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October 27, 1995 - Image 130

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-10-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

WE ARE GROWING!

AMER101111 EYE 111ITITUTE

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I

hile the right now dom-
inates Israeli streets,
the left continues to
dominate the intellec-
tual scene in this country. Such
is the case in the literary world
and the theater, the media and
the universities. But nowhere is
it so true as in the half-dozen es-
tablished think tanks, which
have long been controlled by the
left.
Now, with the establishment
of the Shalem Center, Israeli con-
servatives have their own think
tank, roughly modeled on the
Heritage Foundation in Wash-
ington, D.C. The similarity be-
tween the two stems from the fact
that the young man who found-
ed and heads the Shalem Center,
Dr. Yoram Hazony, learned his
conservatism in the United
States and the chairman of the
center's board, former American
Ambassador to Austria Ronald
S. Lauder, also backs the Her-
itage Foundation.
Dr. Hazony only decided to live
in Israel as a result of spending
a year in this country between
high school and university, when
he resided in the Territories with
his uncle at Elon Moreh.
"My American friends," he re-
calls, "lacked purpose or a sense
of direction, and I couldn't help
comparing them with my cousins
here, who were growing up with
something they believed in, some-
thing they were willing to sacri-
fice for. I decided there and then
that I wanted my own children
to be like those in Elon Moreh."
While at Princeton, Dr. Ha-
zony was an active participant in
ideological warfare. For example,
when he found that he couldn't
change the politically correct at-
titudes of the student paper, he,
his future wife and another
young Jew (now in Israel as well)
founded The Princeton Tory.
After moving to Israel in 1986,
he worked at the Jerusalem Post,
whose then Editorials Editor,
David Bar-Ilan, suggested to
Benjamin Netanyahu that he use
Dr. Hazony to help him with a
book. The Likud leader accepted
the idea and since that time he
and Dr. Hazony have remained
in close contact.
This is not to say that the 30-
odd papers published by the
Shalem Institute on issues like
economic growth, housing policy,
health care, water development
and foreign affairs will guide
__Likud thinking. But. as Dr. Ha-

zony sees it, a cohesive body of
conservative thought — like that
of Edmund Burke — is of utmost
importance if the Likud is to
transform Israeli society.
"It is simply not sufficient," he
argues, "to declare oneself 'hawk-
ish' on territorial issues in order
to lead a nation; no opinion as to
the country's proper borders can
be a substitute for a vision of Is-
raeli society.
"The public seeks a larger
truth, a plan of what should be
done to build a good society, or
even a great one," he adds.
As Dr. Hazony sees it, the larg-
er truth that once guided the Is-
raeli left has long since been

Leaders on the left
only want moral
truth when it can
discredit the state.

— Dr. Yoram Hazony

—/

rejected by the grandchildren of
those who built the kibbutzim,
the Palmach, the Labor Federa-
tion and the State itself. "Those
grandchildren," he declares, "are
spoiled, selfish and all too ready
to seek easy peace abroad and
easy love at home.
"They are concerned with
moral truth only when it can be
used to discredit the State, and
are openly hostile towards na-
tional duties and their religious
heritage. In fact, they are not only
post-Marxist, but also post-Zion-
ist."
To combat what he regards as
their pernicious influence, Dr. C\
Hazony, through the Shalem In-
stitute, hopes "to elaborate a se-
rious ideological alternative and
a plan of action which will win
over the majority of Israelis, men
and women who are clearly ill at
ease with the direction that the
nation has taken." ❑

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