By Ted Belman
Felix Quigley suggested that Israel reserve citizenship only for Jews. This is what HaTikva has to say on the subject.
Political Zionism is the practical manifestation of the aspirations of the Jewish people for redemption in Zion, that is the Land of Israel with Jerusalem at the center.
Political Zionism received the approval of the League of Nations which carved up the remnants of the Ottoman Sultanate and assigned the Land of Israel to the Jewish People. From the very beginning, this movement was, and still is, deeply divided over one major issue. What extent will Jewish Sovereignty take? On the one pole of the spectrum stands the option of totally independent sovereignty over Ottoman Palestine, (two banks to the Jordan) and on the other pole a limited Jewish presence under the rule of the Foreign Mandatory over a portion of the west bank. The National Camp maintains the consent of Arab inhabitants is irrelevant to the Jewish sovereign presence, whereas the other pole (the Consent camp) demands the acquisition of Arab consent and acceptance as a prerequisite for Jewish Sovereignty. The National pole bases Jewish safety upon independent strength and judicious application of power, whereas the Consent pole bases the continued Jewish presence upon treaties and agreements. Israel as a national and political entity has been bouncing endlessly between those conceptual poles since inception.
On the seventh day of the Six Day War (1967) the Judicial-political Establishment compelled the executive arm to take a decision not to apply Jewish Sovereignty over the lands captured from the Jordanian and Egyptian Armies which had invaded 19 years earlier. The die was cast for the next forty years of struggle, bloodshed and the explosive growth of International Terrorism. The struggle within the Jewish State regarding the extent of sovereignty continues apace. The apex of this struggle was demonstrated by the forceful eviction of Jews from Jewish towns and villages, effected by the media-politico-judicial Establishment in 2005.
Factually though, the more Israel veers toward the consensual pole the more the Arabs reject the idea of a Jewish sovereignty, however compact. Factually the more Arabs express their abhorrence, using war and terror, the more Israel tries to present deeper compromises, to no avail. Even the most fervent advocates of the Jewish Eviction of summer 2005 admit it failed to achieve either acceptance or security or international approval.
At this time the political deck of Israel is listing heavily towards the pole of deep compromise. The major Jewish parties, Labor, Likkud, Shas, Israel Beytenu, are all committed to various plans of partition, that is, the Two State Solution advocated by the USA. The career politicians heading those parties realize their political survival is at this time contingent upon the favors of the Media-Judicial-political-security Establishment. This establishment is fundamentally invested in the so-called peace process (the process of getting Arabs to accept Jewish sovereignty, however tiny).
Only one party named The National Union is committed to Jewish Sovereignty. However, this party appears to give voice to one sector of the population, the National Religious Sector. The leadership of National union appears to be cut from one cloth, which is non-representative of larger society
We, a group of like-minded Israeli Zionists, none of whom are career politicians, have decided that in order to save the Jewish State we must stabilize the listing ship. Protests at monstrous iniquities seem futile when facing the Establishment juggernaut as proven by the Amona pogrom perpetrated by Israel’s “finest”. Thus we turn to Politics and achieving the deciding vote in the Knesset.
As befits a fledgling organization we have not stabilized a rock-solid platform. But the basic ideas are self-evident.
1. The Land of Israel is assigned by God and Humanity to the Jewish Nation. Jewish Sovereignty is the sole legal entity in the Land between the Rift and the Sea. It is the right of every Jew to settle and make his home in the Land of Israel, without hindrance. It is the Duty and the Privilege of Jews to settle the Land and preserve it for future generations.
2. In practical terms it means that all other political entities (Arab or otherwise) whose aim is to establish a foreign rule within this territory, are illegal. All agreements which place the Land under foreign rule are null and void.
3. Non-Jews who live in Eretz Israel are permitted to continue and live as long as their activities do not impinge upon the aforementioned Jewish Sovereignty. In practical terms Arab non-citizens are resident Aliens whose continued presence is contingent upon complete acquiescence to the Law of the Land.
