/ / /

haGalil onLine -


Spenden Sie mit PayPal - schnell, kostenlos und sicher!

Search haGalil


Newsletter abonnieren
Bücher / Morascha

Koscher leben...

Aktiv gegen Nazi-Propaganda!
Jüdische Weisheit


Translation of an article to be published
in Ma'ariv on May 08, 2000

Israel 2000:

by Uri Avnery

Columbus sailed to find a way to India. He did not dream of discovering a new continent. Karl Marx wanted to create a humane, egalitarian and just society, and did not dream of Stalin and the Gulag. Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, dreamed of an ideal Judenstaat, and not of the State of Israel that exists today, the one that is about to celebrate its 52th birthday.

Herzl scorned the idea of resurrecting the Hebrew language. He ignored the existence of the native people of Palestine, as well as the existence of Oriental Jewry. He vowed to keep the rabbis in their synagogues and the army officers in their camps. If he would rise from the dead this week, he would be surprised, and perhaps shocked.

Indeed, if we, the generation of 1948, the founders of the state, had been told 52 years ago what would happen in our state in the year 2000, we would have been surprised, perhaps shocked.

We could not have dreamed that a huge Haredi (orthodox) camp would come into being and that the state would dance to its tune. In 1948, the Haredim were a tiny, negligible and scorned minority. The other religious Jews, too, were then but a marginal, tolerated minority. Everybody knew that the Haredim had violently fought against Zionism, and that all the great rabbis of his day - both Hassidim and anti-Hassidim - had denounced and cursed Herzl and his followers.

David Ben-Gurion, the man who laid the rails on which the state is rolling until this very day, has given the Haredim many "presents" (exemption from the draft, independent schools etc.). This generosity stemmed from the belief that the religious Jews posed only a temporary problem, that this irritation would disappear in time by itself. Indeed, we all thought so. In our eyes, Jewish religion was a matter for old people. The old ones would die and the problem would go away. After all, it was unthinkable that healthy young people would become religious, not to mention Haredim.

This disdain is bearing bitter fruit now. Who did dream that Ben-Gurion's presents would resurrect the religious-Haredi community, and in a much more extreme, nationalist-Kabbalist-aggressive mould to booth, changing the very face of Israel?

The disdain for the Palestinian people prevented any serious attempt at achieving peace. Peace looked like a marginal matter, not worth attaining at the price of the return of even a hundred thousand refugees. Not to mention the recognition of the Palestinians as a nation and agreeing to the setting up of a Palestinian state next to Israel (as provided for by the UN resolution). As a result, the war goes on to this very day. Not only were the army officers not kept in their camps, as Herzl had decreed, but they became a decisive factor in the state. Only last week we saw how he officers-in-uniform dictate policy to the officers-out-of-uniform who dominate the government.

We did not dream that on the 52th anniversary, the state would live in the shadow of the rift between Ashkenasi and Oriental Jews. In Herzl's time, Europe was the center of Jewry. Even in his most dreadful nightmares, he did not dream of a Holocaust, that would destroy most of European Jewry. Zionism was an Ashkenasi movement.

Here, in the country, on the eve of the founding of Israel, "Sephardis" were a small minority (even if most of the rich belong to this community). We did not see a problem. We were convinced that Ashkenasis and Sephardis would marry each other, that the differences would disappear, that the New Israeli would be free from all this nonsense.

Therefore, the new state was not psychologically prepared for the absorption of great masses of Jews from the Islamic countries. Grievous mistakes were made, not out of bad will but (worse) out of contempt, arrogance and ignorance.

At the end of his days, Herzl came to realize that there is a people in Palestine. In his last book, "Altneuland" (Old-New-Country), he produced a decorative Arab, who lauds the Jews for their wonderful treatment. When Beh-Gurion (after a stormy but secret debate) decided to give the Arab inhabitants of Israel citizenship and the right to vote, he did not dream of Muhammad Barakeh, Azmi Bishara and Ahmad Tibi. By the end of its 52th year, the state has not yet faced the fact the every fifth Israeli is a Palestinian Arab.

All these rifts and gaps are clouding the horizon of Israel at the beginning of its 53th year. But the state exists and has a strong, solid foundation. Contrary to the vision of Marx, which broke down and was disproved by reality, the vision of Herzl is alive and kicking.

Columbus made a great mistake but discovered America. Herzl made many mistakes, but the State of Israel is there. Our next task is to turn Israel into a state in which we can live and of which we can be proud: to correct the mistakes, eliminate the injustices, overcome the rifts, achieve peace with the Palestinian nation and set up a modern, progressive, secular and democratic society.

For this, the famous motto of Herzl can still serve us: "If you want it, it is no fairy tale!"

Gush Shalom
[Visit the Settlement Special]

Werben in haGalil?
Ihre Anzeige hier!

Advertize in haGalil?
Your Ad here! ist kostenlos! Trotzdem: haGalil kostet Geld!

Die bei haGalil onLine und den angeschlossenen Domains veröffentlichten Texte spiegeln Meinungen und Kenntnisstand der jeweiligen Autoren.
Sie geben nicht unbedingt die Meinung der Herausgeber bzw. der Gesamtredaktion wieder.
haGalil onLine

haGalil - Postfach 900504 - D-81505 München

1995-2006 © haGalil onLine® bzw. den angeg. Rechteinhabern
Munich - Tel Aviv - All Rights Reserved