Monday, March 23, 2009

If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem

Here's an answer to Ben Ehrenreich and his article: The Root of Israel's Problem: Zionism -found in the Sunday Oregonian. I think Ben did forget. Nadene Goldfoot

By Victor Sharpe
Nadene Goldfoot
Jerusalem has been described as the eternal city of the eternal people.Let me quote the words from 1918 of the great Rabbi J.H. Hertz, Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, at the thanksgiving service for the liberation of Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks by British forces. He spoke of the nearly 4,000 years of history that bound the Jews to their spiritual and physical capital city and of their fate in defending it against its many conquerors.“Like the Jew, this Holy City of Israel is deathless; fire and sword and all the engines of destruction have been hurled against it in vain.

 The Babylonians burnt it and deported its population; the Romans slew a million of its inhabitants, razed it to the ground, passed the ploughshare over it and strewed its furors with salt; Hadrian banished its very name from the lips of men, changed it to Aelia Capitolina and forbade any Jew from entering it on pain of death. Persians and Arabs, Barbarians and Crusaders and Turks took it and re-took it, ravaged it and burnt it; and yet, marvelous to relate, it ever rises from its ashes to renewed life and glory.”Rabbi Hertz was talking on the very day that 2,080 years earlier, Judah Maccabee, the wondrous Jewish hero who had led his warriors against the Greek-Syrians to liberate the Holy City from its heathen occupiers, entered the Temple and re-dedicated it to the glory of the One and Only God, invisible and indivisible.

 Rabbi Hertz ended his speech by proclaiming the prophetic teaching of the Maccabean festival, we know as Hanukah, in Zechariah, 4:6: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.”It is well to dwell on what has been said by both Jews and non-Jews in the past about Jerusalem for there is a government and a prime minister in Israel today preparing to abandon eternal Jerusalem and give it away to those who hate the Jewish people and have set their face against accepting any Jewish independence or sovereignty in the Land of Israel.

The tireless Zionist leader, Theodor Herzl, wrote in 1897: “The return to Zion must be preceded by our return to Judaism.” We should remember that Herzl knew full well that the word Zion is, and always has been, synonymous with the eternal city of Jerusalem.Mordechai M. Noah wrote in 1824 that “We will return to Zion as we went forth, bringing back the faith we carried away with us.”Again, Herzl wrote in 1898 about the Zionist cause and the restoration of Jerusalem: “One thing is to me certain, high above any doubt: the movement will continue. I know not when I shall die, but Zionism will never die.”

And here is a quote in the Encyclopedia Britannica from 1910. In it Lucien Wolf wrote as follows: “Zionism is the lineal heir to the attachment to Zion, which led the Babylonian exiles under Zerubbabel to rebuild the Temple and which flamed up in the heroic struggle of the Maccabees against Antiochus Epiphanes. The great bulk of the Jewish people have throughout their history remained faithful to the dream of a restoration of their national life in Judea.”One can go back through the mists of time and read the same sentiments in every generation; as far back as the towering words in Isaiah 2:1 and Micah 4:2: “For out of Zion shall come forth the Torah, and the word of God from Jerusalem.”

 These are just two of the 821 times that Jerusalem and Zion appear in the Tanach (Holy Bible) – Jerusalem 667 times and Zion, 154 times.According to the much loved correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, the late Moshe Kohn, “Jewish sources speak of the seventy names by which Jerusalem is referred to in the classical Jewish sources. These include Ariel/lion of God (Isaiah 29:1); Kirya Neemana/Faithful City (Isaiah 1:25); Ir Ha’emet (City of Truth (Zechariah 8:3); Klilat Yofi/Paragon of Beauty (Lamentations 2:15); Yefay Nof/ Beautiful Panorama (Psalms 48:3); and the ancient commentary of Rabbi Akiva in Sanhedrin 58a on 1 Chronicles 29:11 Hanetza/Eternity.”

But what of now? The modern State of Israel endures a prime minister willing, even anxious to divide Jerusalem again and to give away ancestral and biblical Jewish lands to an enemy led by a Holocaust denier whose own Fatah organization continues to murder Jews and gleefully claim credit for its crimes.This Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, is now being investigated on four separate charges of corruption, yet Israelis seem paralyzed and unable to remove him politically from office. Olmert is the Prime Minister under whose watch the Second Lebanon War was grotesquely mishandled and who has recently been blamed for the needless deaths of thirty Israeli soldiers in the waning days of the war. Yet he has not done the honorable thing: resign.This is the Prime Minister who applauded the national shame known under its duplicitous euphemism, the “Disengagement Plan.” In it, Israeli policemen and women were ordered to drag 10,000 Jewish souls from their homes in villages throughout the Gaza Strip, land known as Gush Katif, and to then destroy those homes and their flourishing Jewish farms. This is the man who has allowed the Arabs in Gaza, who have shown their contempt by not creating a civilized society in Gaza but by sliding into 7th century barbarism and Islamism, to rain thousands of missiles upon the Israeli towns and villages adjacent to the terror-infested Arab-occupied Gaza Strip. Ehud Olmert and his regime continue to allow what no other nation on earth would ever tolerate.

And this Prime Minister, under whose reign tens of thousand of Israelis in Judea and Samaria now fear a new deportation will soon descend upon them, is soon to represent Israel at an International Conference in Annapolis called for by the U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.Ms. Rice has made it a personal commitment, even an article of faith, to create a Palestinian state side by side with Israel within the mere fifty miles width separating the Jordan River from the Mediterranean Sea. It is reported that her advisers include men who are not well disposed toward the Jewish State. They include Jimmy Carter, James Baker lll, Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski.At this ill conceived Conference, Olmert will likely make far-reaching concessions to the Arabs with nothing in return. That has been the sorry pattern of Israel’s suicidal policy of “land for peace” whereby the Palestinian aggressors receive land from which to launch new terrorism against Israel, but Israel never receives peace.

 This failed policy has been pressed upon Israel by successive American Secretaries of State and Presidents.Olmert and his ministers seem unable to learn any lessons from their earlier futile withdrawals from southern Lebanon and Gaza. Soon, Heaven forbid, the very ancestral homeland in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) will be lost, not by the ravages of an enemy host but, to its eternal shame, from an Israeli government itself. As Frank Gaffney wrote in a recent article, “Condi Rice is demanding that Israel now relinquish the West Bank and east Jerusalem to yet another terrorist organization: Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah.

 The entire Annapolis house of cards is built on the fraudulent foundation that the Palestinian faction established by Abbas’ mentor, Yasser Arafat, is a reliable partner for peace. Only a zealot who has altogether lost any sense or reality could make such an assertion.”So will Olmert sell out Israel’s ability to remain a viable state with an undivided capital city in eternal Jerusalem? Will Israel be able to defend itself after being forced back within pre-1967 borders, which an Israeli statesman, Abba Eban, once described as the “Auschwitz borders?”

 Or will Ehud Olmert, at this eleventh hour, find within himself the spiritual essence and wisdom that has guided so many Jewish leaders before him? Will he remember Zion and not turn his face away from it? Perhaps he will yet turn from the false gods of secularism and find again the still small voice heard so long ago in the words of the great Jewish prophet, Isaiah 42: 6-7. “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness and have taken hold of thine hand, and kept thee, and set thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations, to open the blind eyes, to bring the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.”

Source: Article submitted by the author, an IHC Featured Writerhttp://www.infoisrael.net/Published 3 December 2007

Israel Hasbara Committee - http://www.infoisrael.netYou can find this article online at www.infoisrael.net/cgi-local/text.pl?source=4/b/viii/031220071&lang=
on my blog with permission from Mr. Sharpe.
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