Without God Israel is Lost

[Prof. Paul Eidelberg]

Summary ... Zionism without God is a falsification of Zion. So is any Zionism that subordinates Judaism to the State. Instead of calling on decrepit and superficial parties inside or outside the Knesset to unite, the rabbis of Israel should urge the formation of a constituent assembly to create an authentic Jewish government, one that rallies all Jews to its banner, and does so in the Name of God, for without God Israel is lost.

For 60 years, Israeli prime ministers have banished God from the domain of statecraft, and with the compliance of the religious parties. May there not be a connection between the absence of God in Israeli statecraft and the absence of wisdom, courage, and Jewish national pride in Israel's government?

How is it that Israel, despite its awesome military power, appeases and retreats before a gang of terrorists, be it Hamas or Fatah? Can it be because Israel's ruling elites are godless in contrast to Israel's enemies, who never fail to invoke the name of Allah?

Juxtapose these Arabs and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (or his predecessors Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak). The asymmetry may be seen in the psychological consequences of their respective goals. Whereas the Arab goal-victory over the Jews-arouses Arab pride and spiritedness, Olmert's goal of "peace" arouses Jewish self-effacement and defeatism.

Enough to recall Olmert's pathetic whining: "We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies ... We want them to be our friends, our partners, our good neighbors." How the Arabs must gloat over this drivel, which would make any man of taste want to vomit.

Let us face the truth: Prime Minister Olmert is the leader of a clique of cravens. These poltroons cannot but make the surrender of Jewish land, hence treason, their one and only policy. Of course, they will adorn this treason in the cloak of "peace." This politics of peace is destroying the Jewish state.

Clearly, 60 years of secular leadership in Israel—whatever its accomplishments—has not achieved the goal of political Zionism: security and the restoration of Jewish honor. Political Zionism is dead, buried by the Likud, a secular party that has committed treason by surrendering Jewish land to the consortium of terrorist thugs called the Palestinian Authority. And do not be misled by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu. The mere fact that he is willing to negotiate with these thugs on the basis of "reciprocity" means he is willing to surrender more Jewish land to these implacable enemies of the Jewish people.

As for religious Zionism, it too must be pronounced dead, at least in the Knesset. Like the Likud, the National Religious Party is willing to submit the disposition of Judea and Samaria, the heartland of the Jewish people, to a referendum—and this despite the fact that 20 percent of Israel's population consists of Arabs. But to propose a referendum on Judea and Samaria is to bow in advance to the idolatry of statism, that is, to the alleged right of the State of Israel to expel perhaps 200,000 Jews from their homes!

Anyone who thinks modern Zionism can be restored, or rather, is worth restoring, is either an ignoramus or a charlatan.

Zionism without God is a falsification of Zion. So is any Zionism that subordinates Judaism to the State. Indeed, if the state is sovereign, the very concept of the Jewish State is an oxymoron. The era of this intellectually shallow Zionism has come to an end. It has fulfilled its historical purpose: it facilitated the ingathering of the Jews and developed the country's infrastructure. All honor to the founders of this State, a state that has now become the enemy of the Jewish people. It's time to move on.

We need to develop a Jewish philosophy of democracy that brings God back into the domain of statecraft. I discuss this task in my book Jewish Statesmanship: Lest Israel Fall, and in its abbreviated version, The Myth of Israeli Democracy: Toward a Truly Jewish Israel. Much more discussion is needed, by Jews identified with and proud of their heritage.

But let me not be misunderstood. I do not advocate the rule of Israel's religious parties. The supine collaboration of these parties with their secular counterparts has brought Israel to its present nadir. The religious parties, understandably concerned about the needs and education of Jewish children, have downplayed Israel's geo-strategic interests. They have failed to inspire the public by vigorous and sustained opposition to Israeli prime ministers who have released Arab terrorists, retreated from Jewish land, and allowed Arabs to murder Jews with impunity.

Indeed, why haven't the rabbis demanded swift and devastating vengeance on the murderers of our people? Why haven't they exposed the cowardice and treachery of Israeli prime ministers? Why haven't they told the truth: that to expect peace from Arabs animated by the Jew-hatred of a warrior religion when Jew-hatred thrives in peace-loving Europe is a commentary on the imbecility or decadence of the contemporary mind.

Every rabbi who has not sacrificed his intellect to the "cult of peace" knows that Israel's government has betrayed the people. Every rabbi worthy of the name knows that the people of Israel, led by this government, have become increasingly demoralized and servile. Hence, every rabbi should be primed to sanctify God's Name by calling for a massive rejection of Israel's perfidious and pusillanimous government.

Are there no rabbis with courage enough to come forward and warn the Jewish people about the Road Map to Israel's demise? Are there no heads of yeshivas with courage enough to come to Jerusalem with hundreds and perhaps thousands of students to sanctify God's Name by saying "Enough of this illegitimate as well as godless government!"

Instead of calling on decrepit and superficial parties in or outside the Knesset to unite, they should urge the formation of a constituent assembly to create an authentic Jewish government, one that rallies all Jews to its banner, and does so in the Name of God.

Without God Israel is lost.

[ Published: August 18, 2008 ]

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