A DIALOGUE ON REVOLUTION
By Prof. Paul Eidelberg
American: You Israelis never cease to amaze me. Since Oslo you have suffered more than 10,000 casualties -- Jewish men, women, and children killed, wounded and maimed for life. Yet you do nothing. If this were not bad enough, your government plans to uproot countless Jews from their homes in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza and turn this land over to your enemies! Why haven't you people rebelled and thrown the rascals out?
Israeli: Just a minute. We like to believe that Israel is a democracy; so if the public is not happy with the government's policies, we need only wait for the next election and change the prime minister or party in power.
American: But don't you see it makes no difference which party or party leader is in power: you are still retreating toward your indefensible 1949 borders. Americans would never tolerate this state of affairs. Certain Mexican nationalists are now making territorial claims on Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California -- once Mexican territory. If the American government yielded any part of this land to Mexico, rest assured there'd be a revolution.
Israeli: But you forget that we are Jews, and for a Jew to shed the life of another Jew -- inevitable in a revolution -- is simply out of the question. Look at what happened after Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. This was a national trauma from which we are still suffering.
American: Well, let me tell you there are still Americans in the South who have not gotten over the Civil War, which saw families divided and involved in fratricidal conflict. But let me pursue my Mexican example. Suppose year after year a few hundred square kilometers of the increasingly Hispanic southwest were returned to Mexico, and that thousands of Anglo-Saxon Americans were expelled from their homes each month. We Americans would be up in arms, animated by the revolutionary zeal of those who signed our Declaration of Independence. Let me quote a few passages from that document:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed -- That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and provide new Guards for their future security.
American (continued): Perhaps some will say that these immortal words do not justify a revolution in Israel. It seems to me, however, that your government's almost four-year failure to put an end to the murder of Jews by Arab terrorists may well be deemed a "long train of abuses." And the same may be said if your government uproots hundreds and perhaps thousands of Jews from their homes every month in pursuance of the Sharon disengagement plan. Besides, your prime minister's firing of cabinet ministers who oppose withdrawal from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and his ordering all cabinet ministers to be present in Israel to vote in support of his plan smacks of dictatorship. All his talk about democracy and peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians deceives only children. What do you say to this?
Israeli: Look, all that you say about revolution may be true when applied to America and perhaps other countries. As concerns Israel, however, you have to bear one obvious and one less obvious thing in mind. Since the government obviously controls the army, the police, and of course the intelligence services, your proposed revolution would be nipped in the bud. Less obvious is this: even if ten thousand or more Jews were to march on the Knesset and had the wherewithal to withstand water-canons and tear gas, this would only lead to a civil war. So all your talk about revolution is futile. We Jews are a long-suffering people. Indeed, to endure suffering is part of our nature. We have had inept and wicked rulers before. Nevertheless, we have survived, and we shall survive those who now betray us in the deceitful names of "peace" and "democracy."
American: But how many Jews must perish before you cease being long-suffering and take your future into your own hands instead of behaving like sheep led to the slaughter? Don't you realize that, sooner or later, the Palestinians will obtain biological or chemical weapons of mass destruction? Don't you see that your government's policy of self-restraint vis-à-vis Arab terrorists means that your political leaders are willing to tolerate the loss of considerable number of Jews, and that this cheapening of Jewish life can only make the Arabs more determined to annihilate you?
Israeli: You speak as if we are threatened by another Holocaust!
American: That's right, but this time you will have no one but yourselves to blame for such a catastrophe.