Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Jim Shipley
Shipley speaks 

Left, right and center


Prior to the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, public opinion on a Jewish Homeland was divided—even among Jews. Some, especially in the United States felt that we shouldn’t make a fuss. After all, wasn’t life here pretty good?

Well, yeah, it was—compared to from where most of the immigrants came. But we were a People without a country. A People, not just a religion. We had mutual DNA with many others of our flock. We had a language, not much used, but we had one.

The stirrings of nationalism had begun with Herzl, but it was Adolf Hitler who showed the Jews and most of the world that, yes, the Jews needed a homeland.

Fortunately for us, we had one. One we had been away from for two millennia, but the Jewish people were, although leaving the land that long ago, the last indigenous people to rule that little strip of sand in the Middle East. It was the Romans then the Caliphate of Turks from Constantinople (now Istanbul – but that’s nobody’s business but the Turks) then mandated to the British.

As WWII ended and the horrible truth of the Holocaust became known, the sympathy for a Jewish homeland grew. By 1947 when the U.N. voted for what became known as Partition Plan for Palestine, most of the world’s citizenry, left right and center was in full favor of the Jews finally getting their land back. Well, some of it anyway.

At that point, it seemed the tiny State of Israel became the darling of the Left in the U.S. The Jews were A) underdogs, the ones under threat and B) most of the Jews in the U.S. were democrats and almost totally pro-Israel.

Israel, the underdog, the place to which the Holocaust survivors could go and call it home. Israel, poor and struggling against insurmountable odds. Jews from around the world poured money in to the hardscrabble people settling there. Jews who became farmers. Jews who built a strong army to defend Jews.

But against all odds, Israel flourished. Despite the fact that the entire Arab world refused to accept the facts on the ground, there was Israel, gaining strength—winning Nobel prizes, becoming a technology powerhouse.

The Palestinians began a belated rush to say that the land was “theirs.” Okay, since there was a dispute, the United Nations stepped in with a “solution”—take a little more than one percent of the Middle East and partition it between Jews, who had a historical claim to the land and Arabs, calling themselves “Palestinians.”

As we all know too well, the Jews took the deal, the Arabs did not and went to war. We won. We won the next one and the next one.

Oh—so now little Israel is not the poor, downtrodden home of the homeless Jews. It is the twelfth largest GDP in the world with a bit more than one percent of the people. Nobel prizes by the dozens, an army that is dedicated to “Never Again”? Such Chutspah!

So now the “Left” sees this little nation of just over seven million people as “occupiers”? Israel will not make peace with the Palestinians? Why? Just because the only governmental body with which any arrangement could be achieved is dedicated to the elimination of the State?

But look at the life of those Arabs. Are they not living a life with few of the amenities of the Israelis? True. Almost seven decades after those Arabs fled the land they still live in “refugee camps”—all of which are located in Arab lands. Arabs with over 99 percent of the land mass of the Middle East under their control have no use for this part of their people other than as pawns against the Jews.

No, says J Street and the bleeding hearts on campuses around the country, it is the responsibility of Israel to make their lot better. To stop being “occupiers” in their own land.

So now, the “Right” becomes the protectors and the champions for Israel. How did that happen? Well, the Right in America is dedicated to the military-industrial complex. They love militancy. They are upset about ISIS and all those other bad guys. They love that Israel stands up to the lunacy of a nuclear deal with Iran. The Right has the evangelicals who wait for the rapture when if we don’t convert we will disappear in the fire.

Those of us in the middle? We know that a young country in a bad neighborhood is going to make some mistakes. We know, being Jews ourselves that politics in Israel are going to be messy—it’s in our genes. But, we also know, based on history, when somebody says they are going to destroy the Jewish people it is not idle chatter.

It is a fact proven by history. The same history read by Left, Right and Center.


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