Op-Ed: What Preserves Israel?
Prof. Paul EidelbergProf. Paul Eidelberg (Ph.D. University of Chicago), former officer U.S. Air Force, is the founder and president of the Israel-America Renaissance Institute (I-ARI), www.i-ari.org, with offices in Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He has written several books on American and on Jewish Statesmanship. His magnum opus The Judeo-Scientific Foundations of American Exceptionalism: Today’s Choice for the “Almost Chosen People" is in process of publication. Prof. Eidelberg lives in Jerusalem.
No, it's not the Israel Defense forces, in my opinion.
The IDF hasn't won a war since the 1967 Six-Day War. And no one was more shocked by the IDF's route of the Egyptian army than Moshe Dayan. And of course the success of the Israel Air Force was extraordinary.
Should we credit Israel's prime ministers for the preservation of the Jewish state? Please, let's be honest. Whatever credit they deserve, not a single one really knew or knows what constitutes an authentic Jewish state—not even Menachem Begin, to say nothing of Ben-Gurion.
Just look at Israel's Declaration of Independence, a "politically correct" document. Unlike the American Declaration of Independence, which mentions the name of God in four different ways, Israel's Declaration can do no better than timidly or apologetically refer to God as the "Rock of Israel"
And if this Jewish self-effacement was not enough, the only name appearing in the text of the document is that of Theodor Herzl—admittedly a great man—but also an assimilated Jew whose book, The Jewish State, relegates Judaism to the home and the synagogue and thereby removes God from the domain of Statecraft.
The truth is that Israel has never had a Jewish prime minister whose legislative program or goal was to revive Hebraic civilization. Indeed, I don't think any of them had as much knowledge of the Hebraic Republic of antiquity than Samuel Langdon and Ezra Stiles, the 18th century presidents, respectively, of Harvard and Yale.
It is not her military and political leaders
Israeli prime ministers seem to suffer from an "identity crisis." They don't know who they are, what they are, or where they are going. Is it any wonder that at least six of them, regardless of their party affiliation, have adhered to the anti-Jewish and suicidal policy of "territory for peace"?
So what preserves Israel if not her military and political leaders? God, of course.
You don't have to be religious to draw this conclusion, because no secular explanation makes any sense given the location of this minuscule and dysfunctional state in a hostile Arab sea. In fact, God has given Israel the Best Enemies! After all, Israel secular leaders are tripping over each other trying to make peace with Arabs who can't even make peace with themselves—and this has preserved what is left of Eretz Israel!
Consider Israel's intelligent and mellifluous Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. He has gone so far as to endorse the creation of an Arab state in Judea and Samaria, Israel's heartland. All he wants is the impossible, that Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian authority, recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Abbas refuses.
But for this we must thank God, for if you look at what the Torah tells us about Ishmael and his descendants, of course they won't recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people. Netanyahu might as well ask Abbas to renounce the Quran! But do you know that the Quran, with its racist maledictions about infidels, is helping to preserve Israel as a Jewish state?
Of course, the Quran is only a negative reason for Israel's preservation. There are two positive factors working to sustain Israel—and for this we must also credit Israeli governments, notwithstanding their secular intentions.
One factor is the burgeoning number of Israel's yeshivas—unprecedented in Jewish history. These Jewish academies of learning are sanctifying the Name of God, and God is rewarding Israel by making it fruitful. While Muslims exalt death and want to destroy Israel, Israel exalts life and has become the greatest source of life-preserving discoveries in medical science and life-giving water technology.
The second positive factor that preserves Israel is that it is the most charitable nation on earth. Look how Israel has absorbed millions of refugees—and not all are Jewish! Consider its charitable organizations. Do you know that Israel has a group of people that is on call 24/7 to go to any place in the world that has suffered some catastrophe such as an earthquake or a flood? Israel set up clinics in earthquake shattered Haiti and even sent help even to unfriendly Turkey when that Islamist regime was recently struck by an earthquake.
So, what preserves Israel is its charity and sanctifying God's Name. This is why countless righteous Gentiles love Israel and rally to her support. They love Israel because Israel loves God and helps God's children, be they Jew or Gentile.
And by the way: the only way to bring peace to the Middle East is for Israel to become a light unto the nations.
(For more by the writer, whose basic theme is “How to make Israel more democratic by means of Jewish principles, and how to make Israel more Jewish by means of democratic principles", see Israel-America Renaissance Institute (www.I-ari.org).