Jewish World Review Nov. 9, 2001 / 23 Mar-Cheshvan, 5762


MANIFESTO


By Yaffa Ganz



http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- The following is unsophisticated, undiplomatic, simple, stark and direct. It is also politically incorrect, uncomfortable and difficult for many people to hear. (The truth often is.) Which is why even those in the Government of Israel who accept these principles have trouble articulating them for the public. As a private citizen, I have the luxury of speaking freely (after all, I do live in the only democracy in the Middle East...) and of saying what people - especially Jews - all over the world know and believe is true. Therefore, I hereby proclaim....

1. The Land of Israel - the "Holy Land" - is the Divinely bestowed, Eternal Heritage of the Jewish People, promised by G-d to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It has been the indisputable, historical Jewish homeland since the time of Abraham, 3744 years ago. Look it up in the book of Genesis.

2. The Temple Mount is holy because G-d chose it as the site for the Beis Hamikdash - the Holy Temple. The First Temple was built here in the year 833 B.C.E. , fifteen hundred years prior to Mohammed and the rise of Islam (despite wishful Arab claims to the contrary). The two Temples stood on this spot for a total of almost one thousand years. Six hundred later, in the eighth century, the gilded Dome of the Rock (the Mosque of Omar) and the El Aksa mosque were built on the site.

3. Jerusalem is the Eternal capital of the Jewish people. Jewish Biblical tradition claims the city and the Temple Mount from the time of Abraham down to King David down to today. Jerusalem is the geographic and spiritual heart of Jewish existence in this world. It is mentioned more than 600 times in the Bible and scores of thousands of times in Jewish sources (and not even once in the Koran). All Jews everywhere turn to face Jerusalem in prayer. (Moslems turn to face Mecca.) As is G-d Himself, so too are Jerusalem and the Jewish People - one, eternal and indivisible.

4. Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, Gaza are all ancient Biblical cities - Jewish cities - part of the legacy of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and home to continuous Jewish settlement from Biblical times until the late nineteenth-early 20th century. They are full of Jewish holy sites, burial places, archeological remains and historical memories - witness to an unbroken Jewish presence in the Land of Israel.

5. Palestine and the Land of Israel are one and the same. The name Palestina was given to Judea - the Jewish Kingdom - by the Romans after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in the year 70 C.E. The new name was an attempt to wipe out the memory of the Jewish people who had fought so valiantly against the Romans and had engaged their best troops at such great cost.

6. A Palestinian "Nation" never existed - not in Palestine, not in Israel, not on the West Bank, not on the East Bank, not anywhere else. After the Romans, Palestine was conquered and colonized by Byzantines, Moslem Caliphates, Christian Crusaders, Egyptian Mamlukes, Ottoman Turks and then placed under British rule. They all came, conquered and disappeared. The Arabs themselves migrated to Palestine from the east during the great Islamic conquest in the 7th century. Nonetheless, from the 7th century until the twentieth, they never established a sovereign, Arab, Palestinian "nation" or state in the area.

7. Nonetheless, today an Arab-Palestinian state does exist. It is called Jordan. In a total reversal of declared policy designed to placate and appease the Arabs, Britain withdrew from the Balfour Declaration and the commitments she had made to the League of Nations in accepting the Mandate over Palestine. It was a morally despicable decision which severely restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine and cost the lives of countless refugees from Hitler's hell in Europe. 80% of the original Mandate designated as the Jewish Homeland was now given over to Abdullah and eventually became the Kingdom of Jordan. The remaining 20% became the State of Israel. (Please digest those numbers.) Interestingly enough, until 1948, it was the Jews in Palestine who were known as the "Palestinians". The Arabs refused to be called by that name. They were "Arabs", part of the great Moslem-Arab brotherhood stretching from Saudia Arabia to the sea. Today, with 80 % of the territory of the Palestine Mandate and a population composed of 70% Palestinian Arabs, Jordan is the Palestinian state.

8. We therefore vehemently oppose the creation of a second, additional Arab state inside the already emasculated borders of the Jewish homeland. There are a multitude of Arab states in the Middle East. Israel, including Judea, Samaria (the "West Bank" which is the Biblical heart of the country) and Gaza, is a microscopic island in a great sea of Arab nations. (Look at a map of the region. I guarantee that you will be so astounded at our miniscule size that you will not believe what you are seeing.) These Arab nations all speak the same language, practice the same religion, share the same culture and are virtually one people. Any Arab who desires a national homeland has a rich array to choose from. We Jews have exactly one.

9. In addition, the Middle East is now almost completely Judenrein. Except for tiny remnants in Egypt, Syria and Iran, there are no Jews left in the vast, Arab Middle East. Six hundred thousand Jews (some from communities which were two thousand years old) were forced to flee their Arab host countries in 1948. (But who ever heard of a Jewish refugee problem???) Yet Arabs live, work and move freely throughout Israel (despite what you are told by the media. If you don't believe it, come and see for yourself). The country - the only one in the Middle East - is open to any Jew, Moslem or gentile who desires to live here as a loyal, law-abiding and peaceful citizen.

10. We in Israel are not simply "fighting a war against terror". We are fighting for the Land of Israel and for the right of the Jewish people - the People of Israel - to live in their Homeland. We will fight against anyone - terrorist, army, so-called "police force" - who tries to oust us from our one and only homeland.

Remembrance is a Jewish trait and obligation. We remember the Exodus; we remember ancient and contemporary Amaleks; we remember the Sabbath. We remember our beloved Jerusalem; we remember our Land. We remember where we came from, who we are and where we are going, even though we may sometimes temporarily go astray. The Land of Israel has always belonged to, now belongs to, and will continue to belong solely to the Jewish People. The Jewish State was created - and is destined to remain - a Jewish State in our G-d-given Land, divinely promised and lovingly, faithfully, passionately remembered for close to four millennia. We have finally returned home.

The world would therefore be wise to take note ... that even as our beleaguered Government stumbles and stutters, trying valiantly to steer clear of disaster and keep us afloat in the tidal wave of world pressures and confslicting international interests, the Jewish People did not return home to be sacrificed, slaughtered or sent back into exile.

Because we are so fiercely independent (and democratic), everyone here must have their say. We are slow to move into battle formation. But make no mistake. We stubborn, stiff-necked, difficult Jews do not intend to commit national suicide in order to make life easier for international coalitions or to insure their goodwill. We will wage a bitter war against those who rise up to harm, kill, destroy or remove the Jewish People from the Jewish Land.

The children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have brought the world untold benefits - holy concepts, human dignity, wisdom; eternal values, unending knowledge and immeasurable progress. (Find a good history book which doesn't downplay the peerless Jewish contribution to civilization and start reading.) Our reward has often been a tidal wave of hatred and suffering, forcing us to live by our wits, and when that failed, to go like faithful sheep to the slaughter. Now that G-d has arranged our return to our Land after two thousand years of exile and has brought so many of us home, we have a strong suspicion He wants us to stay put. With His help, we intend to do so.



JWR contributor Yaffa Ganz is the award-winning author of more than forty Jewish juvenile titles including the two-volume teen history "Sand and Stars --- A Jewish Journey Through Time" and the popular Savta Simcha Series. You may contact her by clicking here.

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© 2001, Yaffa Ganz