Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."

Notes and Bio From A Frustrated Jewish, Zionist, Israeli, Texas American
by Bernard J. Shapiro
I was always a Jew, but something happened to me in 1959 that turned me into a Zionist. Don’t laugh, but I took a course in modern Jewish history and two of the reading assignments were: EXODUS by Leon Uris and THE COURSE OF MODERN JEWISH HISTORY by Howard M. Sacher. Coming from a Reform Jewish background in a state known more for its Texas pride than Jewish pride, I have come a long way. It has been an exciting journey, but now I am sad and frustrated.
I went to Israel for the first time with the Israel Summer Institute in 1960, and of course, fell in love with Eretz Yisrael. I returned to complete my studies at the University of California at Berkeley. My love for Israel seemed to be growing daily and expressed itself in multiple pro-Israel activities on the campus. I turned Hillel into and instrument of Zionist influence on the campus. The Hillel rabbi (like most of them was not a true Zionist) and sought to rain me in. He failed as I formed the Student Zionist Organization and increased my activities. We brought a steady stream of Israeli speakers to the campus and introduced African-Israeli-Zionist Night. Running two years in a row, it consisted of African, Jewish, Israel food, culture, dancing, literature. I worked as a liaison for the Israel Consul in San Francisco. He provided us and the Africans with some funding and support.
In retrospect these were great years, and perhaps impossible to recreate in the conditions today on U.S. Campuses. Even then the 5000 Arabs on the Berkeley Campus tried to stop us by enlisting the services of Gamel Abdul Nasser (dictator of Egypt) to persuade the African to boycott us. He failed as our influence was paramount.
Among other actions, we threatened the German Consulate in San Francisco with a major disturbance of their business if the German government did not cease allowing German scientists to work in Egypt building missile to strike Israel. We raised money to bring North African Jews to Israel and led a delegation of Zionist student the Martin Luther King’s March on Washing for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.
Returning to Israel on aliyah after graduation, I sought to integrate into country as best I could. With out protexia it was hard to find a job. My goal was a Foreign Ministry internship of some kind. With both of my degrees, Political Science and Communication and Public Policy, I thought I had a chance. I also believed that my proven ability to organize, motivate and relate to both Jews, African and Blacks, some one might notice me. I was wrong and was just treated like stupid American.
While in Israel, I did manage to do a complete survey of Israel’s military/strategic potential. I worked as a volunteer for the Rafi Party (writing their platform on electoral reform) in the 1965 election and got to meet a lot of important Israelis. I returned to the US in 1966 and worked for both the Jewish National Fund and the Anti-Defamation League before going into the book business.
In 1967 as the Six Days War approached, American Jews were in a panic fearing the possibility that Israel would be destroyed. My knowledge of Israel’s strength and gave me confidence that Israel would be victorious. Many organization, knowing of my expertise, asked me to speak to them and give them the true facts on the ground. All over Texas and Louisiana I told my audience of adult and children that Israel was safe in the Hands of L-rd and the Israel Defense Forces and would be victorious in a war of only a few days.
The course of modern Israeli history continued, with ups and downs. But it was normal in the Israeli context. There were many heroic episodes like Entebbe, bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor and the invasion of Lebanon to drive out the PLO. In 1987 the major change began and things have been downhill since then.
Unfortunately Israelis are daily witnessing the consequences of seven years of declining deterrence vis a vis its Arab population. In 1987, the Intifada presented Israel with a new challenge. It was a new kind of war, but with the same aim of driving the Israelis out of their country. The Israelis fought the Intifada with many handicaps, not the least of which were their own rules of conduct. Israeli soldiers failed to cope with attacks by teenage Arab boys. In the course of several years, the Arabs learned that the soldiers would not aggressively retaliate for their attacks. They became emboldened.
The Jews living in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza showed great fortitude, enduring thousands of attacks and still tripling their numbers. A serious security failure developed as Arabs became accustomed to attacking Jews and Israeli soldiers. By trying to remain humane in the face of massive attacks, Israel emboldened the Arabs to more and more attacks. Throwing concrete boulders, Molotov cocktails, and then using firearms at Israelis became the norm of behavior among the Arabs. The Israeli government allowed its citizens to be attacked solely because they were Jews. In no other country of the world would such a policy be tolerated. Today rockets, mortars, and missiles rain down on Israel with impunity. The Israel government is paralyzed and can only think of retreat, appeasement and surrender as a defense against the multiplying attacks. Deterrence had vanished.
This did not happen without a massive assault on the principles of Zionism, on which Israel was founded. The right of Jews to their Holy Land was challenged by Israeli leftist, anti-Semites, and Islamists world wide. The Israeli education system and military was stripped of patriotism and the new religion of "peace and surrender" was meant to supplant Judaism.
