A Tale Of Two Pictures

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I saw two pictures the other day.

Two pictures of a group of Jews, many who were smiling with joy and pride. Jews who were young and old, males and females, frozen in a moment of time.

And yet the story of these pictures could not be more different.

Because in the first picture, there were a bunch of Jews – or people who were supposedly Jews – holding up a sign that read in clear, unmistakable bold writing: Jewish not Zionist.

And in the second picture, there were also a group of Jews, having just gotten off a plane from Ethiopia, not holding any signs at all – just waving small flags – flags of the State of Israel.

 

Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90

When I see this, it’s hard not to get emotional. It’s hard not to feel dread and hope at the same time. It’s hard not to feel joy and anger.

Because in one picture I see the past disappear in a dark abyss of hopelessness and deep despair and in the other I see a joyous future so full of unlimited hope and incredible brightness.

There is a sickness going on right now in some parts of our people – a sickness that doesn’t bring on a fever or a cough, but a sickness that wipes away the history and identity of all those who have it – the complete and utter loss of Jewish identity.

Jews who hold signs that want us to believe they are proud Jews, yet anti-Zionist have lost their identity. They have given away their heritage, their nationality, their history, their culture, their religion and everything else that made them Jews in the first place. The great tragedy is that they have done so willingly.

They serve the Jew haters in ways those haters can only ever have dreamt of. Because in them they have found people who truly wish destruction upon their own people. These misguided Jews have somehow, either knowingly or maliciously, come to believe that Zionism is some political colonialist movement invented by Europeans to displace indigenous Arab people.

It’s the line that modern day Israel and Jew haters use constantly in an attempt to drive a wedge between Jews of today and Jews of before. It’s why many Arab leaders and resolutions from the UN and the EU continuously make statements and pass resolutions proclaiming there were no Jewish temples, or that Jerusalem has nothing to do with Jews, or that Israel was somehow an Arab land that European Jews invaded. And their hatred and desperation is so strong that even though archaeological evidence is found almost daily about our long history in this ancient land – they continue to deny it, proclaiming it as some kind of ‘Zionist’ plot.

Oh how wrong they are.

For Zionism is not a political movement and it never has been. Yes, there were modern movements that reportedly began with Theodore Herzl in the late 1800s, but he was not the first – but merely the latest in an ongoing dream that began thousands of years earlier. Because the first Zionist that ever lived, lived almost 4000 years ago. He was the first Jew and his name was Abraham – son of Terah.

As much as these people want to divorce Zionism from Judaism, they can’t. It’s intertwined in every way. Our festivals are about our land. Our prayers tell us to turn to Jerusalem. Our bible is about the liberation in our land. Our stories are about our prophets who walked the same earth that modern day Israel lies on.

It is a story about a promise that hasn’t died.

So for them to proclaim that they are proud Jews, yet against Zionism is both illogical and nonsensical. You cannot separate Jews as a people and Israel as our Jewish land – and all who do so are destined to disappear – just as these Jews will, for it is simply a matter of time before they fade from the Jewish world through intermarriage and lack of self-awareness or care as to their own identity. They will simply become irrelevant.

You cannot build a future for your people if you reject your past. And make no mistake – they have.

And yet, this is not a post of despair, but one of hope.

For in the second picture, we see the true meaning of what Zionism is. We see our people who have been scattered across the world for so long – return home. We see in their faces the joy and the light of what returning to Israel means. We see appreciation and love and pride. We see a deep understanding of Zionism that those in the first picture can never truly understand.

But it’s not just about the latest bunch of Jews returning home. It’s about all have already returned and about all who are still to come. It’s about those who live there now and those who endeavour to live there one day. It’s about all those who love and appreciate the meaning of the land to all Jewish people. It’s about the connection between a people to their land – a people from the past who have survived into the future.

Zionism is about Jewish self-determination in our own land of Israel. It is a dynamic living force that connects Jews from every corner of the world – a beacon of hope that shines for our people like a flame atop a mountain that will never die.

It’s true that all Jews might not feel it and some might even reject it, but it doesn’t change the power of it for it remains part of the Jewish world and the Jewish people – an undying link that will live on forever.

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18 Comments

  1. Avi

    I wonder how many of those “ Jewish but not Zionist” are actually Jewish. I’d guess less than half.
    I wonder how many, will like Trump have Jewish grandchildren. Likely none save the chasidish looking couple

  2. Cranky Canuck

    Kol HaKavod on an excellent piece.
    To steal from/paraphrase an old bit from Seinfeld – the first group of people needs a team of psychiatrists at the university level working on their problem around the clock – like they did with the Elephant Man – not the once a week for $80 kind…
    Chag Hanukkah Sameach, and keep up the great work.

