Thursday, January 02, 2014

American Pressure on Israel: What Would Jabotinsky Do?

1885460496In the wake of continued American pressure on Israel, with John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, scheduled to arrive in Israel this week for his 10th visit in 10 months, Israel debates what comes next.  Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled a decision to announce this week that it is promoting building plans for 1,400 settlement apartments, and he has already released over 100 Palestinian Arab terrorists from Israeli prisons. Netanyahu faces intense American pressure to sacrifice and negotiate, endangering Israel, and his political future.

Undoubtedly, Netanyahu is strategizing and thinking and wondering what the best course of action for his people is.  Perhaps the answer comes from history.  His father, Benzion Netanyahu, was Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s secretary, and ideological heir. The elder Netanyahu was a lifelong follower of Jabotinsky – who had plenty of modern answers for today’s problems.

Amidst criticism that Israel faces world pressure, and should sacrifice to comply with “world leaders,” Jabotinsky wrote a clear answer in The Story of The Jewish Legion:
“Everybody is wrong and you alone are right?” No doubt this question springs by itself to the reader’s lips and mind. It is customary to answer this with apologetic phrases to the effect that I fully respect public opinion, that I bow to it, that I was glad to make concessions….All this is unnecessary, and all this is untrue. You cannot believe in anything in the world, if you admit even once that perhaps your opponents are right, and not you. This is not the way to do things. There is but one truth in the world, and it is all yours. If you are not sure of it, stay at home; but if you are sure, don’t look back, and it will be your way.
For one who raises falsehoods about so-called “international law,” Ze’ev Jabotinsky declared that settlement of the “land” is the only “law.” As he said: “There is no justice, no law, and no God in heaven, only a single law which decides and supersedes all — [Jewish] settlement [of the land].”  On Zionism and “justice”?: Jabotinsky said: “We hold that Zionism is moral and just. And since it is moral and just, justice must be done, no matter whether Joseph or Simon or Ivan or Achmed agree with it or not.”

On talks of conceding in the Jordan or elsewhere: “Do not say, so what if we concede Hebron, Nablus and beyond the Jordan — this concession is not comprised of words devoid of meaning, and everyone will understand this to be the case. Do not underestimate the power of a concession! … Do not underestimate the power of a right, and don’t exaggerate the value of a building that is being built. I, too, respect the construction of a building, but woe upon us if we extract the basis of our right to exist from it. … The Christian hand may not touch our rights — which are eternal and are complete, and shall not be relinquished.”
Jabotinsky concluded in one of his essays:
We cannot promise any reward either to the Arabs of Palestine or to the Arabs outside Palestine. A voluntary agreement is unattainable. And so those who regard an accord with the Arabs as an indispensable condition of Zionism must admit to themselves today that this condition cannot be attained and hence that we must give up Zionism. We must either suspend our settlement efforts or continue them without paying attention to the mood of the natives. Settlement can thus develop under the protection of a force that is not dependent on the local population, behind an iron wall which they will be powerless to break down.
Thus, in a nutshell there must be an iron wall of Jewish military force. That force is called The State of Israel.  There is an insane obsession about pressing Israel to compromise – and break down the State of Israel piece by piece, which will not result in “peace.”  Leave Israel alone and let them live.

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