Not since the United Nations debate denouncing Zionism as racism has Israel been
in the dock as it is this week.
On November 10, 1975, then-Israeli
ambassador Chaim Herzog ascended the podium in the lion’s den in New York to
face a hostile world, much of which sought to deny the Jewish people’s right to
Now, nearly 36 years later, the international community is on
the verge of rejecting our right to our land.
Despite the passage of
time, these two diplomatic assaults are very much linked. The slander that
Zionism was a form of racial discrimination was nothing less than an attempt to
label the Jewish people’s dream of settling the land as illegitimate.
same holds true for this week’s proposal to confer statehood on the Palestinians
of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. By recognizing the Palestinian claim
to these areas, the membership of the world body is necessarily rejecting the
This too is an effort to declare the Jewish presence in our
ancient homeland unlawful and forbidden.
Indeed, when Herzog addressed
the UN, he pointed out a central and fundamental truth, telling the
representatives that, “the key to understanding Zionism is in its name. The
easternmost of the two hills of ancient Jerusalem during the tenth century
B.C.E. was called Zion.”
And now it is those very same hills in eastern
Jerusalem that the world wishes to turn over to Mahmoud Abbas and the
If this is not an assault on Zionism, then what
ON THE ground, of course, the vote will change nothing. It will
neither create a Palestinian state nor bring peace a moment closer.
it will signify the triumph of fiction over fact and injustice over integrity,
marking yet another low point in the sordid history of the UN.
As much as
our anger and disappointment over this turn of events is entirely justified, we
must nonetheless acknowledge the painful truth that it is our own folly which
contributed mightily to the current predicament.
For what we are
witnessing now is the wages of our own weakness, the price that is to be paid
for our lack of belief in the justness of our cause.
The roots of this
ruin can be found in the events of 18 years ago this month, when prime minister
Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat gathered on the White House Lawn to
sign the Oslo Accords on September 13, 1993.
It was then that the Jewish
state formally conferred legitimacy on Palestinian national aspirations at the
expense of our own.
With its own hands, the Israeli government proceeded
to create the Palestinian Authority, foster it and support it, and now,
predictably enough, it has turned against us.
Instead of resolutely
insisting on our own fundamental and inalienable right to all of Judea and
Samaria, we repeatedly capitulated by turning territory over to Palestinian
control and even conceding support for the “two-state solution.”
fruits of our frailty are now evident as we face the prospect of an emboldened
Palestinian entity with backing from nearly the entire planet.
But it is
not too late to stand tall and affirm our red lines, rather than the Green Line,
and I pray that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will do just that.
should tell the world in no uncertain terms: the jig is up.
Palestinians have buried the peace process once and for all, and Israel has
learned a painful, yet obvious lesson from the past 18 years of fruitless
concessions: we cannot and we will not yield any more territory.
must be the essence of his message if we are to have a chance of forestalling
But whatever the extent of our own culpability for the
current state of affairs, that in no way gives the nations of the world the
right to do as they please.
Each will bear responsibility before history,
and before God, for how they choose to vote on this crucial issue.
nation that raises its hand in favor of “Palestine” is raising its hand against
the land of Israel and the people of Israel.
Consider the irony: for
2,000 years, the nations of the world told the Jews to leave, to go back home
where we belong. Now that we have done just that, they are telling us once again
to move on and make room for someone else.
But this time, there is a
difference. We have nowhere else to go. And we did not wait two millennia
to get back our land only to turn it over to our foes.
So let us draw a
line in the sand and send the UN a clear and unequivocal message: there will be
no more retreats or withdrawals. The Jewish people have returned to the hills of
Judea and the outskirts of Jerusalem. We are here to stay. Get used to
it.The writer is Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a
Jerusalem-based organization that assists lost tribes and hidden Jewish
communities to return to the Jewish people.