They did not used to be so spineless. The early 20th century pioneers were mostly leftist and they knew how to fight Arabs.
The most important task for the Jewish nation is to reconcile the secular and religious Jews. There is equal amount of mistrust and negative judgment about each other on both sides of the divide. This must end, if we are to survive and win this battle.
There must be a place for both secular and religious.
The secular must respect the religious rules in the religious neighborhoods: (Don't march gay parades through a Orthodox neighborhood, respect the religious preferences regarding women annd men not sitting together on the bus while in religious community, etc., At the same time, the religious people must abstain from imposing their religious rules on the rest of the population against their rules.)
There must be space for everyone, and then we can stand together and liberate Israel from the Arab occupation.The above is a comment that I came across at Ted Belman's Israpundit magazine. It is rare that I focus on a stand-alone comment beneath an article without placing it within the context of that article, but I am struck by Viiit's words and want to comment upon them by themselves.
Israeli leftists have lost their compass.I cannot speak about Israeli leftists, but I can speak about the American Jewish left and I certainly concur that it has lost its compass; its moral compass, its strategic and tactical compass, and its ideological compass. I have written about this fairly extensively in my Failures of Progressive-Left Zionism series.
They knew how to fight Arabs.What strikes me about this sentence is how upfront it is about the conflict. Whomever Viiit is, he or she is very honest. She is unapologetic in the fact that because the great hostile majority Arab population was hell-bent on preventing Jewish sovereignty, and more than willing to use violence against the native Jewish population, that the early Jewish "pioneers" knew how to defend themselves, i.e., "fight Arabs."
The most important task for the Jewish nation is to reconcile the secular and religious Jews.This is vital and Viiit could not be more correct. I am not particularly religious, but I am a part of the Jewish nation. Just as secular Jews would very much appreciate the respect of religious Jews, so religious Jews would very much appreciate the respect of the non-religious. In the United States there is a general comity between religious and non-religious Jews. No one is imposing upon anyone else, but in Israel this is not necessarily the case. Although I am always reluctant to tell Israelis how to behave, I can say with all sincerity that the great majority of diaspora Jews hope to see a greater degree of friendship, cooperation, and compromise between secular Jewish Israelis and religious Jewish Israelis.
I will leave it at that.
There must be space for everyone, and then we can stand together and liberate Israel from the Arab occupation.The Arab occupation.
Most of us in the diaspora Jewish left grew up being told that the Israelis were holding "the indigenous Palestinian people" under a brutal military occupation.
This is a lie. It is, in fact, the Big Lie.
The truth of the matter is that the Arabs conquered the Middle East after Muhammed's armies raided those lands in the 7th century. From that time, until the freedom of the Jewish people of the Middle East from the system of servitude and submission known as dhimmitude - a condition, by the way, that Middle Eastern Christians, with the sole exception of Israeli Christians, have yet to free themselves from - the Jews lived under Islamic imperial dominance. You can put lipstick on the pig by suggesting that Jewish submission for thirteen centuries under Islam was not so bad, but it was still thirteen centuries of Jewish submission under Islam. In some places and times it was better and in some places and times it was worse, even horrendous, but it was always submission to hostile foreign occupiers.
And that's why Viiit's casual usage of "Arab occupation" is so striking and so correct.
It is not the Arabs who are under occupation in the Middle East, but the tiny Jewish minority that has walled itself into Fortress Israel, that is under siege. And despite the fact that the harassed Jewish minority in the Middle East offers its own Arab minority more civil liberties and human justice than their cousins get anywhere else in that part of the world, the Jews are still under constant harassment, threats of violence, and perpetual scolding by clueless and vaguely hostile western school-marms like Barack Obama and John Kerry.
The bottom line is this, though.
We must change the paradigm within which we think about the conflict.
We need more Viiit and less Michael Lerner.