Israel: Light Unto the Nations

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Thursday, April 19, 2018


“Yea, He saith, ‘It is too light a thing for you to be My servant, to establish the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the scions of Israel, and I shall submit you as a light unto the nations, to be My salvation until the end of the earth’” (Isaiah 49:6).

Today, the 5th of Iyar, 5778 (April 19, 2018) marks seventy years since the reestablishment of the Jewish state of Israel. The people and state of Israel are both seventy years young and three thousand years old. Despite a millennia of Inquisition, pogroms, and Holocaust, the Jewish people, the people of Israel, live on. Whether our people prayed along the rivers of Babylon or the Warsaw Ghetto, our hearts never left the Holy Land.  

While Herzl’s Zionism is only a century old, Zionism, in a way, is two thousand years old. Ever since our exile from Eretz Yisrael, we sought to return to our homeland. We sang “L’Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim,” “Next Year in Jerusalem,” well before the advent of modern Zionist aspirations.

Since her rebirth, Israel has been attacked by the surrounding Arab nations. On the 5th of Iyar, 5708, Israel declared her independence once the British mandate over Palestine expired.  Immediately after, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq attacked the new nation on three fronts.

Today, there remains two false notions in American discourse regarding Israel:

  1. America should remain neutral in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict
  2. Israel must return to the 1949 Armistice Lines

First off, the idea that we should remain neutral in this conflict is absurd. Republicans and Democrats alike have fallen into this trap of “both siderism.” One side makes efforts towards peace, while the other responds with intifada. One side defends her people, while the other launches thousands of rockets into Israeli cities and uses human shields. One side aids Syrians injured in the civil war, while the other aids Hezbollah fighters in the Golan Heights. It is crystal clear which side we should be on, as neutrality in the face of evil is unjustifiable.

Just think for a second about the situation Israel finds herself in versus the Arabs’ situation.  Israel is the sole Jewish state and is surrounded on three fronts by hostile neighbors. Since 2012, over 2,600 Palestinian rockets have hit Israel. Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority dishes out $125 million per year in stipends to terrorists and their families. How again, as many claim, are the two sides equally at fault?  

This is not to say that Israel bears zero responsibility for the current situation. There have been times where Israel could have ceased settlement construction, but did not, further delaying any last hope of a peace process.  

Equally absurd, the notion in this country that Israel must withdraw completely from Judea and Samaria is dangerous and unfair. My hope is that President Trump makes the following demands, the “Ten Commandments” of any peace process:

  1. The Jordan Valley and critical areas of the mountain ridge shall remain under Israeli military control.
  2. Israeli control of all airspace above Judea and Samaria
  3. A demilitarized Palestinian state  
  4. The Golan Heights under Israeli control.
  5. A complete end to Palestinian terrorist stipends and a Hamas-free PA government
  6. No forced relocation of either Israelis or Palestinians.  Any suggestion otherwise is in support of ethnic cleansing.
  7. A halt on all future settlement expansion in Judea and Samaria
  8. Israeli annexation of major settlements within approximately 10-15 miles of the Armistice Line (such as Gush Etzion, Ma’aleh Adumim, and Modi’in Illit), while a Palestinian state would receive a near-equal amount of Israeli land in exchange.
  9. Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike must have access to all shared holy sites in Eretz Yisrael.
  10. Jerusalem shall remain the capital of Israel, undivided and free.

Ideally, a Palestinian government would give full rights to Jews, but that seems highly unlikely in this present climate.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs considers I-III above as Israel’s essential security needs. At its narrowest point, Israel is only nine miles wide. Without control of both airspace and the strategic Jordan Valley (which forms a “wall” along the Jordan River), Israel will not be able to properly defend herself. The Jewish State must never return to the fragile, one-sided 1949 lines which left her susceptible to annihilation in the first place. Any peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians must recognize Israel’s security needs (I-V). This time, the Jewish people will not be passive in the face of annihilation.

VI to IX are simply realistic compromises. Point X, however, is non negotiable. The Jewish people will never again be exiled from our holiest city. This year in Jerusalem, the Jewish people, and all people, are free.  

Hopefully, in our lifetimes, a viable, lasting solution can be achieved. For that to happen, we must reject the dogmas of the past that have led to the current quagmire. The time has come for America to formally recognize the truth: Israel is a shining city on a sand dune, while the Palestinian Authority is a wretched dump, with corrupt leadership that opposes peace at every turn. Today, and everyday, we have a duty to side with Israel. We have a moral, religious, and practical obligation to defend the Jewish state and prioritize her safety. America must continue the flow of military aid to Israel. In the words of Vice President Pence, “If the world knows nothing else, the world will know this: America stands with Israel.”

We also know that Israel should, and will, defend herself, no matter the cost. What IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan said in 1956 is truer now than ever, “For we know that if the hope of our destruction is to perish, we must be, morning and evening, armed and ready.”

For the sake of Israeli children and Palestinian children, we need peace. Herzl’s vision cannot be fulfilled until Jewish families don’t have to live in fear of bombings and terror.  

עבֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִּקְוָתֵנוּ,

הַתִּקְוָה בַּת שְׁנוֹת אַלְפַּיִם,

לִהְיוֹת עַם חָפְשִׁי בְּאַרְצֵנוּ,

אֶרֶץ צִיּוֹן וִירוּשָׁלַיִם.

 

Our hope is not yet lost, the hope two thousand years old, to be a free nation in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.

Jake Fradkin is a junior at the Hun School in Princeton, NJ (Class of 2020). Jake interests include mathematics, politics, history, tennis, and writing (and his dog Hulio). His writing tends to focus on the Constitution and foreign affairs.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Jake Fradkin

Hun School

Jake Fradkin is a junior at the Hun School in Princeton, NJ (Class of 2020). Jake interests include mathematics, politics, history, tennis, and writing (and his dog Hulio). His writing tends to focus on the Constitution and foreign affairs.

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