saflag.jpegThe South African Jewish community is as Zionist as they come, and its major newspaper, pretty conservative.
But this editorial is devastating for the Israel right or wrong crowd. At last, the message must be getting through–something is really rotten…
“It is now 43 years since the Six Day War, but the military victory has yet to be translated into the peace which seemed so logical: Israel would give back the conquered land, and the Palestinians would make peace – the “Land for Peace” formula. But it was not be. Israel is still in the West Bank and there is no genuine peace.

This situation is of devastating concern. In a talk to Jewish communal leaders on Monday in Johannesburg …respected Israeli political analyst (and former South African) Professor Asher Susser warned that if Israel did not extract itself from the West Bank soon, the entire Zionist enterprise would be in jeopardy….
Susser argues that for Israel to stay in the West Bank will ultimately amount to national suicide and that, one way or another, it must get out. To fail to do so (and as soon as possible) would mean the death of the dream of a Jewish, democratic state which all those young South Africans and others rushed over in 1967 to help secure.”
Here is the whole editorial for 28 May 2010–
Editorial
Preserving the dream
It seems a long time ago when, in June 1967, young Jewish South Africans – several hundred – rushed through (then) Jan Smuts Airport onto planes to Israel to help fight the Arab armies threatening to invade the fledgling state.
Some volunteers arrived during the war, which lasted six days. Most got there after it finished and spent time in kibbutzim, moshavim and other places. There was great pride and optimism about Israel, shared not only by Jews, but also by many non-Jews.
In South Africa, Jews were suddenly regarded with new respect by the non-Jews because of the amazing victory their Israeli brethren had achieved.
What also seems a long time ago is the stronger unanimity among Jews about what Zionism and the Israeli dream meant. Zionist youth movements like Habonim, Bnei Akiva and Betar had some differences in their approaches, but they all enthusiastically promoted not only aliyah, but also life in the kibbutzim, where a new society would be built by idealistic pioneers.
There were no “settlements” then, and no Israeli control over millions of Palestinians.
It is now 43 years since the Six Day War, but the military victory has yet to be translated into the peace which seemed so logical: Israel would give back the conquered land, and the Palestinians would make peace – the “Land for Peace” formula. But it was not be. Israel is still in the West Bank and there is no genuine peace.
This situation is of devastating concern. In a talk to Jewish communal leaders on Monday in Johannesburg – reported on page 3 – respected Israeli political analyst (and former South African) Professor Asher Susser warned that if Israel did not extract itself from the West Bank soon, the entire Zionist enterprise would be in jeopardy.
The demographic reality, where Arabs would outnumber Jews in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, and the entanglement of Jewish settlements among the Arabs, would make it no longer possible to have an Israel which was both Jewish and democratic, since Arab voters outnumbered Jewish ones.
It would by default become the one-state solution implying the extinction of Israel as we knew it. The clock is ticking, warns Susser. Time is not on Israel’s side.
The “Israel is apartheid” movement thrives on Israel’s control over millions of Palestinians; the agonising moral issues tearing at Israeli society – and also at Jews in the Diaspora – as a result of this control, were never intended by the early Zionist founders to be part of the equation.
Israel was supposed to be a haven for Jews from everywhere in the world, to become a normal nation in their own homeland.
Can Israel extract itself from the West Bank? Arguments rage from all directions. It is 10 years since Israel’s sudden “overnight” withdrawal from Lebanon, led by then Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ehud Barak, after 18 years of controlling southern Lebanon.
It is five years since Israel’s painful withdrawal from Gaza, led by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in which some 7 000 Jewish settlers left, either voluntarily or by force.
In both places, the withdrawal did not lead to more peace, but rather to more war – with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. What would happen if Israel left the West Bank?
Susser argues that for Israel to stay in the West Bank will ultimately amount to national suicide and that, one way or another, it must get out. To fail to do so (and as soon as possible) would mean the death of the dream of a Jewish, democratic state which all those young South Africans and others rushed over in 1967 to help secure.
A Palestinian state is today actually more of an Israeli interest than a Palestinian one, Susser points out. Given the demographic trends, all the Palestinians need to do is to wait. They will soon outnumber the Jews, and the one-state formula will come into existence by default.
Israel will disappear. What a tragedy that would be, after everything.