What characterizes the original Zionist dream versus what characterizes Israeli Leftists and American Left secular messianism?
ZIONISM - the Jewish national liberation and sovereignty movement.
In its budding years, a century ago, Zionism appeared to be a crazy dream. To many Jews, who got accustomed to be second class citizens in hosted countries, Zionism was a foreign idea and scary one too. The idea of the in-gathering of the 2000 years in exile Jews, the reviving of the biblical Hebrew language as a daily spoken language, the creation of Israeli-Jewish culture, the building and re-settling of the Promised Land, the achievement of political independence, all appeared to be, simply messianic.
1st Zionist Congress-Photo credit Wikimedia Commons
But no! The opposite is the right thinking. Zionism is the antithesis of Left messianism to any messianism. Zionism argued against continuing waiting in the Diaspora, with a hope and a pray and with fervency for some deus ex machina, for an unexpected power or event that will show up to save a seemingly hopeless situation; waiting for some power that may finally appear and rescue the disenfranchised and under constant life endangerment Jews, living in foreign lands.
Zionism rejected the idea of waiting for an outside agent, for a Shabbetai Zvi like who claimed to be the long-awaited Jewish Messiah and a Bar Kochba revolt type hero.
Zionism is supremely an ideology of self-reliance, of self-realization. A movement that refuses to depend on others, postulates no sudden change in the psychology and psyche of its enemies, and certainly does not suggest a change in human nature and discontinuity in history.
From the get go Zionism accepted the world precisely as it was and decided that precisely because the world was as it was, the Jews had no future in the Diaspora and would have to build their future in Zion. Most of all, Zionists understood that the building of Zion would much depend on Jewish action, Jewish initiative, Jewish courage. Jews had to go out of their diaspora cocoon and build a state themselves for themselves, and so they did and did it with much courage and skill.
Zionism vs the Oslo Accord
The misleading Oslo Accord of 1993 and in retrospect Israel’s historical mistake of all mistakes, was a supreme expression of post-Zionist messianism; messianic time built in vacuum. Zionism and Israel’s enemies are a total dichotomy.
In 2018, to our sadness and horror, many have already learned that one cannot contract out the safety of the Zionist experiment – the State of Israel - to others, most especially to Arafat, to Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO and their like. That was the premise of Oslo Accord and it has proven to be a lingering catastrophic for Israel.
Time to take a different road and null and void the Oslo Accord to its very last sub-clause and come up with a solution that will give Israel a peaceful future.