Sunday, 25 June 2017

Language and symbols – as unique as the culture that they reflect










This article was written jointly by Roger Froikin and Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks

Languages and symbols are the defining edges and the shapers of a culture and its members. They determine their views and perspectives.  They affect how they interpret their reality, how they decide during adulthood and what their values are in the subtlest of ways. 

Both are also harsh, sometimes, and for a reason.

Ever since early days, mankind has been using, borrowing and adopting symbols and terms of cultures alien to their own. In many case, such usage has helped bridge over differences and mend divides that human nature has erected. Cultures and groups have been willingly sharing ideas, inventions and moral codes, all for the benefits of the many.

What is repeatedly forgotten, however, is that most often in history, words, languages, meanings and symbols are adopted by the dominant cultural group in order to reflect its frame of reference, its world view. When these are, therefore, assumed and used by others, meanings are likely to be changed, often to the disadvantage of the smaller, less numerous and less powerful group that holds those cultural parameters. 

These practices among cultures have been so widespread that, in many instances, it almost seems to us that the game of sharing has turned into Chinese whispers. People are either using terms in the wrong context, or using them in the right one but mispronouncing them.

That could be, at most, funny and entertaining. But not always.

As a result of such misuse, and in an effort to keep original meanings intact, the smaller less powerful culture must make an extra effort to maintain its identity and those cultural artifacts in symbols and language as originally intended,

Moreover, in many cases, people do not only use symbols and terms of other cultures in the wrong context, mispronounce them, misapply them, and sometimes use them as objects of ridicule. In many cases, they also, and worst of all, claim them as their own while trying to convince others that those had always been theirs.

For instance, many of us have heard the famous saying “Love thy neigbour as thyself.” It is being referred to as a “Christian idiom” and has, regrettably, been unquestionably accepted as such.  Those, however, who are familiar with the original Hebrew/Jewish Scriptures would know that not only is this verse taken from the Torah, it was also misinterpreted when translated into Greek and from Greek into other languages.

It first appears in ויקרא   (VaYikra, Leviticus) 9:18. The original Hebrew states "ואהבת לרעך כמוך."  Which translates “You should love your friend as yourself.” Surely not every friend is our neighbour and not every neighbour is our friend. 

Another and more important example of change might be in the popular translations of the 10 Commandments. Some popular versions in the West, while claiming authenticity, actually edit out portions that might be inconvenient to non-Jewish cultures, and mistranslate others while leaving them with the beliefs that were never intended by the original. This does not stop some from claiming with religious fervor that their versions are the word of G-d.  The example that comes to mind is when about 5 years ago, the wife of an Evangelical minister spoke on radio claiming that she believed every word of the Bible because she had read and studied it in the “original English” and knows what G-d commands us to believe.

Unlike language, Symbols, sometimes carry even a deeper cultural meaning. 

For Jews, for instance, Jewish symbols, from the Magen David to the Talit to the symbolism of the care taken when lifting and using the Sefer Torah, all have special meaning that distinguish our traditions, our struggles, or resistance, our identity and, therefore, make them unique to us. 
When Gentiles adopt those symbols because they believe it brings them closer to their Christ, that changes the meaning of those symbols, and, to be blunt, though some Jews mistakenly interpret that as being pro-Jewish, most of us see that as some sort of parody that distorts that which those things mean to us. This is akin to the sentiment of a Christian being insulted when witnessing a Muslim using the symbol of the Cross in some play or another context in a manner which is remote from the intentions of it creators. 

These are just a couple of examples as to why and where harsher and more crisp guidelines need to be adopted and applied by members of the culture whose essence is being hijacked, mistranslated and sometimes misused. It happened in the past albeit in a manner which cannot be repeated or affected, let alone enforced in today’s world.  One example where such measures were used is ancient Rome. There, laws and fines were in place against efforts to usurp that which belonged and was limited to one group.


