Ariel Center for Policy Research (ACPR)


ACPR Research Summary


The Beginning of the End?

Yosef Ben-Shlomo

Policy Paper No. 54, from the book,
Israel and a Palestinian State: Zero Sum Game?, 2001

Until the covert beginning of this process, whose terrible overt ripening is now taking place before our eyes, the whole Zionist enterprise stood on the solid basis of its claim to "the historically Jewish Land of Israel", whether or not we actually had it in our hands. The source of the moral strength and material success of secular Zionism was in the continuity of this historical consciousness. The drastic internal ideological reversal is the source of the treachery that was Oslo. This was not a crime of treason against the State of Israel (the legal punishment for which would be death if Greater Jerusalem was also handed over in Oslo) but against the Land of Israel and against the future of our existence in the Land for years to come.

If, in the distant past, the life of the Biblical people of Israel in its Land began in Jericho, then its end began in Jericho too. That willing concession at the very heart of the Land of Israel, for the first time in the history of the State, and the transfer of Jewish settlers which will come in its wake without a doubt, (reluctantly or by force), is the beginning of the liquidation of the Zionist enterprise as a whole. The fate of the Zionist enterprise and the State of Israel will be sealed, in the last analysis, by abandoning parts of the Land of Israel, because a political entity will not last long without a moral basis, (and all the more so the Jewish state).

Those who think lands gained in 1967 are wrongly so, out of intellectual fairness and disgust with hypocrisy, in some cases have already arrived at the conclusion: the entire State of Israel was born in sin and will die in sin, and the previous owners of "Palestine" will come to settle in it. This Zionism without Zion and Jerusalem (Jerusalem as "occupied territory" too), transforms Jewish nationalism into colonialism.

We are told that Zionism succeeded by making concessions and compromises. True enough, but the concessions were made out of compulsion, and the compromises because of pressures. The reversal that has taken place since those concessions is not political but a philosophical transformation. The inner attitude toward the Land of Israel has changed. And after the sell-out, not one leader of public opinion raised the question, over the heads of our joy, about the loss of the heart of our country. Government officials continue to lie insolently (and perhaps, foolishly, if not in their minds, then in their hearts), that Jerusalem "will remain united and our eternal capital" -- what every intelligent person understands as no more than cheap talk.

I wrote an article with quotations from T.S. Eliot and Haim Nahman Bialik, instead of tearing my clothes and screaming a great and bitter scream.

For the complete article, click here.