4. Automatic citizenship is awarded only to Jews who are the progeny of Jewish citizens, and to Jewish Immigrants. Non-Jewish Aliens who wish to achieve citizenship will be required to pass muster according to rules and regulations to be established.
5. The application of Israeli Law will be uniform across the Land, upon Jew and non-Jew alike. Practically this means building codes, safety codes, road safety, environmental laws, etc…will be uniform. Foreign Aliens will be taxed by their local government, and by the Country of their Allegiance in accordance with international treaties.
6. The State will guarantee Human Services (health, social security, basic housing) to those citizens who performed their National Service, civilian or military. Foreign Aliens who wish to obtain Israeli services will be assessed full market value. Jewish Immigrants past the age of service will be covered by specific rules and budgets.
7. Citizens who complete their mandatory Military/civilian service will be afforded academic scholarships, commensurate with their level of Service. For example, military service in a combat unit will afford the individual full scholarship inclusive of basic living expenses. Citizens who choose not to perform National Service will be assessed full market value.
8. The Economy is to be a socially responsible liberal economy, where rules and regulations are applied to free enterprise only in order to protect the Citizen and the Land from avarice and licentiousness.
9. The environment and science will be placed very far up on the National Agenda. All means toward reducing green-house gas emissions will be considered, and be targeted for preferential investment.
10. The problem of Arab refugees will be addressed in the same fashion as that of Jewish refugees. Jewish refugees are welcome in Israel, whereas Arab refugees must be welcomed in Arab countries.
Those are the basics to be elaborated into a complete platform that considers all aspects of Statesmanship in the context of Jewish Sovereignty.
Future in the Political landscape
Israel is right now at the nadir of a major confidence crisis in the Establishment. Most of the top echelon of government and judiciary is under a cloud of suspicion, or in police interrogation, or actually convicted of crimes relating to the performance of their public duties. The confidence crisis extends to the competence and decision-making abilities of the whole Establishment, be it in the realm of security, justice, diplomacy, social or environmental. A large block of the voting public is disgusted with existing political choices and opted not to vote, or to vote for parties devoid of any Agenda. The non-agenda just blew up in the Israeli face, when Israel was attacked over two well established International Borders, Gaza and Lebanon. It is obvious that the establishment of another such Border snaking through the heart of the country is a disaster in the making. However, no person in a leadership position is willing to pick up the glove and declare: Full Sovereignty is the right, the privilege and the only viable option for the continued survival and the well-being of the Jewish State.
Into this leadership void, We, the people, step in. From initial probes we feel that a straight-forward, clean-handed party with a clear message has a chance of garnering the support of a large segment of the voting public. We will present to the voting public a party and leadership with no hidden agenda, whose only hope is to strengthen the hold of the Jewish people on the Land of Israel, and to establish therein a just, meritorious, Jewish State that takes care of the Jewish People. In short, Zionist.
Israeli politics is extremely finicky. One rule holds true. Centrist parties who stand for nothing do not last, whereas parties with a real agenda have a loyal following. Our Agenda is Practical Redemptive Zionism, where the needs and rights of Jews are foremost.
Hatikva party will open up it ranks to all Zionist Jews who are lawful citizens of Israel, and hold a registration drive. All registered members will be elect their representative to the Knesset in open Primaries, who will then run for office.
It is frequently said that the splitting of the National Camp lead to its undoing. I submit this is totally untrue. Likkud, having defeated Arab terrorist organizations, having garnered 40 seats in the Knesset, and the most solid coalition ever, was defeated by the Establishment and went for the most repressive act of Jewish eviction This act induced voters to reject Likkud, a stain that will not easily wash off. Therefore the introduction of a new National Zionist party will give the disaffected a voice, rather than split the Camp.
Finally, the option of sitting by on our hands and seeing the Jewish State run down the drain is not an option. We call on all Jews who feel they have a stake in Eretz Israel to join us and preserve the Land for their progeny.
For Hatikva Party
Yuval Brandstetter MD, Lehavim Israel