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      Zion Now
      by Chloé Valdary
      Reaffirming Zion's Legacy and Reclaiming the Zionist Dream

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      Chloé Valdary is a junior and an International Studies Major at the University of New Orleans. In 2012, Chloé created the group Allies of Israel on her campus to promote the Jewish state and Israel advocacy. In the spring of 2013, She held the first pro-Israel rally on her school’s campus, called ‘Declare Your Freedom.’ Over 100 people were in attendance, and the speech she gave went semi-viral in 10 days. As a result of her work, she has been covered by such groups as Jewish Press, BET.com, Breitbart.com, The Jerusalem Post, and Israel Hayom, to name a few. She was named one of the top 100 people positively affecting Jewish and Israeli life in the Algemeiner’s inaugural celebration of this category. This list included notable figures like Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Barack Obama, and filmmaker Stephen Spielberg. Chloe has written articles for The Jewish Press, CAMERA on Campus, Arutz Sheva, The Jewish Thinker and The Times of Israel.

      Elul 10, 5773, 8/16/2013

      The Pernicious Price of Capitulation


      After the release of 26 murderers as a gesture of good faith to Abu Mazen’s relatively moderate terrorist organization, I wondered if anyone viewed Israel in a more favorable light. After all, what other nation would negotiate with terrorists in order to achieve a semblance of peace with those same terrorists? Would America release hundreds of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay in an effort to make peace with the Taliban and al Qaeda? Would America do so to improve its image in the Muslim world?  The answer is obvious but I think it’s necessary to examine why. 

      America would not release hundreds of terrorists in order to appease al Qaeda because it recognizes that al Qaeda will only be ultimately satisfied with the dissipation of Western civilization, the leader of which is the United States. So, to release terrorists would only serve as the first step in its own national suicide. The quid pro quo America would gain for its appeasement would be its eventual self-destruction. 

      America would also refrain from releasing terrorists to improve its image in the Muslim world because, from a philosophical perspective, it recognizes that a world which holds murderers in high esteem should itself be compelled to improve its image in the eyes of the Western world, and not the other way around. The onus therefore is upon the Muslim world to improve its relations with Western civilization. A good start would be to introspectively examine its own value system and cease from praising Jihad seekers who cause death and destruction, not demand that those same individuals be released in the name of a quasi- peace. 

      In other words, America realizes that when it comes to its own self-interests, negotiating for peace with those who seek, indeed, live, to see their destruction, is a futile mission. The creed upon which the United States was founded is ‘liberty and justice for all’, and as such it is their duty to resolutely uphold their good name and the principles upon which they were founded. To do anything else is to give those who question these principles moral legitimacy and a voice on the world stage. 

      I have no doubt that Israel’s leaders work according to this same formula. So how does one explain its actions vis-á-vis the erroneously titled ‘peace process’? Perhaps Israel believes that in being the ‘better person’ on the playground that is the Middle East where corrupt bullies are the norm and just democratic leaders are rarities, she will gain the favor of the rest of Western leadership both in America and Europe. And, in being the better person, this will gain favors from stronger Western countries with greater firepower which can be used in perhaps attacking a genocidal regime in a certain Persian country hellbent on starting another world war. I understand the logic, but Im afraid that Israel is horribly mistaken. 

      It is important to recognize that Israel is not being ‘the better person’ when it capitulates in the hopes of help from stronger countries. Why? Precisely because of the same principle those stronger countries operate upon: the inevitable self-destruction that comes with that capitulation. Israel is instead being the ‘naive person,’ compelled to refrain from upholding its own national sovereignty by countries who hypocritically insist upon doing so for their own populaces.  It is also important to realize that if stronger countries like the United States do not already realize the strategic imperative which exists in prematurely striking Iran, the fact that they must be bribed into doing so by coercing an ally to negotiate with terrorists who are financially backed by Iran speaks volumes. 

      Here is an interesting paradox. The United States which operates according to the formula presented above is actually compelling Israel to refrain from operating within those same logical constraints of international diplomacy. The end will be detrimental for both Israel and the US if they bear fruit. We have the same enemies and the same goals. It is not Israel’s responsibility to convince the leaders of Western civilization to uphold its own standards of justice and truth, nor is it Israel’s responsibility to be made to endure a trial and error process of being the ‘better, naive’ person, which as precedent has shown has only brought death and destruction. 

      Instead, Israel’s leaders must understand that by capitulating to the insidious demands of their opponents--whose philosophy in life is unequivocally evil and morally bankrupt-- they give credence to these same despots on the world stage. Capitulation does not paint Israel in a positive light, nor does it help win friends who should already be backing the Jewish state from both an ethical and strategic standpoint. All it does is give greater clout to the illegitimacy foisted upon the Jewish state by dissenting naysayers and anti-Semitic ideologues. ‘If Abu Mazen says that genocidal brothers in arms of his must be released because this is just and Israel yields, than what he says must be right, and Israel must believe it as well.’ This is unfortunately how the world thinks. 

      After the release, I perused the various social media sites from Twitter to Facebook and wanted to know what the great journalists, ostensibly representing the sentiment of the American public, had to say about the actions of the Israeli government. Unfortunately, the response was the same: the same incessant false moral equivalencies of ‘terrorist’ and ‘freedom fighter,’ the same description of communities where Jews live as a “hindrance to peace,” and the same whitewashing of crimes committed by intransigent extremists, described mendaciously as acts of liberation. This is unfortunately not uncanny; this must stop. 

      I would be remiss if I did not point out the rock and the hard place between which Israel finds itself, especially in the context of cost-benefit analysis. The USA provides a great deal of resources to Israel, especially militarily which can (and I’m sure is) used to hold Israel at the behest of America’s leadership. Thus Israel has a dilemma it must grapple with. Refrain from doing what America says and potentially lose the support that helps to defend the Jewish state from its enemies. This is a hard position which must be worked out by Israel’s leadership but I believe that ultimately what matters are ideas. Ideas inspire. And the idea which Israel must aspire to, indeed the idea upon which it was founded, is the national sovereignty of its own people and their right to live in their ancient homeland. The price of sacrificing this quintessential Zionist creed is far more costly than risking ties with an ally that, in the grand scheme of things, does not seem at present to desire to help it anyway. 

      I realize the gravity of that statement, and, as a proud American, it is hard one to make. But I have examined the actions of American leadership, both the current administration and the past, both democrat and republican, and veracity compels me to admit there is a perplexing pattern of coercing the Jewish state into concessions we would not ourselves be prepared to make. I do not know the reasons for it and I am not now prepared to ask the questions for fear of the answers which I may be forced to grapple with for the rest of my life. The implications of such a pattern are too much for me to bear right now. I do know, however, the creeds upon which our two countries were founded, and that if my country does not uphold her own, for the love of humanity and the survival of Western civilization, Israel must uphold hers. 

      At this juncture I think it is prudent to quote Leo Pinsker, one of the founding fathers of Zionism and one of Theodore Herzl’s forerunners in the dream of the Jewish State. “Let ‘now or never’ be our watchword! Woe to our descendants, woe to the memory of our Jewish contemporaries, if we let this moment pass by!” 

      I hope that Israel’s leaders will not let this moment pass by. It is precisely in this moment of western hypocrisy, growing European anti-Semitism, and seemingly insurmountable pressure from a boisterous sea of despicable despots, that the Jewish state must find within herself the deep unwavering conviction in her ideals and the courage to declare that it by right exists and, as it is her duty, will defend the name of justice and virtue. This declaration may indeed be the noise that wakes up the greater part of Western civilization which has now fallen asleep.