Israel needs to return to Zionism

November 24, 2016 23:01

And that means giving up the occupied territories
Just to point out that Ruth Gabison is a highly-respected law professor, who is the author, with Rabbi Yaacov Medan, of a draft Constitution that would be acceptable for secular and Orthodox Israelis. She is also a recipient of the Israel Prize, after being nominated by the Likud-led right-wing government.

The Zionist movement reached its peak with the establishment of the state. The gist of this achievement is the desire to fulfill the Jewish people's need and longing to create in their homeland the foundations of national rebirth. The prospects for peace depend on our enemies' recognizing that if no diplomatic agreement with them is reached, the Jewish people will do what needs to be done to continue their independent existence, even if that means settling in just part of the historic homeland. Connecting the narrative of Greater Israel, that is, the entirety of the Land of Israel, with the Zionist discourse is more than a misreading of history. Ironically, such a connection plays into the hands of those, Jews and Arabs, who oppose partitioning the land.

Only by understanding that we have a deep, painful dispute within Zionism can the Jewish people in Israel make the difficult decisions that need to be made to promote our vision, not that of the other side; and only by reaching such decisions against the background of a shared ideal can we uphold the sense of mutual solidarity that is a fundamental pillar of our strength. We will choose to concede political control over part of the land, and we will carry out this decision because we have a joint Zionist ideal which can only be preserved through such a concession.

The path chosen to move forward will, of course, depend upon political and strategic conditions in the country, the region and the world. This is, indeed, the existential challenge facing our generation. We've procrastinated long enough. Once again, as was the case before the state was born, the time has come to take responsibility for our fate, define clear objectives for Zionism, and move ahead with determination, wisdom and responsibility.

November 24, 2016 23:01

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