Since the ugly, sickly "zhid," a character that doesn't appear in the least bit majestic, bestows on the ideal image of the beautiful, proud Hebrew… the zhid should be shocked and humiliated, whereas the other guy should be proud. The zhid is loathsome to everyone and everything, whereas the proud Hebrew must charm them… The zhid loves hiding with bated breath from the eyes of strangers, whereas the other guy must march proudly and strongly towards the entire world…and wave the flag: I am a Jew!
Before everyone comes down on me yelling, "anti-Semite, anti-Semite," I would point out that the words written above were written by none other than one of Zionism's founding fathers and an exceptional intellectual: Ze'ev Jabotinsky.
Need it be said that Jabotinsky was no anti-Semite? Quite the opposite: He dedicated his life to fighting for his Jewish brothers and saving them from the disaster he predicted would engulf them.
This quote is particularly important because it comes from Jabotinsky's eulogy for Theodor Herzl! He wrote these words because he attached great importance to symbols in general, and to national symbols in particular. He viewed Herzl as the embodiment of the "Hebraization" of the Jewish people and the antithesis of the conservative "zhid", with his extreme opinions, frozen ties to Jewish law and lack of tolerance.
It is well known that all of Zionist theory can be summed up in two sentences: A country for the Jewish people, to serve as a home for new Jews. The nature of change required amongst the Jews (individually and as a nation) aroused great conflict and disagreement, but all the Zionist forefathers – from Herzl to Brenner – agreed that the new Jew must be the polar opposite from the "zhid." This is what Jabotinsky wrote.
The State of Israel was born, and the first goal of Zionism was realized. But the "new Jew" is still fighting a raging battle. Some of us have thrown off the outdated yoke of nonsense and adopted an enlightened, liberal and open world view. Others have not only failed to open up, but have sunk into darker and darker behaviors. They are ethnocentric, hate foreigners and "heretics," and harbor deep hatred for individual freedom and equality.
Unfortunately, this stream is growing and becoming deeply entrenched. If we do not fight this ideology with all our might, there is absolutely a danger that the state of the Jews will become a shtetel of zhids. The polar opposite of the vision of the Zionist forefathers.
The most symbolic office in the country is the presidency. The president symbolizes the image of this country, in our eyes and in the eyes of the world.
Throughout the history this country, scientists and men of the humanities such as Chaim Weizmann, Zalman Shazar and Yitzhak Navon have been chosen to serve as president. In addition, public servants such as Ezer Weizmann and Moshe Katsav have also served. Men who correctly personify, more or less, Jabotinsky's "Hebrew": Cultured Jews with broad knowledge in science, rather than zhids frozen in halacha (Jewish law) who hate everybody else.
Could it be that for the first time in history the state will nominate the polar opposite of everything it stands for to serve as its highest symbol? Reactionary, conservative religiosity (even it these are hidden behind fake declarations and public faces)? That we would nominate scorn for all other religious philosophies, to say nothing of philosophies that are not religious at all?
Should our head of state be a Jewish ayatollah who refuses to drink wine out of a bottle touched by a "goy?" Who refuses to shake a woman's hand? Who wouldn't even sit in the same room with Reform and Conservative Jews? This is someone to represent us? Does such a man symbolize the character of our country?
One of the (self-declared) candidates for the presidency spoke several months ago at Bergen Belsen and declared three "enemies of humanity": anti-Semitism, AIDS, and atheism.
One wonders what that individual would have to say about the sworn atheist, Jabotinsky
Ronny A. Brizon was a Knesset member for the Shinui Party