By Rafael V. Rabinovich, From Israel National News, November 26, 2003.
Supporting Israel in the international scene is not a mere whim.
The prophet Isaiah (42:6) calls Israel a "light unto the nations," and this is in truth the role appointed to the Jewish people. Indeed, since its birth as a people in ancient times, and during twenty centuries of exile, the Jewish people have continuously been the luminary of humankind. From the Jewish sages of Alexandria who wrote the Septuagint, thus permitting the gentile world access to the Book of the Books in Greek tongue, to the Nobel prize winners, of whom the Jews are present in far larger numbers than other ethnic groups in relation to their numbers in the world's population.
The same prophet teaches us "...for out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (2:3), the light of the nations, therefore, should emanate from the land of Israel. It is the Divine Will that the people of Israel return to their ancient land, so that from there they would be able to fulfill their role and responsibility to humankind: "The nations shall walk to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy raising." (60:3)
Almost a century ago the illustrious Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak haKohen Kook wrote in his master work Orot (Luminaries), that the modern Zionist movement, although having the aspect of mere secular nationalism, is in reality the fulfillment of Divine Will expressed by the prophets of Israel more than two millennia ago.
To support Israel, in principle and in action, signifies for the nations of the world their contribution to the above-mentioned goal. The welfare of Israel and the welfare of the nations of the world are intimately related one with another. "...Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee." - Numbers 24:9
Though the job of being a luminary unto the nations is the responsibility of Israel, allowing this and bringing aid toward the realization of this function would be a great merit for the remainder of the world. The opposite is also true, to oppose it and to present Israel with obstacles is morally incorrect for the world, and has already happened too many times in history. The result of the enmity against Israel - the people and the country - has always been the chaos and misfortune of the nations.
The world, nevertheless, still does not seem to have learned this lesson. Israel's right to exist, to the sovereignty of its territory, and the status of its capital city Jerusalem are still questioned. In the General Assembly of the United Nations Israel is condemned for exercising her right to defend herself. Even Zionism - the ideology that defines Israel as a sovereign nation - is compared to the disgrace of racism. Throughout the world, the voice of Israel's enemies is continuously calling for her destruction - to be replaced by an Arab country. The enemies of Israel are glorified; they are granted legitimacy, they are granted diplomatic immunity and permitted to open embassies - despite the fact that the do not represent any actual country - from which to collect funds, hire mercenaries for terror, and spread their message of Judeophobic hatred.
A nation that is a true friend of Israel will not take part in such actions and will fervently oppose them.
These are the objectives of Juntos por Israel. We exhort the nations of the world to support Israel in truth:
* Only three countries consistently support Israel in front of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The nations should begin to vote in favor of Israel, without any fear, instead of abstaining. In particular, nations should fight against the condemnations that the Arab block continuously directs against Israel and her actions of self-defense. This includes voting against proclamations such as the infamous resolution 3379 "Zionism is Racism,"* or those that call upon Israel to "finish the occupation" of the Israeli territories liberated in 1967.
* Seventy-three countries in the world recognize Israel diplomatically, maintaining their embassies there. But only two of them have actually established them in Jerusalem. The hour has arrived to change this. All the countries should transfer their embassies to Jerusalem, thereby recognizing explicitly the legitimacy ad the full sovereignty over Jerusalem, its capital city.
* The PLO and its allied organizations maintain offices, and counts with organisms of support, in many countries. In some places it has even been granted "embassy" status and given full diplomatic immunity. It is time to recognize the PLO for what it really is: a terrorist organization whose true purpose of existence is to eliminate Israel as a country.The nations of the world must apply their own laws against terrorism and shut down the offices of the PLO, and of any similar group that preaches and promotes violence and hatred against Israel and the Jewish people.
* The recognition of Israel as a light unto the nations should be done in a formal and legal way. The governments of the world should recognize the universal bequest of Judaism, the creed of the Seven Universal Laws of the Children of Noah. The legislative powers of each country should incorporate the Seven Universal Laws in their basic body of laws.
Why the nations tumultuously assemble and the countries conspire in vain? - Psalm 2:1
Israel's enemy countries exercise pressure on the world against the above-mentioned objectives. The anti-Israel lobby influences international organizations. It is necessary that the free governments of the world coordinate strategies to defend themselves from manipulation by the enemies of Israel.
3.1 The Issue of the Transference of Embassies
The fear of a negative reaction from the Arab world to transferring the embassies should not dominate the political decisions of governments. If the transference of embassies were carried out as a group, with a block of several countries participating at the same time, this action would minimize the factor of the Arab backlash. No country then would have to confront alone the consequences of becoming a target of diplomatic - and probably economic - attacks from Arab countries and their spheres of influence.
