TIME FOR A NEW
"Continuity" has become the watchword of American Jewry, yet little has been said about the crucial role that Zionism plays in ensuring Jewish continuity. To instill Jewish pride in our young people, they need to be educated about the Zionist struggle for national independence and the enormous achievements of the Jewish people in rebuilding a state.
But how can Zionist organizations successfully transmit Zionist ideology, when so many of them have blindly embraced a "peace process" that is predicated on surrendering the essence of Zionism, the Jewish right to the Land of Israel.
Groups like Hadassah, which calls itself "the Women's Zionist Organization of America," and Mercaz, "the Zionist Organization of Conservative Judaism," see no contradiction between calling themselves Zionists and advocating PLO control over Judea and Samaria--the very heart of the Zionist dream throughout the ages.
Seymour Reich, president of the American Zionist Movement, has made defense of the "peace process" his special cause. In speeches around the country, in op-ed pieces in American Jewish newspapers, and in his recent testimony before the House International Relations Committee, Reich has passionately espoused the need to make Yasser Arafat ruler over large parts of the Jewish homeland. Other "Zionist" officials made similar statements at the hearings.
Ironically, it took a Christian, Richard Hellman of CIPAC, a pro-Israel Christian lobbying group, to attack the "peace process" head on. He described the process as "badly flawed"and quoted extensively from the Bible, something Jewish leaders are apparently afraid to do.
Adam Pruzan, vice president of Toward Tradition, a coalition of Jewish conservatives, recently wrote that within the Jewish community no one finds it suitable to refer to religious values in political dialogue. We see what detrimental results this can have. In the framework of the "peace process," God's covenant with the Jewish
people, the central claim of the Jews to the Land of Israel, is being disregarded. Serious moral issues such as the transfer of Jews from Judea and Samaria and the separation of the Jews from their patrimony are ignored. Similarly, the ethnic cleansing of Christians in southern Lebanon by Syria has been overlooked.
What Jews in both Israel and the Diaspora desperately need--and the time is very short--is a renewal of traditional Zionism.
This process must begin with a new international Zionist Congress, which will inspire Jews throughout the world and prepare the ground for a Jewish state rooted in Jewish history, Jewish pride and Jewish faith in the future of the Jewish people. It will define true Zionism: the settlement of Jews in their homeland, the Land of Israel.
Yoram Hazony, director of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, wrote in the April 1994 Outpost:
The astonishing rise of [the] new, post-Zionist left signals not merely the end of one political fashion and the advent of another; it means the end of the idea of the Jewish state, the end of the idea of Israel.
And without such an idea inspiring its youth and breathing life into the bones of its diaspora, it is unclear who would wish to fight for this people and why, and how it could continue to persist...To be won, a public must be presented with a larger truth, a plan of what should be done to build a good society, or even a great one...There can be no question that most of our people longs for such a movement,
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