Is Jewish Nationalism Synonymous with a Jewish State?

defamation

I wrote this blog as a response to the opinion piece in the Gazette “Jewish Nationalism is not synonymous with a nation state.”

The author, Sam Bick, bandies about words like “nation” “nation-state” “nationalism” “ethno racial identity” without defining these terms and then makes some statements which are simply false.

He writes:
This idea of Jewish people as a “nation” or “race” in need of a territory is a new conceptualization popularized in 19th-century Europe, one that neglects the diverse experiences, practices and identities of people who have practiced Judaism around the world for hundreds of years — particularly Arabic-speaking Jews.”

The Jewish journey is documented in the bible, (the “Torah” in Hebrew). Canaan, Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people has been integral to the history of the Jews chronicled in the torah from ancient times. The destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem, the destruction of the second Temple by the Romans in 70 AD and the dispersion of Jews from their homeland, Israel, and their longing to return  is documented in literature and poetry and historical writings over millenia.

A quick google of the name of the author, of this piece, Sam Bick, reveals that he has previously written for EI (Electronic Intifada) and Tadamon (which means allies in Arabic). Tadamon has an office in Montreal). Both of these organizations, EI (Electronic Intifada) and Tadamon are integral arms of the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel and Israel alone. They sponsor the infamous Israel/apartheid week conferences on campuses all over North America. EI and Tadamon have both been exposed for propagating opinions about Israel and the Jewish people that are designed to demonize Jews and Israel and whose aim is not peace but only the destruction of Israel.

I myself, speak from experience, having attended several Israel/apartheid week conferences in Montreal. By the way the BDS  – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement – was initiated at the first UN Human Rights conference in Durban in 2001, a conference that was billed as “The First UN World Conference on Racism”. This “conference” turned out to be a witch hunt directed at Jews and Israel and Israel alone. This has been well documented and continues to be available to anyone who wishes to inform himself on these issues. It was here at Durban that the slogan “Zionism is racism” was adopted by the UN Human Rights Council. Mercifully, this canard  was later retracted by the UN itself. However this fact seems to have gone above the heads of the EI and Israel Apartheid and BDS propaganda machines which actively continue to  libel Israel and Jews with this canard. For many, in our age, “truth” is an elusive thing subject to argument and debate. Most people are not aware of the background of the BDS movement or that they continue to propagate lies about Israel in order to advance their political agenda.

“Anti-israel haters should never have a free lunch” as Manfred Gerstenfeld so aptly put it when he spoke to this issue in Montreal several years ago.

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There must be a push-back on these issues by academics and others who are appalled at the re-cloaking of sheer antisemitism or Jew hatred into contemporary discourse.

Jews are a tiny minority, and it is for this reason, that we Jews and those who love truth must use our wits to fight this injustice.

 

Abigail Hirsch, CEO
AskAbigail Productions.com
filmmaker: Yiddish: a tale of survival

 

514-792-6065
askabigail@me.com

Jews and Israel: a state or a people

barbara Today while perusing blogs from The Other A Word – The Jewish Journal Blogs, I came across this moving recording by liberated prisoners of Bergen Belson broadcast by the BBC in 1945.

Listening to these survivors singing what came to be the national anthem of Israel, before there was a state of Israel, moved me to tears but it also pointed out the connection to Zion which we Jews have carried with us since the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Romans. I scrolled through the youtubes following this one and discovered Barbara Streisand introducing Israel’s national anthem, a year ago, in Israel, speaking about Israel’s national anthem, the same song, with minor variations that became also the national anthem of the State of Israel  “Hatikva/Hope”. The last line translates as – the hope of the Jewish people to be a free people in our country, the land of Zion and Jerusalem – Hebrew- Tikvateinu, Lihyot am hofshi b’artzeinu, b’eretz Tzion, Yerushalayim”.

Then I discovered this video “The best Hebrew Songs” a four minute medley of Hebrew songs performed by a band with Russian roots in a big band rock style. What are the songs they choose? 1.They start with Shalom Aleichem – Peace/shalom to you” 2. It is closely followed by May the One who makes peace in the Heavens bring peace to us and to all Israel. In Hebrew “Oseh shalom bimromav, Hu yayseh shalom aleinu, v’al kol Yisrael.” 3. Then we are treated to the most popular Jewish wedding song with a pantomime wedding couple: May this be a good omen and bring good luck to us and all Israel. Hebrew – “mazel tov ve siman tov, siman tov vemazal tov, yeheh lanu v’l'kol Yisrael.” 4. Then we are treated to an article of faith going back hundreds of years:  “I believe with full faith in the coming of the Messiah. And although He tarry, I will wait for Him to come every day. Hebrew – Ani ma’amin b’emunah shlaima b’viyat Ha Mashiach: V’af al pi sh’yitmamaya, ahakeh Lo b’chol yom sh’yavo” 5. And they conclude with: We bring you peace: Hebrew – “Haivainu shalom aleichem”. What I find so unusual about these songs is that  Three out of the five are taken from traditional and ancient prayerbook texts. Only the last one and the first one, “Shalom aleichem” and “Haivainu shalom aleichem” is a more contemporary formulation. And yet these are the songs that a contemporary and modern band chooses as the “most popular” Jewish songs.

I thought these three You-tube videos illustrate how Jewish people all over the world, for thousands of years have always been, and continue to be bound together, with the fate of the land of Israel and Jerusalem, by communal text and by communal song.