Neither should the nations of the world wait for a final diplomatic accord between the Arabs and Israel. The agreements of the 1990s of Madrid, Oslo and the Wye Plantation, between Israel and the Palestinian Authority / PLO show the fallacy of such a concept. The offering of then US president Clinton, to carry out the transference of all the embassies in Israel to Jerusalem, was destined to fail: The peace accords explicitly avoided the discussion of the status of Jerusalem!
The transference of embassies must be carried out in an independent, proactive, and unconditional way.
3.2 Defamation: Casting Darkness Over the Image and Role of Israel
For, behold! The darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the nations... - Isaiah 60:2
Propaganda coming from Israel's enemy countries uses deceitful means to manipulate public opinion and defame Israel and the Jewish people. The growing pattern of violence and anti-Jewish hatred in the world is directly related to the increment of propaganda activity designed to stain the good name of Israel in the international community.
Since its beginnings Israel has carried out an intense labor for the benefit of humankind. This must be made evident; each nation must honor Israel publicly for the specific contribution Israel has provided to them.
Certainly examples abound. It is difficult to find a country that has not benefited from aid provided by Israel, whether agricultural, technological, medical, or military. Deserts across the entire world have been cultivated; radical subversive groups have been fought successfully; systems of communications and security developed by Israel benefit a great many countries. Israel has responded to numerous natural disasters everywhere with prompt humanitarian aid, proportionally greater to that of any other country.
Moreover, the mission of the Jewish people in the world, both in the Diaspora and in the Land of Israel, is to be a light unto the nations. Jewish tradition and law teaches that the world should accept the message of Israel and move away from idolatry, walk by the light of the teaching and moral guide of the Divine Will, adhering to the pact of Noah, which, Jewish tradition teaches, consists of the Seven Universal Precepts and of the laws derived from these.
It is the responsibility of all humankind to prevent the light of Israel's role from being obscured by the preaching of hatred and manipulation. Along with Anti-Semitism, every form of hatred against human beings simply for been born into a particular race, ethnic group, or nation, must be fought against until its total eradication.
3.3 Defense of Israel in Front of International Organizations
For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness... - Isaiah 62:1
Each year the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization is presented with proposals of condemnation originating from the Arab lobby, a declared enemy of Israel. Very few countries have the courage to stand up and declare openly and without scruples their opposition to such maneuvers. Hiding behind diplomatic formalities, many countries limit themselves to abstaining from voting. The enemy block, yet, does not stop with any formalism and pronounces, vociferous and full of hatred, condemnations intended to de-legitimize Israel's right to exist as a sovereign and dignified nation.
On some occasions these condemnations have been approved by the General Assembly, although in most cases this does not happen thanks only to American veto power. An ancient nation that has recovered her national and territorial sovereignty but half a century ago, after surviving two millennia of persecutions and humiliation, maintains its legal legitimacy hanging by a thread.
It is the obligation of the nations the to put an end to this infamy! The hour has arrived for the nations to pronounce themselves openly in favor of Israel. Those that insist in de-legitimizing Israel are in reality the ones who use illegitimate methods, mythologies and defamatory publicity to perpetrate their attacks. It is they, and not Israel, who deserve the condemnation of the world.
3.4 The Myth of the Expatriate Arab Nation and the Issue of the Embassies of Terror
...But ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem. - Nehemiah 2:20
Never has there been an independent Arabian country call "Palestine" or called by any other name, within the borders of what today is Israel. Never has there been an Arab nation consistent of the inhabitants of the land of Israel and exclusive to them. Although some dreamers proposed such thing in the 1920's, the myth of Arab Palestine did not begin to spread among the Arabs until some four decades later. The so-called Palestine Liberation Organization was founded in 1964, when the territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza were under the occupation of two Arab countries, and the so-called Palestine that they intended to liberate was the very state of Israel. The PLO's essence and raison deitre is simply the destruction of Israel through violence.
The PLO is in reality a terrorist organization. We understand for the word "terror" to mean the imposition of a political agenda through means violence and paranoia, supported by illegitimate myths and ideologies. The PLO is a terrorist organization, as defined.
Nevertheless, the world has come gradually to yield to the demands of PLO mythology and propaganda. Even political leaders inside Israel have yielded and granted the PLO and Yassir Arafat, its leader and founder, an undue legitimacy. Using this to its advantage, the PLO has transformed itself in name and appearance, becoming the Palestinian [National] Authority, in order to prepare and unleash a new wave of violence known as the second Intifada.
The world continues to grant their recognition. The PLO / PA is represented by offices, and even embassies, in many countries. Having extensive support and diplomatic immunity, the PLO continues to move toward the development of its final objective: the destruction of Israel by means of the violence and defamation.
Every country should try to prevent such destructive objectives from being carried out. Every concession offered to this terrorist organization must be abrogated. The embassies of the terror must be shut down, and the full weight of the law must be applied against those who support terrorism. Legislation against terrorism already exists in most countries; all that is needed is for it to be applied.
