with that of Israeliness.

That's why you will hear so many of them preach about the value of living in an "interdependent" world. Have you heard that? " Interdependence" – this is considered a good thing. Keep in mind every time you hear that word "interdependence" glorified and revered that interdependence is simply a synonym for "dependence."

It has nothing to do with "independence" – that thing for which our founders risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

That's why you will hear so many of them preach about the value of "peace". Have you heard that? Making peace with those who seek to destroy you? Providing our enemies with weapons and then retreating in the face of terror, this is considered a good thing - anything, so long as the nations of the world will accept us.

It ("peace") has nothing to do with a "Jewish State" - that thing for which our founders risked their lives - namely, to (re)establish a Jewish State in the Land of Israel, a place where the Jewish People could live as proud Jews, with honor and dignity, in a society that would exemplify all that the Jewish People had to offer the world.

The sad truth is the American dream of independence has been betrayed... In fact, take a look at the dictionary definition of "colony" and see if it doesn't apply to us today.

colony: 1) a group of people who settle in a distant land but remain under the political jurisdiction of their native land 2) a territory distant from the state having jurisdiction or control over it

Aren't Americans, in a sense, all colonists of the great imperial throne in the District of Columbia? We all pay tribute to this faraway empire. We are, in reality, little more than serfs doing the bidding of those in the federal corridors of power in Washington. We're taxed without real representation...

The sad truth is the Jewish dream of independence has been betrayed. In fact, take a look at the dictionary definition of "colony" and see if it doesn't apply to us today.

colony: 1) a group of people who settle in a distant land but remain under the political jurisdiction of their native land 2) a territory distant from the state having jurisdiction or control over it

Aren't Israelis (Jews), in a sense, all colonists of the great imperial throne in the District of Columbia, or of the United Nations and the European Union, as each of those powers (and many others) play a central role in determining the foreign and domestic policy of the Jewish State of Israel? It is they who determine where it is that a Jew may or may not live, where it is that a Jew may or may not build; and it is they who determine if, when and how the Jewish State of Israel may deal with it's enemies.

We are, in reality, little more than serfs doing the bidding of those in the federal corridors of power in Washington.

To make matters worse, within the State of Israel, there is taxation without representation, as those living in the Jewish State are taxed at a level known in few other countries, and in return they are given political leaders who do not know the meaning of the word accountability.

What do you think?...

Is American sovereignty and independence still worth a fight?

What are you willing to risk? What are you willing to sacrifice today in the name of freedom and independence?

What do you think?

Is a Jewish State in the Land of Israel still worth a fight?

Do you still dream of the Jewish State of Israel being a place where one can live proudly and securely as a Jew; a country that cherishes and embraces her Heritage and the teachings of her fathers instead of running from them; a country that is led by those who believe in the Divine, as well as historic right of the Jewish People to a Jewish State in the Land of Israel - a right that supercedes any other claims; a country that takes whatever steps needed to ensure that the Jewish People need not live in fear of her enemies. A country that would strive to fulfill the visions of the Prophets - that of creating an ideal Jewish society that serves as a Light unto the Nations.

What are you willing to risk? What are you willing to sacrifice today so that Israel will exist as a truly Jewish State?

Is a Jewish State still something worth fighting for? Worth dying for? Worth living for?

JBlog Me




3 Comments:

Ze'ev,

Your patience in persisting with the tiring parallel to an irrelevant article is to be applauded. Your choice of article to mimic is to be derided. Not only does Farah sound like a crazed anarchist or deranged fascist, but he also does not back up any of his points.

But let me actually relate to some of the things you wrote. I was struck by the fact that you forgot that there were any women who signed the declaration of independence - there were two Golda Meir and Rahel Cohen. This very fact is both small and insignificant in as much as your point would not be changed if you corrected your line to say "men and women", but the fact that you forgot is part of the reason why your vision of Israel is so far from that of the founders of this country.

The true founders of this country were secular Zionists. And because of this, the concept of independence is so central to Israel and to Israelis. The independence being gained was not just from the nations of the world who had banished us and kept us in physical exile but also from the stranglehold of sexist, anti-modern, anti-democratic rabbinic leadership which was intent on continuing the people of Israel's spiritual and emotional exile. The independence which the early Zionist movement strived for was an independence of the soul - an autonomy of thought. This fundamentally rejects the heteronomy of Orthodoxy and its reliance on the halacha as a framework for Jewish life.

Do you really believe that the Yeshivas are encouraging independent thought? are you joking? It is ironic that you should choose the topic of independence to take an attack at the other side of the political spectrum, given that the movement you belong to is concerned with making its members and the members of the Jewish people submit their will to "Ol Malchut Shamayim". Their is nothing more suffocating of independent thought than religious doctrine and dogma.

By the way - look back at what you wrote about "Peace" and tell me that it is the left who claim that you are not part of the peace camp - what a joke!

Ze'ev - the truth is that Yom Ha'atzmaut should be a day of mourning for religious Jews, because it was the day that the leaders of secular Jewry through off the shackles of Religious leadership.

This was a topic which would have been so ripe for another swipe at supposed members of the Jewish people who choose to reject independence as Jews in favour of continued living in the lands of Galut, but instead you only showed the incoherence of your claim that there is such thing as Religious Zionism (still).

By Anonymous H, at Thu Jul 06, 04:13:00 PM GMT+3  

Dislexic disclaimer:

That was supposed to say "threw off the shackles of Religious leadership" as opposed to through off.

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