Thursday, November 15, 2007

Israel, the Jewish National Home, Exists by Right Not on Sufferance

"When it is asked what is meant by the development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, it may be answered that it is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community, with the assistance of Jews in other parts of the world, in order that it may become a centre in which the Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride. But in order that this community should have the best prospect of free development and provide a full opportunity for the Jewish people to display its capacities, it is essential that it should know that it is in Palestine as of right and not on sufferance. That is the reason why it is necessary that the existence of a Jewish National Home in Palestine should be internationally guaranteed and that it should be formally recognized to rest upon ancient historic connection."
--Winston Churchill, British Secretary of State for the Colonies, June 1922

(HT: Children of Holocaust Survivors Los Angeles)

With the greatest respect to Sir Winston, may his memory be for a blessing, in acknowledging the foundations of the right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel, one must give primacy not to the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, of which he was speaking, but rather to that "ancient historic connection" that he mentioned. To whit:

"And behold the Lord stood beside him [Jacob] and said, 'I am the lord, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I give to you and your descendents. And your descendents shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the ornth, and to the south. And in you and your seed all the families of the earth will be blessed." Genesis, 28: 13-15, Torah Portion of Vayetze (to be read this coming Sabbath).
(Illustration, "Jacob's Ladder", by Mike Segal.)


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