Yoram Ettinger
Yoram EttingerCourtesy

*Israel's primary national security challenge is the reinforcement of education on the 4,000-year-old Jewish/Zionist roots in the Land of Israel, through the bolstering of the Jewish/Zionist identity (self-determination), vision (the reestablishment of the Jewish State in its Homeland) and destiny (the Jewish Ingathering/Aliyah to the Land of Israel).

*These core values are currently threatened by a cosmopolitan and post-Zionist worldview – in addition to the anti-Zionist worldview, that is dedicated to Israel's physical destruction - which aims to play-down, misrepresent and replace Jewish/Zionist roots and values with multicultural and universal values and institutions.

*Post-Zionism considers Jewish/Zionist identity, vision and destiny as a major obstacle on the way of advancing its top goal: being embraced by the international community.

*This post-Zionist worldview, also, reflects battle fatigue. It refuses to accept the reality of Zionism as a multi-generational uphill marathon-like mission; deluding itself that Zionism is a sprint-like undertaking.

*Post-Zionism is eager to abdicate the colossal responsibility entailed in being the only Jewish State (e.g., securing physical and spiritual Jewish survival and combating anti-Semitism).

*Moreover, post-Zionism wishes to escape the, supposedly, frustrating reality of an ongoing Jewish/Zionist struggle against clear and present lethal threats in the inherently unpredictable, violent, despotic, intolerant and anti-"infidel" Middle East. It wishes to replace the inconvenientMiddle East reality with the convenient make-believe "New Middle East," which professes cancel-culture, cancel-history and dramatic Israeli land concessions.

*Jewish/Zionist identity, vision and destiny – which represent Judaism as a historic, cultural, linguistic, religious and territorial entity - are not merely intellectual issues. Rather, they are at the foundation of Israel's national security and spiritual and physical steadfastness. The stronger the Jewish/Zionist identity, the stronger the resolve to defy the military, diplomatic and intellectual challenges facing the Jewish State and the Jewish People.

*History-driven identity, vision and destiny are fixed anddurable components of national security. On the other hand, political, diplomatic, defense, economic and peace accords are variable and tenuous components of national security, whose durability is tenuous due to the systematically changing regional and global leadership, policies and relations.

*The stronger the resolve and steadfastness of Israel, the more compelling is its contribution – as a force and dollar multiplier – to the US economy and defense, and the more productive is the mutually-beneficial US-Israel two-way-street. Bolstered US interests are advanced by bolstered Jewish/Zionist identity, vision and destiny, which inspired the US Founding Fathers.

*In the pursuit of bolstered Jewish/Zionist identity, vision and destiny, contemporary leaders of the Jewish State should adhere to the legacy of David Ben Gurion, Israel's Founding Father, who was the iconic leader of Israel's Labor Party: "…. Our commitment to our history is a prerequisite to Israel's political and military steadfastness in the face of our continued military struggle…. It is impossible to comprehend Jewish history and struggles, if one is not aware of the unique Jewish vision…. Jewish/Hebrew education is the precondition for Jewish unity and attachment to the Land of Israel…. The Jewish nation is not merely a national and political entity. Since its inception, it has possessed an historic vision [the Ingathering of Jews to their Homeland]…. The very small Jewish nation was able to defy major powers due to its determined spiritual and moral uniqueness…. While the ethnic, cultural and political environment of the Middle East has changed dramatically during the last 4,000 years – since the dawn of the Jewish people – the Jewish people has retained its language and culture, notwithstanding 2,000 years of exile…. The retention of the unique Jewish national character has served as a magic-vitamin, sustaining Jewish survival and independence and the power to withstand threats, challenges and temptations…. The establishment of the State of Israel has not ended the struggle for Jewish uniqueness and destiny…. The Ingathering is our central undertaking; it is a prerequisite to our independence…. Jewish history did not start upon the 1948 establishment of Israel or the 1897 First Zionist Congress. Jewish history is a 4,000-year-old wealth of values, culture and heroic events, which are based on the Bible and the Land of Israel. It must be shared with the Jewish youth" (Ben Gurion, Uniqueness and Destiny, 1951).

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, is author of"Second Thought: a US-Israel initiative"