3.5 The Imposition of Absurdity
By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. - Hosea 4:2
The Arabs define the collective of their countries as "the Arab national homeland," and themselves as "the Arabian nation." The predominant political ideologies in Moslem countries, in general, and of the Arabs in particular, define the Arabs and/or Moslem as the ummah or great nation. It is thus an obvious contradiction that those that preach the unit of their peoples and countries as one Arab nation, at the same time make an exception by demarking the existence of a separate and distinct Palestinian Arab nation.
The Kurds, for example, are expected to integrate into the countries that occupy their territory: the Kurds of Iraq should be Iraqis; those of Iran should be Iranians; those of Syria, Syrians; and those from Turkey, Turks. In the meantime, regarding the Palestinians, even a second and third generation born in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq or wherever it may be, continues to be distinguished as Palestinian. There never was such a thing as an independent Arab country called Palestine, nor a country by another name, even approximately defined by the borders of the modern State of Israel. Kurdistan, on the other hand, enjoyed temporary independence in 1945 in its southwestern section, under the name of Kurdish Republic of the Mahbad.
Let us ask two questions: 1) is there any case in the world similar to that of the people of Israel? After two millennia in exile, the Jewish people do not lose neither its identity, nor its language, nor its bonds to its motherland. 2) Is there any case in the world similar to that of the Palestinian Arab refugees, who are artificially maintained with that status for the sole purpose of perpetuating the myth of the displaced Palestinian people?
Simple logic would demand the legitimacy of those that had a country and lost it. With greater historical legitimacy than the case of the Kurds is the right of the exiled people of Israel, the Jewish people. Nevertheless, the spokesmen of defamatory propaganda insist on proclaiming the territorial right of a "nation" whose independent base of existence they themselves implicitly deny, the so-called Palestinian Arab nation. They insist, at the same time, in denying the existential right of the most legitimate nation in the world: that which, in spite of such a long exile, from the very days of the Bible till our days, maintains an indelible bond with its eternal motherland.
Is Israel a servant? Is he a homeborn slave? Why is he spoiled? - Jeremiah 2:14
In 1947 the General Assembly of the United Nations voted for the "partition of Palestine" and the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. At that time the Jewish people had recently been victim of a brutal genocide that knows no parallel in modern history. More than half of the Jewish population of Europe had been annihilated in a cruel and systematic way. The survivors found themselves abandoned, living precariously in displaced person camps. The clamor in the world upon seeing the Jewish people in such conditions awoke the compassion of the peoples, and a majority of the representatives of the countries of the United Nations declared themselves in favor of the Zionist cause. The return of the Jews to the Land of Israel was understood as a mere act of charity for the dispossessed, and not as an innate right of a people to its ancestral, Divinely given land.
Today, manipulative anti-Israel propaganda plays with that image. It speaks of an impoverished and dispossessed people that suffer the serious calamity of having been exiled from its land and lives under the illegitimate occupation of an invader. In other words, they want us to believe that the return of the people of Israel to the Land of Israel was a mere replacement of one victim for another, that it was an error, and that it should be reversed. Such a description could hardly be further away from the truth.
4.1 Israel's True Role
Let there be peace in your walls, serenity in your palaces - Psalms 122:7
Israel does not need to be a pitiful underdog in order to legitimize her existence. Her significance as nation is a much loftier, her role in front the world too much too important for Israel to be reduced to a beggar nation, dependent on the charity and compassion of the nations that pity her. Israel is a sovereign, dignified country, enjoying full right to existence and legitimacy, whose role is that of illuminating humankind by means of example and through the doctrine of good. Nations must fight against the obstacles that today impede Israel from fulfilling her mission: the obstacles of hatred, terrorism, violence, and the imposition of falsehood.
Israel has not usurped alien territory; she has recovered her own land. She has not despoiled the legitimate owners; on the contrary, Israel itself is the legitimate owner of the land and has recovered what had been lost long ago. Israel does not live at the expenses of humankind, but rather, provides it with a more valuable contribution than any other country.
Israel is not a violator of human rights. On the contrary, Israel is the nation that has taught that human beings have been created in the Divine image and resemblance - and that they possess, therefore, innate and inalienable rights.
Even if Israel today must fight a war, this war is and will be a defensive war. Israel's eternal goal is to bring Shalom, true peace, to humankind.
Supporting Israel, therefore, should correspond to her full right as nation. Supporting Israel will be of benefit to humankind. The goal to put an end to hatred and terror presents an aspiration of improvement for all. All the peoples of the earth will benefit from the end of hatred and violence.
The struggle must be a continuous one. Even after the obstacles of today are confronted and resolved, new problems will arise, and the nations of the world should fight continuously to resolve them.
In the middle of the darkness Israel shall be a light unto the nations.
* The text of this resolution may be found at: http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/UN/unga3379.html - The resolution was the result of the Summit of Non-Aligned Countries, which took place in Lima, Peru, a couple of months prior to its approval.