And before anyone jumps at our throat and puts words in our mouths, let us reiterate that we do not advocate such an approach. We are merely stating a historical fact where members of one group, in this case, Jews, seek to defend, and justifiably so,  that which belongs to them against efforts to appropriate its essence, spiritual and other.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Shabbat









Shabbat is probably the most significant Jewish Holy Day in the Hebrew Calendar. The reason for its importance is twofold. The first is that it occurs fifty-two time a year. It was the first Holy Day marked and sanctified by G-d Himself when he created the Universe.
The second and no less weighty reason is that it is the sign of the Covenant made between G-d and Am Yisrael at Mount Sinai.
As we all know the Ten Commandments were given to Moses on that occasion. The third commandment addresses the tenet of Shabbat.

There are two sets of the Tem Commandments in the Torah. One, in the Book of Shemot (Exodus) 20:1-20, the other in the book of Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:5-21.
The two sets are identical except for one difference, a difference of one word. It rests with the third commandment, the one dedicated to Shabbat. In the Book of Shemot, we are commended to “Remember” the Shabbat. In the Book of Devarim, we are commanded to “Observe” the Shabbat.
Incidentally, that is why we light TWO candles when we welcome Shabbat. One for the directive to “Remember.” The other for the one to “Observe.” Why, may you ask, is there one word that distinguishes between these two important sets of dictates?
This question has preoccupied me for a long time. I trust it has engaged the minds of many wiser and more learned scholars than myself.
As a Jew who is still in the process of educating myself about my own tradition, as one whose belief in the One G-d of Yisrael is growing deeper and deeper, I believe I have finally realized the reason.
It points, yet again, to the great wisdom and sensitivity of our Torah and the Jewish tradition that evolved out of it.
“Remembering” Shabbat does not require much hard work or great sacrifice. It can be done in the form of lighting candles, having a family dinner, reciting the blessings or singing Shabbat songs.
Observing Shabbat, however, is not as easy. Moving from the mundane matters of the week into the Holy and refined atmosphere of Shabbat requires a shift to a different frame of mind. One must not only cease from all physical activities forbidden by Torah and those decreed by our sages. One also needs to enter a higher and more sanctified Spiritual realm.
Self-Discipline is a key factor when one chooses to embark upon the decision to observe Shabbat. Temptations to break it are always strewn along the way. These are obstacles that avert our focus from the intended goal.
The journey between “Remembering” and “Observing” Shabbat requires maturity and, in my view, also a higher emotional intelligence level (unless, of course, one has been raised according to it from an early age).
But above all, it requires an immersion in Holiness (Kodesh קודש( because that is the very unique nature of Shabbat
I honestly believe that the Torah recognized the difference and what it takes to move from one to the other.
The Ten commandments were first given to Am Yisrael shortly after they came out of Egypt from the House of Bondage.
At that stage, they were not ready to follow the laws and adhere to them.
As slaves, one could not expect this multitude to act independently, become a free People overnight and practice Freedom of choice. They had to be coached into becoming a Nation, a Culture and a Civilization.
Moreover, wandering in the desert for forty years did not make life easy for Am Yisrael. In addition to the harsh surrounding conditions, they had to be taught the laws and the requirements. They had to be given the tools and be prepared to observe them. The old generation that still possessed the slave mentality had to die out and a new generation of free people needed guidance, advice and direction. They had to be cleansed, to be purged in order to reach that level of purity, physical and spiritual which Observing Shabbat requires of us. When they were getting closer to reaching their destination in the Book of Devarim, it was then that they were ready to move on to the next level of becoming an עם קדושים Am Kedoshim (a Holy Nation). It was time for them to move from the stage of “Remembering” to “Observing.”
It was, therefore, at that stage, I believe that the commandment regarding the Shabbat was altered.
Am Yisrael was finally ready to assume the role that G-d had destined for them. They were about to enter Eretz Yisrael and were expected to live, meet and fulfill the terms of the Covenant and reminded of it by adhering to its sign.
“The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” It is through the Shabbat, through “Remembering” it and “Observing” it that G-d will continue to bless and sanctify Am Yisrael.
Shavua tov.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Moses nailed it!







The figure of Moses in the Torah is mostly remembered as the leader who took the Yisraelites out of Egypt

How many, though, are aware that he was also a Prophet?

