The Zionist Conspiracy
Thursday, May 15, 2008
A few weeks ago, Maclean's magazine published a long piece provocatively titled, "Why Israel can't survive." The article itself was more nuanced and less insidious than its misleading title.
The Maclean's title reminds me of Look Magazine's 1964 article called "The Vanishing American Jew." Although some of the predictions in that piece have proven accurate (particularly predictions of ever-increasing intermarriage), it has been pointed out with satisfaction that in fact it was Look that vanished, not American Jewry.
Perhaps one day, while enjoying lunch on the Judean hills, we will be able to relish that Maclean's did not survive while Israel has continued to be successful.
For now, however, the primary danger does not relate to demography, to terror, to Islamic extremists, or even to Iran. All of those represent dangers to Israel, indeed even existential dangers if mishandled.
The biggest danger is in the growing charge by haters of Israel that the world would be better off without Israel and that Israel should therefore be wiped off the map.
This charge is made by only a fairly small number of people, but it is being repeated more often that even a few years ago, and by those in respected positions in media and academia.
We must not underestimate the importance of the battle of ideas concerning Israel. It is an existential war that must be won.
Right now, we have the upper hand. America is the world's superpower, and America - and Americans - largely support Israel. Europe too has moved somewhat toward Israel over the last few years.
We also happen to have truth and justice on our side, as well as the moral high ground.
We are missing three things. First, the awareness that this battle of ideas is underway. Second, that while we have the upper hand, victory is not ensured, especially against a motivated enemy. And third, we are missing basic knowledge about why the ideas on which Israel is based should prevail. Our schools do not teach the history of Zionism and modern Israel. Instead, it is taken for granted that an instinctive love for Israel will suffice. On individual and communal bases it generally does, but in the world battle for Israel's survival it is not enough.