Respect for Our Homeland

Why is it that some nations and their people have a deep respect and honor for their own homeland? Among the Arabs, most think wherever their foot steps, that is Muslim holy ground. Even land that is not theirs is adopted as ?holy ground? and becomes an unquestioned part of their national memory.

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Writing on the wall: Death to Jews
Writing on the wall: Death to Jews
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Why is it that some nations and their people have a deep respect and honor for their own homeland? Among the Arabs, most think wherever their foot steps, that is Muslim holy ground. Even land that is not theirs is adopted as ?holy ground? and becomes an unquestioned part of their national memory.

Conversely, except for those Jews who deeply believe in their roots, why are most Jews embarrassed to admit publicly that their national memory goes back five thousand years and more? Why are many Jews fearful of acknowledging a lineage that goes from Adam and Eve, Noah, Avraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon and such prophets as Samuel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel on to many of the greatest thinkers and spiritual leaders the world has ever known?

The Arabs will fight for their short-term memory, even when it co-mingles with idol worship, moon gods and a history that is often a political fabrication. On the other hand, the Jews, with their strong Biblical history, can not or will not - except for some - bring themselves to say to each other, let alone to the nations, that ?this land is mine, promised by G-d?. It is just too embarrassing, too gauche, too primitive for the cosmopolitan, assimilationist Jews among us. Speak to most Knesset members about G-d and they will listen politely and mark you down as a radical nut. There are, of course, Knesset members who do have a national memory, which they respect and honor; however, too many of them are willing to trade "land for peace" based on a piece of paper - one which the match of reality burns to ashes before the ink is dry.

Powerful nations demand that Israel accommodate the Arabs by giving up land to them, even though G-d promised the Land of Israel to the Jews for all time. The Arabs lost land in seven wars, when they risked that Land they occupied in their zeal to kill every last Jew. All the ground on which Israelis sit was purchased with the lives of thousands upon thousands of Jews. The national treasure of the Jewish nation in Israel and from the Jewish Diaspora was spent year after year in fending off attacks, while the aggressors promised to "dance in the blood of the Jews" and occupy the Jews? land.

850,000 Jews were driven out of Arab countries where they had lived for centuries (often pre-dating the Arab populations), because Israel existed and beat the Arabs time and again in the field of battle. Prosperous Jews had their properties confiscated, debts owed them canceled, bank deposits confiscated, as well as the community?s properties ?acquired? by their host countries. Those Jews arrived penniless in their new homeland, the nascent and impoverished State of Israel. But they did have a place to go, a homeland with roots deep in ancient times and history.

The Jews accepted their own refugees, made them useful citizens and settled them on the land. The Arabs, conversely, put their refugees into cages called ?refugee camps?, refusing to accept them as citizens into any Arab nation. Then, despite the vast riches from oil, they put out a beggar?s cup and demanded that the world pay for their brethren, who were forced to flee because seven Arab nations made war on the newborn State of Israel. To add insult to injury, the donor money since the Oslo Accords never made it past the hands of Yasser Arafat and his Arab Palestinian Authority. The donor nations wasted billions of their tax-payers? money and created a class of permanent refugees they claim number between three and five million. Now, they demand that Israel solve the problem by re-partitioning herself - again.

So, why is it that Jews like Israel?s Prime Minister Ariel (Arik) Sharon and all those before him, are willing to discuss giving up even an inch of land to proven and self-declared terrorists? Have they no pride, no national memory of their ancient and honorable forefathers, no real love of the Land? Sharon, in his time of glory, proved his love of the Land. But now? Did he grow old and forget the battles and the building of the communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (Yesha)? His memory of what and why faded, to be replaced with politics. Tell him that G-d gave the Jewish people the Land of Israel and he will nod with a distant look in his eyes, as he considers how to please the Bush family and the Europeans. Why are so many Jews empty of pride in the Land, embarrassed by our Biblical lineage and so anxious to please a world who wants us out of the way?

Israel still awaits a leader who will simply state to our friends, and friends of our enemies, "This is our land! We shall not move, nor shall we negotiate such a move. We will not discuss it further, period."

I have heard from credible sources that the Bush Administration, along with the Arabist U.S. State Department, is about to launch a very expensive public relations campaign to force Israel into accepting the "Road (Rogue) Map" without any modifications. Every conceivable pressure will be brought to bear, including the continued delay of the loan guarantees (for loans Israel will pay back). This was the same tactic used by Bush, Sr. against then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and only when they had pushed Yitzhak Rabin into office, followed by Oslo, were those long-promised guarantees extended.

Young President Bush is rightfully riding the crest of high approval for the second Gulf War victory. Such praise is wholly deserved. However, crushing Israel in order to establish the same kind of terrorist state America just defeated will bring Bush and the American people no credit. Betraying Israel may cost Bush his second term - just as it did his father - when the presidential elections come around. You cannot do good with one hand and subvert your friends and allies with the other.
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Emanuel A. Winston is a Middle East analyst and commentator with the Gamla and Freeman organizations.