The dream of Zionism no longer exists. Israel’s Left says so. Their reasoning is simple: as soon as modern Israel was born, Zionism fulfilled its dream. It was no longer something imagined. The dream had become reality. We now need a new dream. We must move beyond Zionism.
It’s a good argument, except for one thing: it’s fake. To say that the moment Israel was born, the idea of Zionism ended is like saying the moment you get married, the idea of marriage ends. Maybe that’s how marriage works for Leftists. That could explain their view of Zionism. But for the rest of us, the idea of marriage only begins the moment you get married—and the idea of Zionism only began in earnest the moment Israel was created.
In truth, not only does Zionism still exist, it is a dream not yet realized. Consider our national song, “Hatikva”. It is as pure a statement of the dream of Zion as you’ll find. In that song, we sing, ‘to be a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem’. But we are not a ‘free’ people. Freedom means many things, of course, but it seems always to include the ability to live in peace without fear of being attacked. To test this definition, ask anyone who lives in a neighbourhood where they fear being killed should they leave their homes. Ask a woman living alone surrounded by thugs who taunt and attack her: is she free? More important, does she feel free—or does she feel imprisoned, trapped in her house?
She is not free.
Israel is that woman.
Israel’s Left tells you that the moment Israel was created, our Jewish dream ended; but the truth is, the moment Israel was created, that dream stalled because the Arab nations surrounding her attacked. Their war to annihilate Israel has never ended. We are trapped in our house.
“Hatikva” declares that we will be a free people in our land. That includes Judea-Samaria. According to legal agreements signed at San Remo and the League of Nations-- agreements which are still binding by law—Judea-Samaria is our land. But we are not free in our land. The United Nations, the European Union and now the United States lead the Arab charge against Israel to strip our land away from us. Literally every week, sometimes every day, someone in the world declares that this is notour land. Indeed, they affirm that we must give our land away.
We sing about our land in “Hatikva”. But a Leftist Civil Administration and a Leftist High Court not only deny Jews from living freely in our land, they make those determinations without asking for evidence.
The Left rejects Zionism. They seek a divorce almost immediately after the wedding, rejecting all marriage commitments. They wish to move beyond marriage.
“Hatikva” celebrates ‘the land of Zion and Jerusalem’ as the apex of the Zionist dream. Sixty-four years after Israel announced its independence, we are told that Zionism is oppression and Jerusalem doesn’t belong to us. We declare Jerusalem as our nation’s capital and nearly every nation in the world tells us, ‘no, it isn’t!’ We declare that Zion is our joy and the world declares that Zion is racist; Zionists, the Leftists demand, must be destroyed for world peace to occur.
The Left is wrong. The dream of Zion isn’t over. The dream hasn’t fully come to life. Instead of living freely, Zion chokes on the venom of world-wide anti-Zionism. It gags on Jewish self-hate. “Hatikva” is our hope, our aspiration to be free. But for one million of us, that freedom lasts only fifteen seconds before a rocket explodes on our sovereign land. In mid-June 2012, 130-160 rockets were fired into Israel; since 2005, we have been hit another 12,000 times.
Where is our freedom when we must sprint to bomb shelters? How can we move beyond something that hasn’t fully taken root? Yes, we sing of Jerusalem. But when has Jerusalem been ours to build as we please?
The dream of Zion hasn’t ended. It is still in front of us, waiting.
“Hatikva” is our theme song. It tells us who we are. The Left tells us who we shouldn’t be, what we can’t do and where we cannot live. They mislead us. They insist Zionism is dead. But we know better. We will not seek marriage advice from people who reject marriage and we will not seek our Zionism from people who reject Zion.
Israel is not free. The Left sees to that. They hate our freedom and our land.
But we reject that hate. “Hatikva” is our anthem: we yearn to be free-- in our land. That’s our goal.
It is the goal we must never forget. It is the goal the Left never understood.