For a Breath of Truth and Courage


The most significant accomplishment of the modern State of Israel is its proliferation of Yeshivas, of Torah learning. Yet this accomplishment was never intended by the secular Zionists who founded of the State. The leading Zionists, above all David Ben-Gurion, were self-professed Marxists, hence atheists. True, Ben-Gurion admitted, were it not for the Torah, the Jewish people, dispersed among the nations, would have become as extinct as the Mesopotamians. Nevertheless, he believed that founding of the State and the ingathering of the Jews rendered the Torah obsolete. Indeed, secular Zionists feared that popular adherence to the Torah would obstruct the development of a modern socialist and egalitarian society, the goal of Ben-Gurion’s Mapai party, now called Labor.

What is most ironic about this one-time Zionist party is that its egalitarian ideology complicated the task of forming a secular democratic state. Egalitarianism required Zionists to confer citizenship on the large number of Arabs living within the armistice lines established after the 1948-49 War of Independence. Desperately needed was a large Jewish majority in the Land of Israel. Needed was a great influx of Jews from Africa and Asia. But this posed a dilemma for secular Zionists.

The vast majority of the Jews from Africa and Asia were religious. Their potential voting power was an obvious threat to Labor’s political predominance. Labor needed these Jews to counterbalance the Arab population and, at the same time, endow the new State of Israel with “legitimacy” as a “Jewish” State. But the immigration of 700,000 religious Jews from Africa and Asia in the first three years of the State’s existence would lead, in the natural course of events, to Labor’s, i.e., the Left’s political demise.

If the Left was not to commit political suicide and renounce the goal of creating a thoroughly egalitarian or secular democratic state, they would have to secularize the Sephardi and oriental Jews. This they did to no small extent, and in unconscionable ways. Immigrant parents who sent their children to religious schools were denied employment until they transferred their children to secular schools. Thousands of Yemenite children were herded into secular kibbutzim and other anti-religious institutions. At the same time, immigrant transit camps became schools for left-wing and anti-religious propaganda designed to turn youth away from their parents.

Thus, by means of coercion, segregation, and indoctrination, the Left undermined the structure and intense loyalties of countless impoverished Sephardi and oriental Jewish families on the one hand, and their dedication to Torah values on the other. The consequence was a spiritual holocaust. To this day the vast majority of the Jews languishing in Israeli prisons are Sephardi and oriental.

Meanwhile, the public schools, whose curriculum was designed by secularists graduated hundreds of thousands of culturally deprived Jews. Jewish youth were transformed into “Israelis.” Bereft of Judaism, these shallow products of secular Zionism have no religious attachment to the Land of Israel. Indeed, insofar as they regard themselves as Israelis and not as Jews, one might say—certainly an Arab who believes in Allah could say—they have no right to this land, that they are “robbers.”

The mere fact that Gad Yacobi of the Labor Party, Israel’s erstwhile UN ambassador, proclaimed to a Harvard University audience, “there is no such thing as Jewish land,” indicates that the party now headed by octogenarian Shimon Peres does indeed consist of hijackers. How much easier it was for such Jews, devoid of Judaism, to offer the heartland of the Jewish people to a murderous villain like Yasser Arafat.

And so what did they accomplish? They boast, not without justice, of having made the deserts bloom and of having established, along with a powerful defense force, the country’s scientific-technological infrastructure. But against with these accomplishments it must be reiterated that they undermined the religious integrity of countless Jews; that they established an educational system that transformed Jews into spiritually empty Israelis; and that now, such is their moral and intellectual bankruptcy that they are endangering Israel’s very existence with the help of their surrogate prime minister Ariel Sharon, a con man.

Recall that the state created by these former Zionists was intended to provide for the long-sought security of the Jewish people. But now what do we see? Squeezed into a narrow strip of land are five million Jews threatened with annihilation. The same Zionist state was intended to restore the honor of the Jewish people. Never in history have the Jewish people been so humiliated and disgraced as they have under the present Sharon government, whose ministers excel only in moral cowardice.

When all is said and done about this era, one bitter parallel needs to be remembered. On the one hand, thanks to the Bolsheviks who ruled the Soviet Union, a million Jews left Russia and settled in the Land of Israel. On the other hand, thanks to the Bolsheviks who have ruled Israel, a million Jews have left this country and are again dispersed among the nations!

Let us also bear in mind that the Labor Party, which has ever controlled Israel’s economy and the media as well as the country’s educational and cultural institutions, never won more than 51 seats in the Knesset, hence never represented a majority of the Jewish people. What a pathetic commentary on Israel’s so-called right-wing and religious parties! Why, when most Jews in Israel are not leftists, why have these parties failed to restore Jewish national pride and prevent the many thousands of casualties suffered by Jews in recent years?

Perhaps because these parties failed to proclaim, on every public forum, that Israel’s only justification is to be a Jewish State—not a secular democratic state, but a state ruled solely by Jews who, whether religious or not, are proud of their Jewish heritage. There can be no other justification for the State of Israel.

O for a breath of truth and courage! O to clear the air of all the lies and cowardice that have produced Israel’s decrepit post-Zionist state. Needed are men of truth and courage who will stand up and proclaim that their goal is nothing less than the formation of a New Israel, one whose way of life and system of government are rooted in the Torah.

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