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Michael Devolin

Israel: A Necessary State
By Michael Devolin
Jul 31, 2014 - 2:15:01 AM

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Anyone delving into the subject of Jewish Zionism will quickly discover varied definitions of Zionism and, consequently, opposing views regarding not only what constitutes true Zionism, but also condemnations of the very idea of Zionism. One will discover in Jewish history, especially in interwar Poland, different groups headed by fervent Jewish leaders vying for recognition and dominance, with their "determinist" or "prognostic" or "voluntarist" Zionism. One will read about Borochorov and Herzl and Jabotinsky and the struggles and hardships each endured in living out their intellectual delineations of what they thought constituted true Zionism, how they went about justifying that Zionism, and how it should have applied to the Jewish people.

But this essay is not about any particular brand of Zionism that had been contemplated during "interwar Poland," nor about the Jews who vaunted their Zionism then as the true Zionism. Rather this piece is intended as an excoriation directed at the utter stupidity and imprudence of those Jewish rabbis and sects like Neturei Karta who today asseverate that Zionism, any Zionism, should not even exist, and in what can only be described as sociopathic screeds contend against the rest of Jewry with the argument that "Zionism" is antithetical to real and literal Judaism. Neturei Karta believe that the "Zionist State of Israel" is a temporary illusion and that it will one day, in a future on which they hinge all their inculpation of their fellow Jews, be nothing more than a memory.

Well guess what? Israel and the Jewish people couldn't wait for Neturei Karta's religiously prescribed future. The Nazi Holocaust against the Jews made sure of that yesterday. And today Islam's malefic injunctions against the Jewish people have become the impellent reasons why all Jews (but especially Israel's Jews!) outside of Neturei Karta's discrepant orbit can never concede any measure of credence to their sociopathic insistence that world Jewry wait out this present storm of global antisemitism for a moshiach who could not be found yesterday by those waiting for him while their families were turned into ashes in Auschwitz and Sobibor and Chelmno.

"Necessity breaks iron" says the Yiddish proverb. And survival of the Jewish people--their religious culture and incomparable genius--demands that all contentions about Zionism within the Jewish community, whether in Israel or the Diaspora, is the only Jewish tradition that should cease to exist. In my view, such a discussion became superfluous during the transports to Auschwitz. And one of the horrors of the Holocaust was not only that the world turned their backs on the Jewish people, but also that the saving power of real Jewish Zionism was realized too late. As Herman Melville wrote, "Faith and philosophy are air, but events are brass."

As I write this, the State of Israel is at war with Hamas, a group of religious savages Adolf Hitler would surely have adored, if only for their hatred of the Jews and their zealous insistence that they disappear entirely from this world. For Hamas, backed by every raving lunatic that ever entered a mosque and admired by a world as insouciant today about the murder of Jews as they were in 1933, Israel and her Jews must disappear. For the Jews of Israel, this war, like every war they have fought since 1948, is but a fight to survive their enemies for another day, or month, or year, or decade.

But survive they must. And this is the Zionism I speak of. This is the Zionism that survived Auschwitz and the Warsaw Ghetto. This is the Zionism that designed the Merkava tank and made the IDF and the IAF a force to be reckoned with. This is the Zionism that is such a damning contradistinction to the suicidal prescription about a coming Moshiach and the idea that, until he reveals himself, Jews should just lend their necks to the sword of their enemies. This is the Zionism that makes it perfectly clear that Israel is become a necessary state.

Michael Devolin


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