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Hagai Segal Photo: Zoom 77
Hagai Segal Photo: Zoom 77
 
 

Time to fight the virus

New government website aims to eliminate self-doubt among Israelis

Hagai Segal
Published: 02.26.10, 14:11 / Israel Opinion

A Purim miracle: Within a week, the historic injustice of an entire generation had been rectified. The Israeli government declared that the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb, rather than the Azrieli Towers or IKEA, are at the root of our existence in this country.

 

And another miracle: For the first time in many years, Israel’s Information Ministry is running a pro-Israeli campaign. Ministry officials took a deep breath and declared that the Jews are right. They found the courage to pull out of the archives old ownership claims for our ancient homeland.

 

Getting Defensive
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The campaign’s website, which almost collapsed this week as result of visits by horrified leftists, notes that most Arab towns and villages in Judea and Samaria carry Jewish names, attesting to the Jewish roots in the area. This is dramatic geo-historic argument that contradicts the entire way of thinking we’ve seen around here in the Oslo era.

 

Who even remembers that Anta is in fact Anatot and that the village of Batir is in fact Beitar? We sustained so much brainwashing about occupation and oppression that most of us were convinced that the town of Halhul is named for some martyr assassinated by Meir Dagan once upon a time. Yet now it turns out that the name already appears in the list of tribe of Judah towns in the Book of Joshua: “Halhul, Beth-Zur and Gedor” (Book of Joshua, Chapter 15.)

 

The original vision

The two-state vision was the only vision around here in the past decade, yet suddenly the website reminds us of the original vision – one land, one state. If anyone is scared of the demographic dangers inherent in reviving this vision, they can find a cure for these worries in the reassuring explanations provided on the website: Judea and Samaria is not home to 2.5 million Arabs, as claimed by propagandists of dividing the land; rather, only 1.5 million Arabs live there.

 

Moreover, they are no longer having eight or nine children per mother, but rather, are propagating at a rather Ashkenazi pace. It is in fact the Jewish mother who is boasting of more births in the past decade. There is hope.

 

And here is another refreshing innovation: The shattering of the myth that Israel is a huge country. With all the talk about occupation and settlements, it sometimes appears that we can fit half of America in the area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea. Yet Yuli Edelstein and his people correct our mistake and make it clear that Israel is not so territorially greedy. Alaska is 80 times larger than it, Italy is six times larger, and Hungary is four times larger.

 

The deeper one looks into the website, going from link to link, one gets the sneaking suspicion that these public relations efforts are not directed at the international arena, but rather, are aimed inwards. Israel’s citizens, who are supposed to use the website’s help in order to promote the country abroad, are the real target audience of this new venture, and rightfully so.

 

Before presenting our arguments to the gentiles, Israel needs to present them to itself. A lethal virus of skepticism has been running wild here for years and pulverized our faith in the righteousness of our way. The time has come to rehabilitate it.

 

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