Seventy-five years ago, on November 29, 1947, “a 2000-year-old dream became reality: A Jewish State was born anew in its ancient homeland,” writes the official web page of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the topic. “On that day,” the statement continues, “the UN General Assembly voted on Resolution 181, adopting a plan to partition the British Mandate into two states, one Jewish, one Arab.”
The following day, Israel’s War of Independence began, initially against the Palestinian Arabs, who denied the UN’s right to determine the fate of Palestine, and subsequently against six invading Arab armies. Israel won the war and survived against all odds, but its greatest battle has yet to be decided—the battle for the support of the Jews.
The nations did not want a Jewish state. This was clear then, as it is clear now. The Holocaust was a powerful lever to bring the world to support the establishment of the State of Israel, and there were other considerations such as the emergent Cold War, where the US and the USSR wanted to dominate the oil-rich Middle-East.
Today, however, there is no question that if the UN voted on the establishment of a Jewish state, probably not one country would say yes. The problem that the world had hoped to solve by giving the Jews their own country has clearly not been solved.
Antisemitism is rife, spreading quickly, and the Jewish question that the Germans intended to solve through extermination is a mainstream, and worse yet, legitimate topic of conversation. Things are moving in a very negative direction, and without a drastic change, they will end the way all of our good times ended: in tragedy.
However, as I indicated above, our toughest battle is not against the Palestinians or the United Nations. The worst enemies of Israel are overseas Jews and Israelis who feel that the Jewish state should not exist, and they do all that they can to destroy it—from using manipulative and false media, to supporting terrorists and praising their horrific acts.
This inner battle is the toughest because in order for us to win, we must first be willing to admit that there is something more important than being right, and that something is internal unity among the Jews. Until we accept that our troubles do not come to us at the hands of the Palestinians or the nations, but stem from our own disunity, and until we agree to work accordingly and unite despite our mutual dislike, the aversion of the world toward us will only grow.
Today in Israel, the majority of the Jews agree with the existence of a Jewish democratic state. There are many who do not, who think that Zionism is a contemptible idea, but they are still a minority in Israel.
Outside of Israel, however, the situation is very different. In the US, by far the largest Jewish community outside of Israel, as well as in many other communities, the majority of Jews consider Israel a nuisance, a trouble maker that gives the entire creed a bad name and causes the world to hate overseas Jews for Israel’s “crimes.” These Jews, who join Israel’s haters in hope that the world will spare them its hatred because of it, actually saw the wind, and they will reap the storm like the rest of us.
Jews are known for being opinionated and obstinate. I am all for firmness of views, especially when it is supported by serious data and reasonable arguments. However, at the end of the day, our well-thought-out views will not prevail over the equally well-thought-out views of the other side, nor are they intended to. The differences of opinion are there precisely so we will rise above them and place unity above what appears to be sensible arguments. When we do so, we will realize that however sensible, no argument can win if it does not stem from unity and promotes unity. In the end, it is our unity that brings peace with the Arabs, and not the tactics that either side hopes to implement.
The reason so many Jews oppose the Jewish state is that they do not realize their own role, and how the State of Israel is vital for their success. If they knew that the role of every Jew is to show unity precisely above division, and that this is the only way the nations will accept us, they would look at differences of opinions not as existential threats, but as challenges that we can overcome only together.
When we do so and unite, we will become a model nation, a light to the nations. This is our calling, our vocation, and we will never know peace until we do this. No political agreement will grant us what our unity will grant us. If we do not unite, instead of peace, the opposite will happen. Therefore, the only way that Israel can truly win its War of Independence is by uniting, not by fighting. This is our ticket to peace.