Jewish History! That  whirlpool of tragedy, drama, and courage, whose richness and color dazzle anyone who plunges into its depths. And the American Jew, whose ignorance of self is devastating, knows it not. It is so important that he travel backward through the pages of his own times! It is so necessary that he learn what his stubborn zeydes did or refused to do and how, but for their obstinacy, he would not exist today�

Listen, you who begin to believe in inanities and who begin to doubt the legitimacy of a Jewish State. You who weep for the oppressed Arabs and gnash your teeth at the �fascist� Zionists. You who waver in support of Israel and who suggest that she lie down and die. Listen.

You are too young to remember the day. It was a moment in May, the 14th day of that loveliest of months, and they stood in the streets. They, the Jews; they, your people; they, the Zionists. The year was 1948, but to Jews it was 1878. One thousand eight hundred and seventy-eight years since the long exile began. You see, that is how your people count history.

They stood in the streets and waited, these Zionists. To look at them, you would never have imagined them to be part of an international cabal, hand-maidens of Rockerfeller�s Esso and other monopolist oil interests. Beholding the old men, and the rapturous women and the glorious youth, one might easily have been moved to consider them the farmers and tailors and housewives and mechanics and students - and Auschwitz survivors - they claimed to be.

And as they stood, they listened to a proclamation that tolled an end - and a beginning - of an impossible dream come true. The words entered their ears, filling the minds, choking their throats, gripping their hearts, flooding their eyes:

�We hereby proclaim the establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called �Medinat Yisroel,� the State of Israel��

And as the last words drifted off into the cloudless mid-eastern skies, the �fascists� of Tel Aviv burst into song,
the song. The words were written a mere sixty years earlier; the idea was 1,878 years old. With tears streaming down their reactionary cheeks and radiance lighting up their faces, they sang:

Od lo avda tikvateynu�
Our hope is not yet lost -
The hope of two thousand years.
To be a free people in our land
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.�

How they sang and how they rose - for just that moment in time - to the heights of immortality. And happy were they eyes that merited seeing that moment, while how sad for you that you were not there to taste the sweetness of a miracle.

And when they finished singing, with the stains still fresh on their skin, they danced - oh, how they danced. Never was there a dance such as this and never will nations know the ecstasy of such vindication�

Listen, young descendant of a stubborn
zeyde. Listen and try to understand the tenacity of the Jew who sat in countless synagogues on the night of Tisha B�Av with flickering candles and tearstained Book of Lamentations, with stockinged feet and bearded face as befits the mourner for Zion and who mournfully remembered the anniversary of the destruction and sadly intoned the words: �How doth she sit solitary; the city that was filled with people hath become a widow.�

Listen to all this and ask yourself the question: Was it truly United States oil that created Israel? Was it really the military-industrial complex that gave birth to a Jewish State? Was it the United Nations that brought us home? Was it British imperialism that created this dream?

There was no Esso when Jews were driven from the land in which they had lived for centuries and to which they vowed to return. There were no Arabs when Bar Kochba went down to defeat, and Jews were already turning to Zion three times a day. There was no Pentagon when Yehuda Halevi, the greatest of medieval Jewish poets, wrote:
�My heart is in the East and I am in the West.�

Israel came into being because it never came out of being. Israel came back to life because it never died. It was the Jewish State in the days of Joshua; it was the Jewish State when there were Pharaohs; it was the Jewish State when Assyrians and Moabites and Edomites and Philistines and Babylonians and Persians and Hellenes and Romans drifted through history and passed out of it again. It remained Jewish because Jews never left it and there was never a time when Jewish communities did not remain in Zion.

Do you think Theodore Herzl created Zionism? Not so! Zionism came into being the day that Jews went into exile and was nurtured by every religious law and custom. Every Jew who practiced his faith and every Jew who observed his tradition was a Zionist. Herzl was merely a man whose time had come, and Jews simply put into practice the goal and dream and aspirations of two millenia. Had there been no Balfour Decleration - there would still have arisen the State of Israel. Had there been no United Nations - there would still have come into being a Jewish State. The stubbornness of Jewish
zeydes can be denied for only so long�

After suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous Gentile fortune and a sadistic world for too many centuries, the Jew in the late 19th century decided that he had had quite enough of moving eulogies over his grave and wished to become quite as normal as those who persecuted him. He dreamed a dream of Zion, woke up with its memory firmly captured and decided to do the impossible - go home.

By Rabbi Meir Kahane
Never Again
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