People have gone crazy at University of Haifa. The desire to seemingly be considerate to Arab students studying there prompted senior officials to avoid the national anthem at the law faculty’s graduation ceremony. There’s no way to find out whose twisted idea it was, yet it clearly symbolizes another milestone.
No more national pride and no more joy over the fact that the Jewish people finally found a place where it can express its national desires after long, exhausting years in exile; instead, we see disturbing weakness of mind that will no doubt culminate in a terrible outcome. Just like the end of European Jews, who believed that if only they accept all sorts of demands, the Nazis will forego their plans for exterminating the whole of Europe’s Jewry to the last man and woman.
It didn’t work there, and it won’t work here either. The Arabs, just like those who destroyed European Jewry, are doing everything they can in their own ways in order to destroy the State of Israel. The Palestinian state they seek will erode the Jewish State from the outside, while on the inside the Arab citizens of Israel will do everything to undermine our national strength, taking advantage of freedom of expression and other basic rights.
When David Ben Gurion declared the Jewish State’s establishment it was clear to all – including the Arabs who lived in the nascent state at the time – that this will be the Jewish people’s national home. Indeed, the Arabs did not have many choices at the time, but that doesn’t matter much. Those who chose to stay within the Jewish State, with all its national symbols, knew this comes with a price. On the one hand, far-reaching benefits of a modern Western state, yet on the other hand renunciation of national aspirations and acceptance of a state where the Jewish majority will determine the norms.
Where is the silent majority?
There weren’t many Arabs here at the time and most of them were under military administration, yet that makes no difference whatsoever as to the constitutive document of the State of Israel. Hence, if the Arabs, who view themselves as members of the “Palestinian people,” wish to change the basic order, they should know that they cannot do it here.
There are many Arab states out there. The realization of Israel’s Arabs’ national rights can only be done there, beyond the Jordan. Not here. Not in Haifa, not in Beersheba, and not in Jaffa. Not in Hebron or Shilo or Beit-El either. The Jewish people did not return to the cradle of its history in order to establish yet another Arab state here.
Yet the real problem I have is not with the Arabs. I can understand them. What they seek to do – changing the Jewish State’s character – is certainly legitimate, in their view of course. They want a “Palestine state” in the 1967 borders that would be empty of Jew and also to turn the State of Israel into a bi-national state, while keeping Jordan as another option for them to take over. Their phased plan was never clearer. My real problem is with the twisted-thinking Jews; the ones who are fed up with their Jewishness and will even support an Arab demand for a national-cultural autonomy in the Galilee.
We cannot, we simply cannot, show such contempt to the Jewish State’s national symbols.
Dr. Haim Misgav is a law lecturer at the Netanya Academic College
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