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August 08, 2003 - Image 30

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-08-08

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Privy To The Obvious


ome of us had the good for-
tune recently to listen to a
highly placed, intelligent, hon-
est, patriotic Israel political fig-
ure analyzing the current situation.
The interview made painful sense.
Addressing the national executive
board of the Zionist Organization of
America, Effie Eitan, member of the
Knesset and head of the National
Religious Party within the Sharon gov-
ernment, spoke of how, over the cen-
turies, Zionists — some religious,
some secular — had dedicated their
lives to the re-establishment of a
Jewish state: a state for the Jewish peo-
ple; a state to replace the one that had
existed prior to the defeat of the Jews
by the Romans in 70 C.E. and 135
The new state was to finally correct
the forced removal of the Jews from
their God-given land. Zionists wished
to end the 2,000 years of exile that
had resulted in thousands, then mil-
lions, of atrocities, pogroms, deaths
and finally Hitler's Holocaust, ably
assisted by his many European "willing
The Israeli politician spoke of the
original Zionist goals. The Jewish

Jerome S. Kaufman is a Bloomfield

Hills resident and national secretary of
the Zionist Organization of America.

homeland was to be a place where
Jews were safe from the wanton
killings that occurred only because of
their Jewish identity. It was their hope
that once again having a state would
gain Jews legitimacy in the world. It
was perhaps naively rationalized that
the Jews were hated because they had
become a stateless, vagabond people
with no international standing.
A state would be created where Jews
were the recognized majority and thus
the natural problems that occur with
minority status would automatically
Then, there were the dedicated
Zionists that took their religion seri-
ously and had another caveat in mind.
They aspired to the reborn land being
a Jewish state wherein the Jewish reli-
gion, in all its tradition, would be
respected, acknowledged and diligent-
ly practiced by the far greater portion
of the population. It would be the
Jewish state that God had ordained
and in which his commandments were
to be fulfilled.
Eitan accurately pointed out that
none of the above has come to pass.
Even taking on all the trappings of a
secular, democratic state has not
helped. The hatred of the Jew, some-
how euphemistically designated as
anti-Semitism, continues.
Further complicating the tragedy, in

the eyes of Eitan, was the fact
ultimate defeat of the Jewish
that Israeli leaders refused to
state and the subjugation and
acknowledge these basic failings
dispersal once again of the
and completely ignored any
Jewish people. Israel's vaunted
attempt to redirect national
military power will have noth-
goals accordingly. Rather, they
ing whatever to do with the
took the path of least resistance
final outcome. It will have no
— weakly applying Band-Aids
bearing whatever if there is a
responding to mindless public
lack of genuine will of the
opinion polls.
KAU FMAN people to survive as a Jewish
As to the current state of
Com munity
affairs, Eitan was honest
Unfortunately, it is the
Vi ews -
enough to blame his own peo-
Arabs that have replaced the
ple for the latest road map
Zionists of Israel. The Arabs,
proposed for Middle East peace — an
through their new identification as
even more destructive continuation of
"Palestinians" have become the people
the Oslo process.
most dedicated to obtaining the land
He dispelled as false the notion that
and their previous domination of the
it was genuine pressure from the Bush
area. They have become the zealots.
administration that put Israel on this
Israel's so-called zealots — the settlers,
path. Rather, he blamed Israel's pres-
who have had the courage to try and
ent circumstances on the weakness of
hold the line against the Arab invasion
the leadership of Prime Minister Ariel
— have been maligned and weakened
Sharon, the weakness of the many
by their own people.
leaders of both parties that preceded
Under these circumstances, there is
him and the overall lack of national
little doubt that it will be Arab
resolve in a large percentage of the
zealotry that prevails. It will be
Israeli public.
Palestine, and not Israel, that will
What was his sad conclusion? As a
extend from the Jordan River to the
former Israeli general, his lifelong
Mediterranean Sea. It will be the Jews
experience has been that poor leader-
that pathetically bemoan their self-
ship and national weakness can only
administered fate and it will be the
result in the enhancement of the
Jews that have another sad event to
strength and resolve of one's enemies.
memorialize on the Ninth of Av,
Tragically, this can only result in the
which was observed this week. ❑

politicians, the media and most of
academia. But after 9-11, we wanted
our leaders to draw hard conclusions
about the threats we faced.
President Bush answered this need
with ringing rhetoric about a fight
against terror and action that put an
end to the evil regimes of the Taliban
in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein
in Iraq. And, for the first time,
America supports the expansion of
democracy in the Arab world rather
than merely backing authoritarian
But if you're still looking for moral
clarity on this issue from the Bush
administration, you might be disap-

11 attacks. Some 29 pages of
such teachings are the build-
the report that deal with the
ing blocks of terrorism, this
involvement of Saudi Arabia
shows that the administra-
have been withheld.
tion is still reluctant to
Why? We can't know for
engage our enemies on an
sure, but even the most sym-
intellectual basis.
pathetic interpretation of this
That's where Daniel Pipes
incident shows the Bush
comes in.
administration is simply inca- JONATHAN
Pipes, the director of the
pable of dealing honestly with
Philadelphia-based Middle
our Saudi "allies." Bush and
East Forum and a scholar of
his top echelon are thorough-
Commentary the Islamic world, has
ly committed to the relation-
become the symbol of the
ship with the Saudi monar-
administration's confused
chy. And they are prepared to ignore
thinking about terror. He was a lone-
a great deal, including suspected
ly voice of reason in the years before
links between prominent Saudis and
the 9-11 attacks as he urged
the Al Qaida terrorist network, to
Americans to take the threat of
preserve it.
Islamism seriously. His nomination
There is a concerted effort in
in April by Bush for a seat on the
Washington to downplay the truth
board of the U.S. Institute for Peace
about Saudi funding of extremist
seemed to solidify the administra-
Islamic groups and schools all over
tion's credentials. But since then, his
the Middle East and elsewhere. Sim-
membership on this otherwise

Tabling The Truth


ow long ago was Sept. 11,
2001? According to the
calendar, the terror attacks
on New York and
Washington occurred a little more
than 23 months ago. But if you listen
to much of what passes for discussion
of security issues these days, you
would think it happened 23 years
In the immediate aftermath of
those atrocities, Americans hungered
for expert advice on the Islamic
extremists who committed these
crimes, in addition to the worldview
that animated them. These were
issues that had long been ignored by

8/ 8



Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of

Whitewashing The Saudis

the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia.
His e-mail address is

The most egregious example of this is
the administration's censorship of a
congressional investigation of the 9-

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