A few days ago, I happened to read the Song of the Sea which Moses sang with the children of Yisrael after they crossed the Sea of Reeds. It was then that it dawned on me how his role as a Prophet was underestimated. The following verse from the song he sang struck me as so relevant to our times.

It describes the goal of an enemy, a threat to Am Yisrael and what it had wished to do to us.
אמר אויב: ארדוף אשיג אחלק שלל ......תמלאמו נפשי תורישמו ידי. (שמות ט"ו פס' ט')
“The enemy boasted, 'I will pursue, I will overtake them. I will divide the spoils; I will gorge my soul on them… .…..my hand shall inherit them.' (Exodus 15,9)

The ancient Egyptians may have been the subject of Moses's song. Today, however, it is not only those that wish to annihilate us that this verse is applicable to. Today, Jews have an enemy of a different kind, one that secretly weaves and stealthily preys upon Am Yisrael and the Jewish people with the aim of depriving us of our Jewish essence. They are the Christian missionaries. Their maneuvers are focused in the spiritual realm which poses no less of a danger than the one Moses was referring to in her song.

When addressing Yisrael’s enemies physical and spiritual with regards to Moses's song, I am particularly referring to the part where this verse mentions spoils, that which the enemy appropriates after it has triumphed. The Hebrew word for spoils is שלל (Shalal. Shin, Lamed, Lamed).

Our wise sages ((חז"ל suggest that this word is an acronym for מותיהם לשונם לבושםש, (Shmoteyhem, their names, Leshonam, their language, culture, Levusham, their garb).
Studying the manner in which the enemies of Yisrael operate, that is exactly how they go about their efforts to steal and destroy Jewish lives and souls.
They adopt our names, our titles.

Zionists, is one example of a name/title which belongs to Jews only (for various reasons which are listed in articles written by myself and others) is being usurped by various faiths while its members define it as they see fit. I have seen “Christian Zionists.” I have seen “Muslim Zionists.” I have even heard that there are some who suggest that Mohammad, since he claimed that Eretz Yisrael belongs to the Jews and since he came Before Herzl and his Political Zionism movement, is the original Zionist…..

The name “Palestine” is another example.

Though it was not Christian missionaries that adopted the name which was arbitrarily given to us and to Eretz Yisrael, the Land of the Jews, still the fact remains that someone else stole it from us and now tries to convince the world that this has been their homeland forever and a day.

As far as language is concerned, need I mention all the examples where Missionaries have given themselves and their organizations Hebrew terms, language in order to convince ignorant Jews that they are part of us and that one day we will all become one?

Let me start by mentioning a group called HaYovel. It is a clan of Christian Evangelicals who have joined hands with some Jewish enablers and moved to Eretz Yisrael where they have been given land. Though they claim that their sole purpose of coming to Yisrael is to help the farmers of Judea and Samaria with harvesting their crops, many of us suspect, based on their own words that there is more to it.

They adopted the name HaYovel (Hebrew for Jubilee) with the stated purpose to “share with them {Jews} a passion for the soon coming of the Jubilee in Yeshua, the messiah." 

A source called “Talmidei Yeshua Fellowship,” describes HaYovel on their FB page as: “a ministry that helps Israeli farmers farm and harvest their crops. As well as helping them work they also bring the gospel message to the farmers.”

It is not only our language that is being appropriated by those who wish to “pursue us, overtake us and divide spoils,” as Moses prophesied. It is also some of the symbols of our few millennia old and endowed culture that they have targeted.

Yerushalayim, Zion, the eternal capital of the Jewish people, the heart of the Jewish people has also been a subject to efforts by many to claim as their own. Islam has sanctified Yerushalayim for political rivalry reasons, according to Dr. Mordechai Kedar. Now, we also have Christian evangelicals claiming that Yerushalayim , rather, the “New Jerusalem” is where “Jesus Christ will reign for 1000 years and every knee will bow down to him.” (Pastor Hagee, March 2013).

Now if that is not usurpation, please enlighten me of what is.

