Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What is Zionism?

Zionism is a movement that believes that Jews have a right to a homeland in the land of Israel. For many people, including me, it also means that Jews should MOVE to the land of Israel -- make Aliyah -- if they can.

After living in Israel for thousands of years, the Jewish country was destroyed by the Romans about 2000 years ago. They carried away the exiles and the treasures of the Temple after a long and bloody revolt -- The stubborn Israelites just wouldn't give up their freedom until the bitter end! The Romans changed the name from Israel to "Palestine," after the extinct race of Philistines, to erase any connection of the Israelites to our homeland. For the past 2000 years, the Jews have been wandering all over the world. We prayed every day facing the land of Israel and Jerusalem, the ancient capital of Israel. Each year we concluded every holiday with the words "Next Year In Jerusalem." Even at weddings, the happiest day of someone's life, a glass is broken by the groom to symbolize the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. We have never forgotten our homeland, and finally, we are beginning to return to it.

Sixty years ago, The State of Israel was born after the U.N. declared partition of the British Mandate of "Palestine". The partition created a Jewish state and an Arab state next to each other. While the Jews readily accepted the U.N. resolution, all the Arab countries (Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon) pledged to attack the tiny new country. Miraculously, Israel's makeshift army, composed in part by many Holocaust survivors, made it through.
Since that day, Israelis have fought for survival many times and made it through.
Today, a new type war is being waged on Israel. The country that was attacked 3 times by multiple armies intent on destroying it survived, so the enemies decided to use a new strategy -- cunning instead of force. Suddenly, Israel is shown throughout the world as an "aggressor", who steals land from "Palestinian" people. In fact, Arab countries kicked out nearly a million Jewish refugees into Israel, appropriating their land and possessions. Israel absorbed the penniless Jews from Arab lands. However, the Arab countries didn't help absorb the Arab refugees, who mostly fled Israel of their own free will during the war after partition! These unfortunate people are now used as bargaining chips against Israel, while talk of any reparations for Jewish refugees from Arab countries is virtually non-existent.

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