THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 228
Chapter 7: Aliyah: Time to Go Home
 
 
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228 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

bWhat the world had seen was a manifestation of the cor- bruption of yet another dream and Jewish vision, the ancient bcall of return to Zion and the modern creation of an organi- bzation that would implement it. The dream was no longer bmeaningful for most of the people who spoke in its name, band the organization that had been created to fulfill it had bbecome, in the West, a huge Friends of Israel group that btranslated its obligations into checks, thus salving both con- bscience and the financial needs of the Israeli government. bThe unwritten agreement between the Zionists of the world band the government of the Jewish State they were supposed bto be coming to, was that the latter would not burden the bformer with ideological prods of conscience while the bformer would support the United Jewish Appeal and bpurchase Israel bonds, while organizing three-week tours to bthe Holy Land and bringing sons to the Wailing Wall for bar bmitzvahs.

bZionism was more than that, just as Judaism was more bthan the pathetic, warmed-over American Jewish concoc- btion. Zionism meant the return to Zion, the age-long dream bof return from the exile to the Jewish home, the Land of bIsrael. To live in the Land was a Jewish commandment, an bobligation. “And thou shalt settle in it,” declares the Torah, band the rabbis add that living in Israel is “equal to all the bcommandments of the Torah.” Israel is home, and home is bsweet; all the rest, all that is outside of Israel, is known as bGalut, or exile. And exile for the Jew is a curse, the most bdreaded curse of all, that which the Torah holds over the bsinful Jewish head as a deadly sword, saying: “And the L-rd bshall scatter thee among all peoples from one end of the bearth even unto the other end of the earth.”

bFrom the beginning, my concept of the Jewish Defense bLeague was an organization that would create Jewish iden- btity and pride, fight for Jewish rights and survival, and call bfor the Jew to go live in Israel. The need to return to Zion bwas both for positive reasons—Israel was his home, the bplace where he could live as a majority with Jewish bsovereignty and thus create a Jewish state that was Jewish bin character, culture, and practice—and for negative b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 228
Chapter 7: Aliyah: Time to Go Home