How about all those evangelical Christians who observe Shabbat, or keep Kashroot?
We cannot tell anyone what to do or not do. However, it is important to note that Shabbat was given to Jews as a sign of the Covenant Am Yisrael made with G-d on Mount Sinai. Kashroot laws are part of the Torah which, again,  was given to Am Yisrael only (except for its moral code that was given to them AND to humanity).

Those who follow those laws, claim that they love us,  and insist that they are our friends. Friends respect that which belongs to friends and do not just take what belongs to them and claim it as their own. That is what enemies have done to each other throughout history with the spoils that they took after they had won the war.

Now we are getting to the last acronym of the Hebrew word Shallal (spoils). Targeting the garb.

I shudder each time I see a non-Jew wearing a tallit, a prayer shawl. The commandment to wear one was decreed for Jews only. It breaks my heart when I see non-Jews wear it and for the purpose of practicing Jewish customs which have been misconstrued by those who wear it either to deceive of to further their agenda of eventually removing the Jewish essence from Judaism towards their goal of making us “complete Jews.” They wear it, for instance, during  the “seder” which they conduct more as a commemoration of the last supper than the Exodus from Egypt.

“Look what they have done to my song ma,” is a song by Melanie from the early 70’s that comes into mind when I write these lines.

Unlike, Melanie’s song, however, the song of the Prophet Moses offers Hope for Am Yisrael. In verse 13, he says,
עד יעבור עמך ה‘, עד יעבר עם זו קנית, תבאמו ותטעמו בהר נחלתך.
(In your unfailing love, you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength, you will guide them to your holy dwelling).

Let our enemies be warned. We are the People of Eternity. The Eternal of Yisrael Shall Never Lie. We are named Yisrael for a reason. No matter what, we shall always prevail!

Shavua tov.


Monday, 8 May 2017

Keeping Friends Closer and Drawn Lines Redder









This article was written jointly by Roger Froikin and Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks

Picture this, it is Passover. You invite Christian friends, guests, to you family Seder. You start to read the Haggadah, and just when you get to the part where Jews say how we are to see ourselves, not just our ancestors, as being brought out of slavery to freedom, our Christian friends say, “hey that’s not what your Seder means, it is an allegory for the coming of Christ and the resurrection.”
What do you do?

 Some Jews would sit there quietly, smile, and start to discuss what these Christians inserted in the celebration. To their children, this would appear as acceptance of the Christian interpretation.

Well, that is not what Jews should be doing.  Jews need to say, “yes, we want friends, but friends respect one another and these Christians were not acting like friends. The Jews who chose to ignore their lack of manners and aggressive should be ashamed of themselves.”

Yet, In the State of Israel today,  Medinat Yisrael, in Eretz Yisrael the Jewish Homeland, there are places where this scenario is being played out in reality. No one is responsible nor seems to want to draw the line between acceptable and not acceptable. In some places missionaries are telling Jews what Jews should believe, while some Jews look down and say nothing.

They claim to be our friends. They declare that they love us. Moreover, they claim that they are here in Eretz Yisrael to help us, serve us and to fulfill the calling of the prophecy   ו וּבְנֵי הַנֵּכָר, הַנִּלְוִים עַל-יְהוָה לְשָׁרְתוֹ, וּלְאַהֲבָה אֶת-שֵׁם יְהוָה, לִהְיוֹת לוֹ לַעֲבָדִים (And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants,) (Isaiah 56:6).

Some of us ask, and justifiably so, is that the real reason? Rather, is this the only reason?

As a people who has been deprived of love by others for so long, such an offer is, of course, very tempting. For who does not want to be loved. Who does not want to have free servants and volunteers to do the dirty work for them? 

So, they were given a place to set up their camp. They are adorned and adulated by those they help. They invite their friends to come and stay with them. They organize Shabbat events where Jews and Christians meet and mingle. They conduct Christian weddings with Jewish rituals to which they invite local observant Jews and which the latter attend thus condoning such practices.

Frankly, we have no problem inviting strangers as guests to our private home and our National Home, especially those who claim to be our friends. Our issue, however, is when these guests, these friends feel that they have a right to teach us, to expose us to that which is as foreign to us, that which is poisonous to us, spiritually, and nationally. They feel it is their duty, as our friends, to teach us that which we have never asked for, nor ever wanted.

