Thursday, July 19, 2007

Revolutionary Zionism

Zionism is the national liberation movement of the ancient Jewish people. Since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, the Jewish nation has incessantly struggled for liberation and redemption on our native soil. According to ancient legend, the Messiah was born on the day the Temple was destroyed – the Messiah being the figure that redeems Israel from the exile to our land, restores us to sovereignty over our borders and rebuilds the Temple in our capital city, Jerusalem. The very moment that the Temple was razed, the national struggle for redemption was born. While this deep yearning for freedom has raged for thousands of years in Israel’s national soul, it was only given concrete expression with the activist wing of the Zionist movement. Zionism – the national, practical inclination towards liberation and redemption – is the external manifestation of Israel’s ancient spiritual yearnings, while the latter is the light and soul of the former.

The Zionist Freedom Alliance respects the values and contributions of the major Zionist streams of the past. Revisionist, Socialist and Religious Zionism have all played vital roles in the Zionist Revolution (sometimes consciously but often subconsciously). ZFA adheres to the vision of Revolutionary Zionism, a vision we see as both transcending and including modern thinkers, ideologies and Zionist sub-sects. The Zionist Revolution aims to realize five goals:

  1. The liberation of the Land of Israel from foreign rule so that the Jewish nation can attain sovereignty over our borders and self determination in the whole of our ancestral homeland.
  2. The revival of the Hebrew language as an everyday vernacular to be used in every field and area of society.
  3. The ingathering of Israel’s exiles – essentially the mass relocation of the scattered Jewish people back to one central location – the Land of Israel.
  4. The rebuilding of Israel’s Temple in Jerusalem to signify full Jewish liberation and redemption. Because Israel’s drive for liberation began with the destruction of our Temple by the Romans, the Jewish people can never achieve full independence without its rebuilding over Jerusalem.
  5. The establishment of a utopian society based on Jewish ethics and prophetic justice. Such a society will ensure that all are treated fairly and that no person within the society remains hungry or unemployed. This virtuous society will set an example of morality to the entire world and lead all of mankind towards a better collective future.

While not every Zionist leader or thinker – now or in the past – has been cognitively aware of these five aims, the goals remain the underlying objective of the Zionist Revolution and the spiritual force thrusting the Jewish nation forward. History is often greater than the individual characters participating within and Zionism’s ultimate aim cannot be dependent on the numerous ideologies of its various performers.

ZFA activists view ourselves as participants in history. We accept that we are both fully responsible and entirely capable of driving the Zionist Revolution forward. We esteem all revolutionary Zionists who continue to struggle towards these noble objectives and encourage the other Zionist movements to join in our campaign.

Does Israel lack Freedom?

Are the Jewish people free? Is the State of Israel truly independent? On the surface one might think so. In 1948, Jewish militants succeeded in liberating our country from British rule. A Jewish state was declared and we fought tooth and nail to defend our land from the seven Arab armies who attacked us as the British departed (many British soldiers lagged behind to help Trans-Jordan and Egypt against the Jews). But let’s look at the following:

- Israel has not stopped fighting for our freedom. The War of Independence is still waging as nearly the entire region surrounding the State of Israel are overtly determined to erase it. Every war over the last 59 years has been a battle in the larger war for Israel’s independence.

- After 59 years of statehood, Israel still does not enjoy internationally recognized borders. Not one nation recognizes Israel’s right to the entire territory between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River (1/4 of the land allocated by the League of Nations to be a Jewish homeland).

- In the early 1990s, when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir stood strong against international pressure to shrink Israel’s borders, United States President George H.W. Bush and his Secretary of State James Baker III interfered in the Israeli political system to remove Shamir from office and replace him with someone more pliable to Western interests. Since then, every Israeli leader has seen himself as a vassal ruler for foreign powers rather than as the leader of an independent country.

- Many Israelis view their country’s survival as being economically, diplomatically, and militarily dependent on foreign powers.

- Not one nation recognizes Israel’s right to Jerusalem as her capital city. Not one foreign embassy stands in Jerusalem today.

- Israeli leaders frequently justify unpopular and dangerous policies to the public by stating that Israel must acquiesce to the demands of the international community.

The truth is that whatever small degree of sovereignty Israel still exercises is most often used to placate the outside world. The State of Israel has potential independence – a government, army, recognized statehood (without recognized borders) but the Jews lack true freedom so long as we behave like a banana republic while at the same time being in a position of existential danger. The combination is just no good. Welcome to the blog.