by Isi Leibler
Since the reunification of
Yet to this day many Palestinians deny that there ever was a Jewish presence in the city and make preposterous allegations that the Jewish holy sites, including the
To this end they have been systematically destroying archeological evidence on the
In addition, we are now faced with a determined campaign in which most of the world, including the Obama administration, is pressuring us to once again divide
We are also painfully aware of the appalling track records of many Islamic states which deny freedom of worship to non-Muslims. The record of the Palestinians in this context is particularly vile, and we should be under no illusions how they would behave if they gained control of the holy sites.
But beyond this there is also the question of security. Every Israeli withdrawal in recent years has led to emboldening the jihadists and intensified aggression and terror. A division of
Alas, today, many of us tend to overdramatize the challenges confronting us and display a penchant for self criticism which approaches masochism. Jerusalem Day should be a day when we give thanks to the Almighty for His intervention and pay tribute to those who fought against overwhelming odds to reunite the city and establish our national homeland.
Despite successive wars, facing ongoing terror and still being surrounded by enemies pledged to destroy us,
And despite an absence of natural resources, we have transformed our country into a veritable economic powerhouse which has achieved miraculous progress in science, technology, industry and agriculture. Tiny
We have undergone a religious revival and today there are more Jews in
We have successfully absorbed millions of Jews, the majority being Holocaust survivors and refugees finding haven from oppression. They originate from all four corners of the globe ranging from Western olim to Ethiopians. And while the integration process has still a long way to go, no society in the world has succeeded in absorbing such a mass of immigrants and molding them into a nation.
WE SEE the shocking global resurgence of anti-Semitism, mankind's oldest and perennial hatred, throughout the Western world. Many Diaspora Jews, especially in
The bitter lesson of our history has been that while we are obliged to forge alliances, ultimately we must rely on our own resources, rather than the goodwill of others. That is why we should continuously celebrate the fact that after 2,000 years of persecution, degradation and exile, the creation of a Jewish state has now empowered us. We must realize that so long as the majority of our people remain determined, our future rests in our own hands Those who wail about our shortcomings and the corruption within our ranks should realize that it is a mark of a a healthy society when it transparently discloses its weaknesses and exacts harsh punishment on leaders who transgress.
We failed to achieve peace with our neighbors because we lack a peace partner. For years we deluded ourselves into believing that providing Arabs with land would achieve peace, only to belatedly realize that the Palestinian goal was neither peace, nor an independent state for themselves. Their primary objective was to deny legitimacy to Jewish sovereignty in the region.
When in years to come, our neighbors ultimately come to the realization that they can never vanquish us, they will follow the example of
I often contemplate what our grandparents would have thought during the dark years of the Holocaust had someone predicted to them that the Jewish people would rise like a phoenix from the ashes to resurrect a Jewish homeland which would become the greatest success story of our century. That is the theme that should run through our minds as we celebrate Jerusalem Day. And it should make us smile.
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