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May 01, 2009

Israel's Founding A Unique Moral Achievement

CAMERA's Christian Media Analyst, Dexter Van Zile, spoke at a rally in celebration of Israel's Independence Day. The rally was held at Copley Square in Boston, on April 30. Below is the prepared text of his speech.

Dexter Copley.jpg
Dexter Van Zile

My name is Dexter Van Zile and I’m a Zionist.

I believe that the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 was a unique moral achievement.

A beleaguered people who had been subject to violence and oppression for close to 2,000 years returned to its ancestral homeland.

They created a sovereign state where they could exercise their right to self-determination and wield the power necessary to protect themselves.

No longer did the Jewish people have to rely on the good will of others to protect them from those who would murder them.

To be sure, this justice was not perfect.

The Arabs living in Palestine objected to Israel’s creation and under the circumstances, it was unreasonable for people to expect otherwise.

Sixty-one years later, however, it’s time for leaders in the Middle East to abandon the fantasy of Israel’s destruction.

Those who encourage extremists in the Middle East to hold onto this fantasy by chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,�? at rallies here in the United States have blood on their hands.

They are giving aid and comfort to a movement intent on mass murder.

Israel’s creation was proximate justice, which in the world we live in is pretty good.

As Barack Obama’s favorite theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr said two years before Israel’s founding: “There is no way of finding a perfectly just solution of any political problem. The fact however that the Arabs have a vast hinterland in the Middle East and that the Jews have no where to go … establish the relative justice of their claims and their cause.�?

Israel is a great moral achievement because in addition to laying claim and affirming a national identity, its people have also accepted national responsibility for the actions of its leaders.

Israel has demonstrated the principle of accountability that is so patently obvious in the Torah: With liberty and power comes responsibility and accountability.

Sadly, Israel’s enemies have not yet learned to follow the example of self-criticism and self-correction set for them by the Jewish state and by the Jewish people.

Instead they have used this self criticism as a tool to de-legitimize the Jewish State.

The vast majority of the American people are not fooled by this tactic.

The American people may not speak Hebrew or Arabic, but we can see the difference between Aliyah and Jihad.

We can see the difference between Aliyah and Intifada.

The American people can see the difference between Am Yisrael Chai and “Back to the Ovens.�?

The American people know who has withdrawn from territory and who has launched rockets.

The American people know the difference between the people who build greenhouses and those who demolish them.

The American people know who has made the peace offers and who has rejected them.

The American people know who has mourned the death of civilians and who has danced in the street when civilians were murdered.

We know who our friends are, and who they aren’t.

So on this 61st anniversary of Israel’s Founding, my message to the Jewish State, to its supporters and to the Jewish people and their defenders is a simple one.

Be strong.

Let your heart take courage.

And let not your foot be moved.

Posted by at May 1, 2009 12:41 PM


Excellent speech! What's it going to take to eliminate the disease of anti-Semitism where double standards are set for Israel (read Jews) versus everyone else? Israel gives up land for peace, but it's never enough. I believe that Israel has to develop the attitude that it needs to do what it must to survive and if people like it, great. If not, so be it. Those people aren't going to like Israel no matter how many concessions it makes. So I just hope that Israel stays strong in the face of mounting pressure to give up more and more, for nothing in return. Bullies don't respect capitulators. They only respect those who stand up to them. Israel needs to remember that lesson if it is to survive.

Posted by: Irwin at May 1, 2009 02:23 PM

Beautiful and profound.

Posted by: lana melman at May 2, 2009 05:36 PM

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