  3. jackokie

    “Next year in Jerusalem”.

    After all the travails of the Jewish people, how wonderful it is that sentence can come true. Never forget, there are many, many of us who are followers of Jesus and also staunch Zionists. The State of Israel is a light unto the world, and we rejoice that the Diaspora now has a home.

  4. Pettifogger

    Even to this gentile, anti-Zionism among Jews is incomprehensible given the growing anti-Semitism among those on the Left even on the US. When young, I thought such a thing impossible, believing as I did the aphorism “Never again.” Now I see that assertion as wishful thinking. A second Holocaust now seems all too real a potential horror, and those holding signs will be the new kapos.

  5. Howard Hirsch

    “It’s the line that modern day Israel and Jew haters use constantly in an attempt to drive a wedge between Jews of today and Jews of before.”

    One wonders how many Jews of tomorrow will be produced by either group.

    1. Gail Agasi

      Justin.
      Thank you for your post. Unfortunately, I doubt that the people who should read what you wrote, will not do so. I think that they will be lost, to the Jewish people. When the Corona disappears, Israel must bring young people to visit Israel. Let them see our wonderful nation. Let them be proud.

      1. Chanah

        We WERE bringing young people to Israel through Birthright Israel, in free trips including airfare. Yet my nephew decided not to take this free trip. He was my one hope for my family, the only one I know of who openly said he was Jewish. He met some girl and all thoughts about Israel seem to have vanished. I don’t think she is Jewish. Now he is too old to qualify for Birthright. There are many such Jews who reject this free trip. I cannot understand this.

  6. Excellent piece. Kol HaKavod.

    If I just might add a thing or two – the people in the above photo, as provocative as they aim to be, have absolutely no respect for themselves at all whatsoever. The question remains – why?

    Well, a few reasons. One is simply if they belong to any Jewish community at all, it’s most likely far left or they are not affiliated at all. To them, being Jewish is eating bagels or pastrami on rye. That’s it. They have no idea about Judaism or its relationship with Israel.

    Most of those in this picture are Ashkenazi Jews, most likely North American. They are not used to Jews ‘being in charge’ or being bad-ass (have a look at our soldiers kick ass on the field). They are used to the spineless Bernie Sanders types who lounge at their Jewish country clubs or join in BLM marches and protests. They align themselves with the victims and have a false sense of guilt for winning and mislabeling this as an oppressor. They themselves have little or no knowledge of modern Jewish history.

    People will tend to shout “Stockholm Syndrome”, but I think that it is a bit deeper than that. You do not see this behavior amongst other ethnicities. It’s a joke if you think about it, but unfortunately, it’s all too real.
    Mix in no self-respect, ignorance, and falsehoods about Israel and you have that picture above.

    1. Melissa

      Oh, I beg to differ. You DO see this self hatred in other ethnicities in the West. Due to Universities the world over being run by Cultural Marxists and assorted race pimps, most European and American Native peoples are taught that their skin color compatriots were/are the worst thing to ever inhabit the Earth. Unless and until we begin to demand diversity of thought in our schools at all levels, the Left will have a lock on shaping the minds of the young and ignorant.

  7. Alec Rawls

    I have many severe thoughts towards the people I love who hate President Trump: “When did you become a flaming stinking totalitarian communist?”

    But the damning thought that surprises me most is: “When did you become a Jew hater?”

    How can they spit on peace in the Middle East and be determined to go back to Obama’s plan to make sure Iran gets nukes?

  8. Excellent piece. One thing I’d like to mention about this photo, referring to this sickness amongst our people – they have absolutely no respect for themselves. You also won’t find this in other ethnic groups – only Jews, and sorry to say, mostly Ashkenazi Jews. People automatically shout out “Stockholm Syndrome”, but I think that it is not as simple as that. I guess if it were a tiny minority, then yes. But, it is not. It goes a lot deeper. Most of these people are non-affiliated and have little or no understanding of Judaism. They literally apologize to others for being Jewish (not celebrating Xmas (or some do and state, ‘look!! I love Xmas too”!), not believing in Jesus, etc). They are also used to Jews as being spineless, Bernie Sanders-style, and, well, not bad-ass. They are used to being the victims and wish to be in solidarity with other victims (i.e. the Palestinians) and feel very guilty for being viewed as the oppressor. This false sense of guilt plus blatant ignorance and no self-respect will equal a photograph like the one above.

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