Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Wanted: a Statesman in the Mold of 'Israel's George Washington'

We shall fight the War as if there is no White Paper, and the White Paper, as if there is no War.
-David Ben-Gurion, Israel's main founder and first Prime Minister

During the Second World War, David Ben-Gurion encouraged Palestine's Jewish population to volunteer for the British Army, despite Britain's betrayal of the Balfour Declaration in the form of the 1939 White Paper, which limited Jewish immigration to Palestine to 15,000 a year for the next five years in the face of Nazi Germany's intensifying persecution of the Jews. Restrictions were also placed on the rights of Jews to buy land from Arabs, who were to be given final say over future Jewish immigration.

The leaders of the Arab community were mainly pro-Nazi.

After the White Paper, Ben-Gurion  believed a peaceful solution with the Arabs had no chance and  began preparing the Yishuv--Palestine's Jewish community--for war. He strove to build the nucleus of a "Hebrew army." His success in this effort later brought victory to Zionism in the struggle to establish a Jewish state.

When the Second World War started, however, Ben-Gurion recognized the need to unite with the British in order to defeat the common enemy--Nazi Germany. Israel's George Washington, as many American Jews came to see him, famously told the Yishuv and Jews abroad to "support the British as if there is no White Paper and oppose the White Paper as if there is no war."

About 10% of the Jewish population of Palestine volunteered for the British Army, including many women. At the same time Ben-Gurion assisted the illegal immigration of thousands of European Jewish refugees to Palestine.

Today, in the United States, the need has never been greater for a leader in Ben-Gurion's mold--a lifelong social democrat who pulled no punches on issues of national security and defense. What America needs is a statesman … or stateswoman … on the democratic left …  someone who is capable of effectively opposing President Obama's pro-Islamist foreign policy … the policy of appeasing and attempting to engage (collaborate with) practically every Islamist group and regime on earth, apart from Al Qaeda's core … as if there is no rightwing GOP/Tea Party class war on ordinary Americans and opposing the rightwing class war as if there is no pro-Islamist foreign policy.

-André Pachter