Their upbringing and their belief pave their way toward one and one goal only, to make everyone, especially those that they consider their friends, that which is what they are, embrace and adopt that which they believe in. For them there is one way and one way only, their way.

And their way is to share with and educate Jews about “this Jesus that” they “know.” Their vision is to share with us “this passion, this soon coming jubilee [Yovel in Hebrew] in Yeshua HaMessiah.”

AND, THAT IS WHERE WE MUST DRAW THE LINE

Interestingly, during the Crusades, when Christians, directed by their leaders, were busy murdering Jews on the way to fight the Muslims for Jerusalem, one Roman Catholic Bishop   warned that some Jews should be spared because the Second Coming of Christ would be from among the Jews.  He drew a line. And one might ask Christians, were they successful in converting all the Jews so that Judaism would disappear, how would their Jesus come back?

So, that is our question.  Where will we draw the line?   Where and when will we demand respect for us and our traditions and our Torah?  When will our people understand that friendship does not mean having to beg for it, to ingratiate oneself for it or to compromise one’s own standards for it.

DRAW THE LINE.  RESPECT OTHERS WHO RESPECT US.

And that means no missionary activity directed toward Jews.  No telling Jews what Jewish literature that was written for Jews in the Hebrew language “really” means as interpreted by outsiders.
Moreover, Jews wake up.  See things as they are, not just how you want them to be, desperate for approval and friendship. What do you imagine will happen when Christians who so desperately want us Jews to join them are thwarted?  


Look at history.  Learn from it  

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

To You, Germany, Deutschland from me










This article was written jointly by Roger Froikin and Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks


Throughout the early years of my life in Yisrael, I heard people referring to you in various ways. They were diverse depending on the contexts, setting and who made a mention of it.

In my household, for instance, it was always negative and understandably so. Both my parents, my close family members and most of our friends were Shoah survivors. The mere citation of your name evoked memories of pain and suffering. It brought to the surface nightmares and recollections of an era which were frenziedly pushed to the dark corners of my family’s sub consciousness in an effort to erase any trace of their existence. Your forbidden name was engraved on their brain, the physical scars brandished on their skin and both are still imprinted on my soul.

“Never Forget, Never Again” is the motto that our people has adopted when we recall that chapter in our history where you, Germany, Deutschland have played such a critical role. That role, I must admit has changed us immensely. You have helped us raise and shape a race of Jews who are determined to make that motto a reality every single day of our lives.

In my home, though, and again, plausibly so, that motto was followed by “Never Forgive.” Surely you cannot blame blemished souls, emotionally and physically disfigured (my father was 70% disabled), for vowing that. We never bought products made by you. We never drove cars produced by you. Neither did we ever listen to the beautiful music composed by Strauss and Wagner. My brother and I were raised to believe that you were the embodiment of all evil.

I refused to accept that perception and was determined to change it. I was resolute to “Never Forget,” but I was also ready to forgive. For how, I asked myself, can anyone blame the children for the sins of their fathers? The optimist in me wanted to believe that the seed of goodness was after all in you and continued to hold the conviction that its fruition was provisionally hindered because it was tended by the wrong gardener. I wanted to believe that you and your people have learned the lessons of World War II and would make every effort to educate your youth the meaning of compassion, justice, civility and respect.

Needless to add that my embarking on such a journey towards such a noble goal was not very welcome by those who raised me otherwise.

Reality, however, soon dealt me a hard blow .The new, repenting Germany might have been the case for some. Not for all, though, so it seemed.

I recently learnt that "According to reports submitted by Israeli NGOs, in 2012-2015 alone, €4 million of German taxpayer money was allocated to 15 Israeli NGOs (this may be a partial amount, as not all Israel NGOs adhere to the submission requirements), 42% of which went to organizations that promote BDS and/or “one-state” visions. " (http://www.ngo-monitor.org/funder/germany/)

Such a reality makes me wonder, why do you, Germany, of all nations, engage in such activities, aimed at out rightly undermining the Jewish state, the Homeland of the same people that almost a century ago, you were so determined to annihilate?

