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Op-Ed: Avraham Burg: Zionist Nightmare

Not content to have been wrong, and to have the Israeli public vote his party out of power, he is now determined to convince the world that an Israel that rejects him is an Israel that is "doomed."
Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 7:46 PM


Avraham Burg, a Knesset member from the Labor Party, has long been one of my least favorite people. As a rabid supporter of "let's give the Arabs what they want, it will bring peace" crowd, even as Israelis were dying in the streets because of their generosity, he has never changed his tune. I haven't bothered much with him, because Labor party members in general are so irrelevant since the resounding and disastrous failure of their entire "peace" initiative. But now, Mr. Burg is turning up the volume.

Not content to have been wrong, and to have the Israeli public vote his party out of power, he is now determined to convince the world that an Israel that rejects him is an Israel that is "doomed."

On March 28, 2004, he told the world this remarkable news in an article entitled "The Zionist Dream is Doomed", published in London's The Telegraph.

This is what he said: "The Zionist revolution has always rested on two pillars: a just path and an ethical leadership. Neither of these is operative any longer. The Israeli nation today," he pontificates, with chutzpah that is mind boggling, "rests on a scaffolding of corruption, and on foundations of oppression and injustice."

He calls for Diaspora Jews to "speak out" before it's too late."

He claims that "opposition," does not exist to Mr.Sharon. Everyone has "fallen silent because there is nothing left to say."

Funny, sitting here in Israel, where members of the Labor party haven't shut up since Sharon was elected (including, and most importantly, Mr. Burg himself) I'm wondering how come I missed that; the silence.

Reluctantly, he admits Israel isn't all bad: "Yes, we have revived the Hebrew language, created a marvelous theatre and a strong currency."

Theatre and money, huh? Well, Mr. Burg, what about the fact that Israel has also taken in several million Jews that came out of the camps, or who were thrown out of Arab lands. The fact that we've created a lively democracy amid a desert of dictatorships? That we've educated our children to be proud of who they are and where they come from?

"It turns out that the 2,000 year old struggle for Jewish survival comes down to a state of settlements, run by an amoral clique of corrupt lawbreakers."

Of course, Mr. Burg doesn't count himself among that clique. Of course, no one in the Labor party ever encouraged Jews to settle in Judea and Samaria. Of course, there was never a Labor politician who took bribes or was involved in illegal funding ... And that Mr. Burg's own party threw out his own election victory in their primaries because it wasn't kosher... Well, that can't count. The whole country is now corrupt and not worth saving until Mr. Burg and his friends get back into power.

"It is very comfortable to be a Zionist in the West Bank settlements like Beit El and Ofra. You can gaze through the bougainvilleas and geraniums and not see the occupation... it is hard to comprehend the humiliating experience of the despised Arab who must creep along for hours along the pocked, blockaded road..."

I happen to live in a place that is part of Jerusalem, not far from Mr. Burg's sister and her family. I also have geranium boxes, but I see very clearly the Arab settlement of Beit Iksa in my backyard, as does Mr. Burg's sister, and as I am sure Mr. Burg does too, wherever he lives in Israel. Because we Jews can live side by side with Arabs. Indeed, after the Six Day War, Moshe Dayan begged the Arabs of Beit Iksa to return to their homes, and they did. Why is it that we in Ramot have been living in peace with the Arabs of Beit Iksa? Because they were never given over to the Palestinian Authority, and never given the illusion that we Jews were going to just up and leave our homes and disappear, which is what Mr. Burg would now have us believe (after everything we've been through!) is the only solution to the problem of co-existence between Arab and Jew in this region.

"Remove all the settlements and then create a recognized international border," is Mr. Burg's solution, to take the place of a "false vision of barbed wire and suicide bombers."

How convenient. Let's forget that the lack of barbed wire and the race to turn over 90% of the West Bank to Yasser Arafat resulted in the suicide bombers increasing their activity and their success rate. Let's forget that no border will be recognized by Hamas and Fatah, and the Palestinian people themselves, who have never given up their hope to destroy Israel and push her people into the sea. Let's forget that Mr. Burg's other wonderful plan to solve Israel's problems with the Palestinians resulted in thousands injured and a thousand dead.

Let's allow Mr. Burg to rant and rave and defame the little country that has so bravely defied and survived her sickeningly stupid, or worse, politicians like Mr. Burg.

"Israel's friends abroad, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, presidents and prime ministers... must reach out and help Israel navigate toward our national destiny as a light unto the nations..." Burg concludes.

Yes, we must ask our good friends all over the world, Presidents and Prime Ministers. He doesn't say what country these friends in high office are from. It must be those who have been so appalled at the killing of Israeli children, so devastated at the death of young Jewish brides and their fathers, so outspoken in their condemnation of the Palestinian's education of their children to be mass murderers... These friends will hold Israel's hand and give her moral guidance, leading her back to Mr. Burg and his Labor party cohorts, who would like nothing more than another stab at telling the rest of us - that is, those who are still alive after surviving their last such attempt - how to be good people.

He's right about one thing. With people like himself in the Knesset going around the world defaming their own country and their own people, the Zionist dream is doomed.

So, all you real friends of Israel, why don't we make sure to get him out of power before it's too late?