Courtesy Reuters

Zionist Ideology and the Reality of Israel

The purpose of this article is to review the situation of Israel from a Zionist point of view, at this most critical moment - in the real sense of the word "crisis," which, in medical terms, may lead either to full recovery or to a tragic end. I am now 83 years old and, having made my first Zionist speech at the age of 13, I can look back on a Zionist career of 70 years. I asked myself whether my views at this particular time should not rather be published in a Jewish paper. But the fact is that the issue of Israel and Zionism has been and continues to be much more than a purely Jewish problem: it is a front-page international one, in which the United States has been getting more and more intensely involved, both directly and through the United Nations.

The creation of the State of Israel was an international act, based on a U.N. decision, and since then both the General Assembly and the Security Council have had many times to deal with the Arab-Israeli conflict. There is no other example of a state of three million inhabitants that so much occupies public opinion, provoking deep emotional reactions, both positive and negative. This is just another indication of the uniqueness of the Jewish problem.

Jewish history and the character of the Jewish people are unique and represent, both in their totality and in many partial aspects - as for instance the Soviet-Jewish problem - a unique phenomenon. Without taking this uniqueness into account - and "unique" does not include any qualitative connotation but only that it is exceptional - it is impossible to understand the history of the Jewish people, which is a combination of religion, nationalism and race. This history always moved between two poles, the center in its state and the Diaspora around it, and defies most of the rules normally dominating the history of peoples. The present State of Israel is the third "commonwealth"

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