The answer, I believe, can be summed up in one word, Projection. The term is used in the realm of psychology where it describes the actions of humans who defend themselves and their bad deeds by denying their existence in themselves and attributing them to others.

Naturally, you, Germany and some of your proud Germans, are aware of your dark history and your atrocious actions against the Jews. Such a history rests as a yoke on your neck refusing to disappear. The human conscience can bear only so much guilt especially when it is repeatedly flung at it. Your guilt-ridden essence needs to relieve itself of it.

Supporting and financing groups that promote BDS, which clearly present Yisrael and Jews as malevolent, is one way of dealing with all that guilt. It helps dwarf the crimes you committed against the Jewish Nation. Creating and aiding a narrative which portrays your victims as evil and themselves guilty of “war crimes,” helps diminish the magnitude of your own crimes and shift focus from them to those of their victims, those they have wronged so badly.


Such actions by you, Deutschland will eventually act as a boomerang. They may provide you with the so long sought after relief but it is merely a temporary one. Your current behaviour not only reopens and deepens our scars, it makes ‘Never Forget” and “Never Forgive” for people, like yours truly, more unyielding than ever before.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Not Just One Day......











Yom HaShoah, for me, a daughter of two Shoah survivors, is always.

Growing up in the shadow of this horrific chapter in our history, reliving the memories of its atrocities and never forgetting it are a part of who I am and what I am.

I am the young child in the Ghetto who is pushed to become a thief and steal a potato so that he can feed his starving younger sister.

I am the mother who is desperately trying to calm and silence her baby for fear of having their hiding place disclosed.

I am the teacher in the Ghetto who does all she can to educate the young children and make them understand that which no human mind can grasp, that which is inconceivable.

I am the Rabbi who tirelessly tries to explain to his desperate listeners that G-d is not ignoring them but merely temporarily hiding His face.

I am the partisan who lives in the forest, defiantly resisting and determined to overcome death.

I am the Kapo who was forced to make a difficult choice of either electing death or becoming a false god who would decree who by fire and who by water.

I am the doomed who was selected to be the one who removes the corpses from the gas chambers as I study the familiar faces painted with agony. I see their blank look and frozen eyes staring at me, begging me to live and tell and to Never Forget.

I am the daughter of an elderly sick mother who is desperately trying to ignite the spark of Hope in her dying soul.

I am the young woman who was part of the string quartet that was standing at the entrance to the crematoria, playing the scratched violin as we were dancing our brothers and sisters to the “End of Love.” *

I am a Jewish Yisraeli soldier who visited the Nazi death camps and promised all the innocent victims that their spilled blood will forever light my Life’s path and the path of our future Jewish generations.

I am all of them and many nameless more. I am them, not only one day a year, not only every single day of the year but every single day of my life as well.



* ‘Dance Me To The End Of Love’ … came from just hearing or reading or knowing that in the death camps, beside the crematoria, in certain of the death camps, a string quartet was pressed into performance while this horror was going on, those were the people whose fate was this horror also. And they would be playing classical music while their fellow prisoners were being killed and burnt.” -  Leonard Cohen

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Yisrael, the Jewish Homeland, or a Home for the Jews?









This article was co-authored by Roger Froikin and Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks

