Monday, 19 April 2010

Love of the Land: For the Real Meaning of Israel Independence Day

For the Real Meaning of Israel Independence Day

Leo Rennert
American Thinker
19 April '10

Jews all over the world will celebrate by the Jewish calendar the 62nd anniversary of Israel's independence this year on April 19. It has become traditional on such occasions to focus almost entirely on the events of May 1948, when a nascent Jewish state, authorized by a U.N. two-state partition vote the year before, faced half a dozen Arab armies intent on destroying it. In the ensuing battles, that Jewish state managed to survive and lay the foundation for a return of Jewish sovereignty in the Holy Land.

This year, however, I would argue that while reminiscing about the events of 1948, it would behoove us to focus more on 1967, when Israel again was under siege and marked for extinction by Egypt, Syria, and Jordan.

Why 1967 more than 1948? Because an exclusive focus on 1948 tends to abet a misleading impression that the events of that year permanently guaranteed Israel's independence. They did not.

Instead, Israel has had to fight for its independence without much respite for the last 62 years -- and at least three times has faced imminent threats of extinction. Such threats, while not imminent today, nevertheless continue into the present , as Iran with its surrogates (Hamas and Hezbollah) now seeks to pick up the mantle of Egyptian President Nasser.

To get a full sense of Israel's repeated and continuing challenges to confront enemies bent on extinguishing its independence, the Six-Day War of 1967 offers a perfect paradigm, if fully and properly recalled. It's all too easy and misleading, when examining 1967, to concentrate only on the totally unexpected and lightning-fast speed of Israel's victory. That's just the triumphant finale. What also needs to be recalled is what Israel actually faced in June 1967, in the days leading up to the Six-Day War.

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Love of the Land: For the Real Meaning of Israel Independence Day

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