By Prof. Paul Eidelberg


We are very much our memories.  Memory endows us with a sense of personal identity.  A total amnesiac must recreate his or her identity—no easy task.  Imagine how infinitely difficult it would for a people to create a new identity if it were afflicted by national amnesia, i.e., had lost its historical memory! 


National amnesia is on the agenda of the Left.  This is what most distinguishes the Left from the Right in Israel.  Enough to mention Shimon Peres, who mindlessly declared, “I have become totally tired of history, because I feel history is a long misunderstanding.”


In his marvelous novel, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Milan Kundera writes: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”  This encapsulates the struggle of the Right against the Left.  In Israel the Left does not want to be reminded of the horrific consequences of the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement, for which the Left’s guru, Shimon Peres, is largely responsible.


It is now widely known that Oslo, as intended by the Left, entails the loss of Judea and Samaria including the Old City and the Temple Mount.  What is not widely known is that Oslo was and remains nothing less than the Left’s attempt to destroy the historical memory of the Jewish people.  So long as Jews retained Judea and Samaria, most Jews in Israel would remain bonded to the teachings of their prophets and sages.  This bond had to be severed: Judaism had to be eviscerated and the Jewish soul deconstructed. This was the Left’s hidden purpose at Oslo.


As Yoram Hazony points out: “In some crucial way, the Oslo agreement had signaled the end of the [anti-Zionist] mission, a turn of events that the celebrated author David Grossman described—mimicking the language of the accords, which called for an Israel military redeployment—as a ‘redeployment from entire regions of our soul.’”


Consistent therewith, the Rabin-Peres government erased the words “Judaism,” Zionism,” and “Eretz Israel” from the Soldiers Code of Ethics, and all but eliminated the Jewish content from the public school curriculum. The Left’s goal was to transform the Jewish state into a “state of its citizens” (the only way the Left could retain power, given its dependency on the Arab vote).  Thus, while Arafat’s Palestinian Authority proceeded to indoctrinate a generation of Arab children to destroy Jewish bodies, the Rabin-Peres government proceeded to destroy a generation of Jewish souls.  Future generations of Jews would be afflicted by historical amnesia.


The Left’s assault on memory is a basic but unknown reason for the Muslim hatred of the West.   Under the date line January 9, 1930, the Cairo newspaper al-Fatah makes the following remark about European colonizers:


The real danger approaches us from the spiritual war that Europe is methodically conducting against the spirit of the Orientals in general and of Muslims in particular, with the aid of its philosophical books, novels, theaters and films, and its language.  The aim of this concerted action is of a psychological nature—to cut off the Oriental peoples from their past.




As pointed out in my book, A Jewish Philosophy of History,


Without a past there is no history; without a history there is no cultural or national identity.  The loss of cultural identity is precisely what Muslims so much fear and hate about the West. Notice, however, that what foreign colonialists had allegedly done in Egypt is exactly what ultra-secular Jews have in fact been doing to their own people in Israel: depriving them of cultural or national identity….  If these ultra-secularists were to succeed, so that Israel did indeed become a “state of its citizens,” then this irreligious state could become an even greater threat to Islamic civilization—reason for Muslims to strive for Israel’s destruction!


The Left’s assault on Jewish memory is actually an assault on civilized society, for what is a civilized society but one that preserves the accumulated wisdom of the past, and what is this but the stored memory of a people?  This applies to the Jews above all other nations!  For the Jews are the people of universal history.  What is the Bible of Israel if not the first and most comprehensive philosophy of history—from the birth or big bang of the universe to the rebirth of Israel?


This is what the Left is trying to erase from the Jewish psyche—the Jew’s historical memory, on which the moral progress of mankind ultimately depends.    



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