While it is true that Jewish/religious/nationalism also grew during these years, they had no power. Israel has a majority of good proud Zionist Jews, but they have failed in understanding the dynamics of mass movements. As Eric Hoffer, enunciated so well in his book, THE TRUE BELIEVER, mass movement need a leader and the Nationalist Camp in Israel has not had a true leader since Ariel Sharon, who sold them them out.
They are so divided that they may never be victorious. I say to them, don’t wait for Mosiach or miracles, BE THE MIRACLE! Put personalities aside and unite behind one banner as I wrote in my editorial for June 1994 issue of THE MACCABEAN. It was entitled VICTORY PLAN FOR ISRAEL, and recieved wide praise from the Nationalist Camp. But it never was implemented. Here are the essential ingredients:
1. Formation of a United Zionist/religious Front with one leader and a committee made up of all constituent groups. Agreement not to worry about personal gain or power, but only what is best for Israel.
2. Name the Front after heroes from Jewish history like the Maccabees
3. The Maccabees (if that is the name) should begin to march all over Israel wearing blue and white and carrying Israeli flags.
4. Flags should deck every balcony and car
5. Marches should grow in number and intensity all over the country. Not just in the largest cities.
6. Catchy slogans, posters and bumper stickers should appear everywhere. The message should be positive. For example:
A. The Maccabees with save Israel
B. The Maccabees will drive the Pagans (leftists) from Jerusalem
C. The Maccabees will make Jewish history
D. The Maccabees can save Jerusalem, Yesha, and the Golan
You can think up a million more.
7. Maccabeen armbands similar to the logo for the Freeman Center or something else like an Israeli flag should be worn everywhere so journalists and politicians can see the growing strength of our front.
[Illustration of party platform -- not written in stone -- subject to discussion. But beware of spending too much energy on platform details. Keep your eyes on the prize: the fall of Rabin and the saving of Israel from dismemberment. And now, of course, Olmert, Livni and Barak.]
1. All of Eretz Yisrael is the rightful possession of the Jewish people.
2. Israeli sovereignty extended to all of Eretz Yisrael.
3. Jerusalem is the united captal of Israel and all foreign embassies must be in Jerusalem. Countries not wishing to have an embassy in Jerusalem are welcome to have consulates in other Israeli cities.
4. The Arabs, who wish to live in peace with their Jewish neighbors, are welcome and should have full civil rights including self-rule in their villages and towns.
5. Item #4 does not imply or give any political sovereignty to the Arab population.
6. Those Arabs that desire to do harm to their Jewish neighbors or who claim sovereignty over any part of Eretz Yisrael should be re-settled among other Arab countries.
7. Arabs resisting item #6 should be forcibly removed from Eretz Yisrael.
8. Economic and political incentives for the Arabs to emigrate other countries.
9.Israel\'s economy should become a fully open free enterprise economy. Government regulations, taxes, and bureaucracy that have inhibited economic growth for 45 years should be removed immediately. All government enterprises should be privatized as soon as practical.
10. In all matters Israeli foreign policy should be conducted in a manner that reflects the dignity and sovereignty of the Jewish state. There should be an end to the bowing and scraping reminiscent of ghetto Jews, complete with the acceptance of insults from friend and foe alike.
11. A new constituency based constitution similar to the one I proposed as the Rafi Party platform in 1965 and Prof. Paul Eidelberg is proposing now.
12. Plus whatever you wish......
1. It is positive and exciting and will restore momentum to the Right-wing.
2. The Right is in an almost clinical depression. This plan will cause a dramatic mood shift by focusing on the future and victory.
3. Since I am proposing this plan, and I have no political following in Israel, then each member of the Nationalist/Religeous camp is free to agree to a plan that is not proposed by a political contender.
4. Marches, parades. flags, and symbols make good TV news. Good visual images.
5. The use of Blue and White and massive displays of flags will associate the Israeli flag with the Maccabee Party. Every flag displayed will promote the Maccabee Party.
6. Several members of the Kadima Party would leave a sinking ship if there were an alternative. If they see the public rallying to the Maccabee Party and they see that we are in the ascendancy and the Maccabee Party offers them a role as a faction in the party then maybe 7-10 Kadima MK\'s will join.
7. If #6 works then there will be new elections.
8. The Maccabee Party must maintain unity and compete in the elections with great professionalism.
9. Use the power of the Maccabee Party to introduce total civil disobedience in Israel as I presented in my article, BLACK DAYS FOR ISRAEL, if necessay to preven withdrawals from Eretz Yisrael (see my articles on my blog or website)
.........Theodore Herzl (1897)
It is as simple as that. If you put your heart and soul into this campaign, you can win. By force of WILL, you can create The Maccabee Party, and save Israel from disaster. 
Will you do it???