Thursday, 6 May 2010

Love of the Land: A Zionist Renaissance

A Zionist Renaissance

Joseph Puder
06 May '10

Avner S., 26, is a handsome young man with a smooth face that gives him the appearance of a teenager. He is, in spite of his soft exterior, a hardened ex-combat soldier who served in the top combat unit of the Israel Defense Forces – Sayeret Matkal. Both Avner and his colleagues are wearing helmet-like skullcaps and tzizits, which are flowing out of their T-shirts. The roofers, busy putting on red tiles, and the other two dozen workers, all of whom are veterans, are now on a new mission- to build up the land of Israel.

This group, led by Avner, and many others like them, have began a movement that is reminiscent of the early 20th century. An idealistic and pioneering movement of Jewish Labor, inspired by the philosophy of A.D. Gordon. Unlike many secular-leftist, post-military service young men who let themselves go and use drugs in Thailand or India’s Goa, Avner and his crew are being true to a paraphrased rendition of JFK’s famous words: “See what you can do for your country, for your ancestral heartland.”

While the kibbutz youth, who once symbolized Israeli idealism and self-sacrifice, have left the kibbutzim in droves moving either to Israel’s cities or abroad, the young men of the West Bank settlement communities stay where they were born and raised and raise large families. They are reviving today’s sagging idealism and bringing back the old values of self sacrifice that characterized Israel’s pre-state era and the early decades of its existence, in the 1950’s and 1960’s. And they are doing it in the face of cynicism and malice coming from the Israeli urban and leftist elites who control the media and academia.

(Read full story)

Love of the Land: A Zionist Renaissance

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