By Simon Fischler
Many people believe Zionism is a 19th century European creation. In reality Zionism has existed since the destruction of the Second Temple.
Since the mass expulsion of the Jewish nation at the hands of the Romans, we have been praying for our return to Jerusalem and Israel.
That yearning has brought Jews back to their native land on several occasions throughout history. These returning Jews integrated with Jews who were able to remain in the land of Israel.
This yearning and praying for our return to the land of our ancestors is one major factor that kept us as a nation, together and alive.
Jews throughout the world sit down to the first seder of Passover, at the end of the feast commemorating the first trek of the Jews to the “land of milk and honey,” we will finish by echoing that ancient longing: “Next year in Jerusalem.”
Zionism as the world knows it today is derived from roots that have always tied the children of Israel to their land.
The most intrinsic part of modern Zionism is that it is a nationalistic movement based on creation.
The movement wasn’t just about creating the nation we know as Israel today; it was also about improving the land, replanting forests, building reservoirs, and making that land bloom.
What many people do not know is that Zionism, even the modern form of it, was around before there was Palestinian Arab nationalism. Modern Zionism was also around before generic Arab Nationalism.
Palestinian Arab nationalism came into being after Zionism had gained many important goals in the land of Israel. Unfortunately (for all of us in the Middle East), Arab nationalism not only was created in response to Zionism, but it has been a nationalistic movement bent solely on the destruction of Israel instead of creation.
This is as relevant today as it was one hundred years ago.
The Zionists and their pre-state government, the Yishuv, lived along the lines of compromise, whereas Palestinian Arab nationalists lived along the lines of complete destruction of any Jewish hope for self-determination.
For instance, it was the Yishuv that agreed to the UN partition of Palestine Mandate into two states: one for the Jews and one for the Arabs. It was Palestinian Arab nationalists who rejected the U.N partition and promised the destruction of any Jewish State.
Today we see much of the same dialogue that we saw back at the birth of Israel more than six decades ago. The only difference is that Israel exists today, and Palestine does not.
Israel, likes the Yishuv is actively attempting to create a Palestinian State. That is right; read it loud and clear: ISRAEL IS attempting to create Palestine; while the Palestinians are still trying to rob the Jewish Nation of its political freedom.
This is why anti-Israel behavior is anti-Semitic. No other country in the world or in history has tried harder to create freedom, self-determination and a country for its enemy.
It is almost as if Israelis want a Palestinian state more than the Palestinians do!
At the opposite end the Palestinians -- and Arabs in general -- have continually fought to destroy the state of Israel.
Today it is as if Israel under Prime Minister Ehud Barak did not offer the Palestinians a state on almost all of the West Bank, all of Gaza and East Jerusalem. This unbelievable offer was rejected by the Palestinian leadership.
When will the world demand the Palestinians take responsibility for their actions?
Why does the Obama Administration play games and waste time with fruitless almost-negotiations? Will they finally demand that the Palestinians relinquish the Right of Return? If not, then there truly is no point in talking.
If there is to be peace between Israel and her neighbors, Obama’s administration, needs to demand of the Arabs what no administration has ever done. It must demand that they own up to their end of the bargain and play ball fairly with Israel.
The American administration must make it clear to the Arabs that they need to show Israelis that it is worthwhile for them to agree to peace and two states.
It can no longer be about Israel just making gestures of good faith to the Palestinians. It is high time for the Palestinians to make gestures of good faith in return. Like recognizing Israel as the Jewish State.
If not, then the Obama administration is just trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes again. Let’s tear off this blindfold and expose the truth: Arabs do not want Israel to exist.