When the modern State of Israel was created, our founding fathers, the original Zionists, understood that survival and land were linked. Fighting for land meant surviving as Jews. For the vast majority of these founding Zionists, religion played no role in their struggle. The struggle for the land was their religion: lose land, die; keep land, live. It was that simple. They fought with commitment not because they had G-d but because they had land—tangible and real in the palm of their hand. The land gave them their purpose in life. Religion didn’t seem necessary.
The problem is, the Jewish soul craves something greater than the tangible. Since time immemorial, the Jewish soul has looked for meaning beyond the dirt that filters through its body's fingers. Land has only so much meaning; dirt becomes invisible when you discover the night sky. Today, land has meaning only to the religious Jew and the Arab. Like all modern societies, we no longer live on land. Our world is tarmac and concrete, TV and internet. But Israel is not like other lands. Israel is different: as land fades from our consciousness it becomes ever more tangible to people of faith. Listen to people of faith and you learn what the secular Jew doesn’t understand: the key to Israel is the land and the key to the land is religion. Christians know this. Muslims know it. Religious Jews know it. Rav Tzvi Yehudah Kook, ZT"L in "Torat Eretz Yisrael" shows that Torah and the Land are inseparable. The secular Leftist Jew, the "post-Zionist" descendant of the founders of the state, unfortunately has no clue about this as Zionism without the religion to support it, has devolved into the current self-loathing post-Zionist state. So while these post-Zionist, non-religious, and clueless Jews control the government and try to chart a course in a sea of hostility, people of faith announce that the land is holy. The Arab, in particular, understands the land because he knows intuitively that if he breaks the mystical bond between the Jew and the land, the land will be his.
In this endeavor, the Leftists of Israel are the Arab’s best friend. The Left has no connection to religion and no interest in land. If the Arab wants land, let him have it. The land gives us a tranquil life; why deny the Arab his tranquillity? The Left says democracy and the Arab are important; land and religion are meaningless. The Arab (and the religious Jew) knows otherwise.
And yet the Left, while clueless, still has a modicum of faith. Like all mankind, the Left sees the night sky and is enthralled by it. To borrow from Ophir Haivry (‘On Zion: a reality that fashion imagination’, The Jewish State and Political Theory, edited by David Hazony et al, Shalem Press, Jerusalem,2007, pp 76ff), if the Left has freed itself from the moorings of Judaism, it is nonetheless infused with the magic of ‘destiny’. The Left envisions a world where the wolf dwells with the lamb and where Israel, finally extracted from its (abhorrent) Judaic past creates (with the Arab) a new, ennobling culture. Every messianic movement, Haivry suggests, seeks to cancel previously accepted identities on the grounds that the world has been transformed, making unnecessary former modes of behaviour and identity (ibid, p.77). This is precisely what lies beneath the surface of every Leftist attack against Jews, Jewish behaviour and Judaism. Jewishness is outmoded. Judaism keeps us from our destiny.
How curious. This is a mirror image but the exact opposite of what the religious Jew believes. It reminds one of John Milton’s Christian Paradise Lost, where the rebellious Satan is thrown out of Heaven; he lands in Hell and creates for himself a kind of reverse mirror-image of the very Heaven he had rebelled against. It’s the same with Israel’s Left. They rebel against religion and all religious requirements for our future—and then promote their own vision that requires a messianic rejection of religion. In this vision, there is no land. There is no religion. There is no G-d. There is no holy covenant. Instead, once old identities (especially our Jewishness) have been abandoned, we will be able to create—as Shimon Peres wrote in 1993 (ibid, 78)—an ‘ultranational personal identity’. In that messianic era, man’s personal consciousness and identity will be transformed and we will be freed from religion and identification with land. Our future will be ‘new’, our troubles over.
Modern Israel’s Zionist founders believed in land. That was their faith. But that faith is gone with the post-Zionist Leftists. The Left has since taught us that "faith" or Zionism without G-d disappears. Muslims know this. Christians know it. Religious Jews know it. Only the secular Left are clueless. So the next time you hear Leftists declaim in public, think about the future they envision. They say, ‘choose our messianic era’. It’s newer. It’s quicker. It’s easier. Forget Jewishness. Give land. Discard religion. Follow us and you’ll get a new identity. The wolf will lie down with the lamb. Who cares if the wolf is salivating? When you lay with our friend the salivating wolf you will be transformed.
Collective national suicide, anyone?