For many of us it is not even a question. There is only fact. There always has been. As far as we are concerned, there will always be. Yisrael is the Jewish Homeland, the only Jewish Homeland.
Unfortunately, there are still many, Jews included, who refuse to see it. All around us, we witness NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) popping up promoting and supporting the creation of a “Civil Society” in Yisrael, instead of the Jewish one. We hear slogans calling for making Yisrael the “state of all of its citizens.” Some are even going as far as suggesting that “Hatikvah,” the Yisraeli National anthem be changed to reflect the reality that they purport.
Of course there are more pressing issues that need addressing, as some try to enlighten us. There always were, there always will be. However, as time goes by and more groups that call for such changes show up, the more urgency this issue gains.
In order to illustrate our stance, please allow us to take you through memory lane and remind you, the readers, of some vital historical facts.
Let us start with the Torah and the whole Tanach. We know that some would regard it a religious document that may not serve as a historical one. Unfortunately, for those who entertain such claims, history and archeology support our contention. Eretz Yisrael is the Homeland of the Jews. The Torah, the whole Tanach serve as our Deed.
True, Am Yisrael conquered it from the nations that were present here. Unfortunately, however, there is none of them left around to claim it as their own just as there are no Morori left in New Zealand to claim it back from the Maori who conquered them and now claim it back from the White man.
The Jewish essence of Eretz Yisrael was decreed thousands of years ago. Again, it is supported by historical and archeological evidence.
It was decreed by G-d to Avraham first and foremost. For those of you who feel that G-d has no room in this debate, fear not, there is abundant historical and archeological proof that the Jewish People walked this Land long before many of those who wish to strip it of its Jewish core. There is the Dead Sea Scrolls, there is plenty of written material as well as exhibits displayed in museums in Yisrael and other places around the world that point at that.
On top of it, and not that it matters much to the point of this article, it was the Gentiles who determined the strong and inseparable connection of the Jewish people to Eretz Yisrael.
First, there is the Cyrus Declaration. “In 539 B.C.E, having conquered Babylon, the benevolent Cyrus freed the Jews from captivity and empowered them to return to the Promised Land and build their Temple.” (http://www.farsinet.com/cyrus/).
Fast forwarding in History, we have the Balfour Declaration that specifically spells out the nature of the political entity that would be established in Eretz Yisrael. In a letter that Lord Balfour write to Lord Rothschild, on November 2nd, 1917 , he states, “Foreign Office November 2nd, 1917
“….on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet
His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, …….
There it is in plain view, “A National Home for the Jewish People.”
That Declaration was also the basis for the San Remo Accord of 1920. In Article 22, the Supreme Council recognized the:

historical connection of the Jewish people to Palestine and the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country” 

Eventually it became International law in the form of the League of Nations’ establishment of the Mandate for Palestine, in which Britain was to administer parts of what was the Ottoman Empire to establish and develop a Homeland for the Jewish People.

To understand what happened we have to look at the world in that era of the mid to late 19th century and into the early 20th.  It was recognized by all that it was necessary for ethnic minorities to have self-determination expressed through their own nation states and that no people needed this more than the Jewish people who were persecuted as outsiders everywhere.  

That belief in ethnic self-determination has continued to this day, though selectively.   Yugoslavia has split into 6 nation states whose differences are more based on religion and tradition than anything else.   The Soviet Union has been divided into many states based on language, religion, and ethnic identity.  In more recent history, Serbia was bombed viciously by NATO forces to create a separate Muslim and Albanian speaking Kosovo that caused an exodus of Serbian Christians fleeing discrimination. 

Each of these nation states, have a predominant religion and culture and often sizable minorities that do not share all of that culture with the majority. The world accepts that as normal and legitimate with ONE exception, the Jewish state.

Now, ask yourselves, why is this Jewish State the sole exception to the pattern?   Why is it that the only ethnic nation state in the world that has a 3400-year connection to its land, world recognition of its rightful existence written into International law, and after the need to fight several times to prevent genocide of its people, is asked to reject its identity and traditions and beliefs in order to be a “nation of all its citizens?”  

Should Italy ban celebrations of traditional Christian holidays,  many of them legal holidays,  to become a state of all its citizens.  Same with France.  Same with Germany.  Should France ban traditional pork from school lunches to be a nation of all its citizens?   Should Germany ban Oktoberfest because it is too ethnically German and might make Muslims feel excluded?   No one asks them to do that.

There are only 2 possible answers.   (1)  Anti-Semitism on the part of gentiles making such demands who want to see the end of the Jewish state and of the Jewish people and (2)  a Ghetto mentality on the part of some Jews who are so desperate for the safety promised by disappearing into some universal mass.

We need to stop with apologetic Hasbarah, cease with the need, by Jews and non-Jews alike, to constantly define and redefine who and what we are. Just like any other nation, we need to put our foot down and present the world with the incontestable fact. Yisrael is the Jewish Homeland just as it always has been and forever will be!

Special thanks go to Moshe Schwartz