Fundamentally Freund: The real 'delusional fantasists'

Those who still think that dividing the land of Israel will appease the Palestinians.

michael freund 88 (photo credit: )
michael freund 88
(photo credit: )
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a slight problem on our hands. This coming Sunday night marks the start of Yom Yerushalayim, the annual celebration of Jerusalem's liberation during the heroic 1967 Six-Day War. Normally speaking, it is a day filled with cheer. Special prayers are recited in synagogues around the world, marches, ceremonies and commemorations are held, and crowds of visitors flock to the Old City to stroll through its narrow streets, caress the gentle stones of the Western Wall, and savor the holiness in the air. But here's the glitch: just how exactly are we supposed to rejoice over Jerusalem's reunification this year when the Israeli government is now actively seeking to divide it? It almost seems like throwing a large wedding anniversary party in the middle of divorce proceedings. Sure, the negotiations with the Palestinians may or may not be getting anywhere, depending on the latest spin being circulated in the media. And the current governing coalition, along with its policy of concessions, might in any event be gone before we know it. But all that is beside the point. The very fact that Jerusalem is on the table just 41 years after its miraculous emancipation from the shackles of foreign control cannot help but cast a menacing shadow over the festivities. And yet, oddly enough, despite the uncertainty hanging over the fate of our capital, I intend to whoop it up and revel fully in the spirit of the day. And you should too. Here's why: the jig is up for the Left and its supporters. TRY AS they might to let the air out of the balloons, those in favor of tearing apart Jerusalem cannot, and will not, succeed. They and their ideological fellow-travelers are running out of steam, and they long ago ran out of political vision and courage, so it is only a matter of time before their outmoded policies become a thing of the past. Point of fact: for the past 15 years, ever since the signing of the Oslo Accords, various Israeli leaders have been coaxing and cajoling, pleading and pressing, and even begging and beseeching the Palestinians to make peace with us. And all they have to show for it is a string of failures and half-a-dozen worthless agreements, topped off by a steady stream of Kassam rockets now raining down on Sderot and the Negev. And yet, that doesn't seem to stop the proponents of retreat from hurling invective at those of us who refuse to buy into their forlorn worldview. "Delusional fantasists." That is how Prime Minister Ehud Olmert referred to those who believe in the vision of Greater Israel when he appeared before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday. "Only fantasists," he said, "can believe that in this day and age, and in the current situation, it is still possible to cling to the vision of 'Greater Israel.' " But who is really being delusional here? Is it Israel's Right, which has warned from the start about the dangers of appeasing Palestinian terror, or those who persist in clinging to a false hope of forging an even falser peace? With all due respect to Mr. Olmert, repeatedly banging one's head against the wall of Palestinian obstructionism in the hopes of making peace, even as more and more blood pours forth with each blow, hardly seems to qualify as rational behavior or intelligent policy-making. If anyone is delusional, it is those who still think that dividing the land of Israel will appease the Palestinian appetite, and quench their thirst for dismantling the Jewish state once and for all. Believing in the right of the Jewish people to the entire Land of Israel is neither delusional nor fantasy. It has been the basis of our faith, and the core of our national dream, for the past 2,000 years. It was a Divine promise to our ancestors, and it has propelled our people over the past century to climb out of exile and to continue to strive. And over the past six decades we have seen it begin to come to pass. Herzl too was mocked in similar terms when he boldly predicted the establishment of a Jewish state. Back in 1897, the great Zionist thinker Ahad Ha'am wrote this about Herzl's vision: "only a fantasy bordering on madness can believe that so soon as the Jewish State is established millions of Jews will flock to it, and the land will afford them adequate sustenance." GUESS WHAT? It happened. Just look around at what Israel has accomplished in the past 60 years. So in the spirit of the day, I'm going to keep right on celebrating the return of Jerusalem to Jewish control, confident in the knowledge that those who raise a hand against her will not succeed. And I take solace from a passage in the Talmud in Tractate Taanit (29a), which is well worth pondering as we mark Yom Yerushalayim. The Talmud there contains a description of how the two Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed, centuries apart, by the Babylonians and then by the Romans. In both cases, when the attackers entered the Temple grounds, it occurred on a Sunday. Nevertheless, says the Talmud, the Levites on duty were singing the Song of the Day normally recited on Wednesdays. Rabbi Nachman Kahane points out that Wednesday's song, which is Chapter 94 of the Book of Psalms, begins with the words, "O God of vengeance, Lord, O God of vengeance, appear!" The Levites, he explains, seeing that the Temple was about to fall into enemy hands, issued a last-minute plea to God to avenge its capture, hence they chose Wednesday's song. But why specifically Wednesday? Jump ahead nearly 2,000 years to the Six Day War, when Israeli soldiers ascended the Temple Mount and restored it to Jewish control. The day that took place was June 7, 1967 which was, of course, a… Wednesday. And so the historical circle was closed. Go ahead, dismiss it all as a coincidence, if you wish. But don't go calling it "fantasy." The promise of Greater Israel will yet come true. Just you wait and see.