Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Elyakim Haetzni: Hero and Defender of the Jewish People

Political leader, attorney, activist, and author Elyakim Haetzni passed away on Sunday at the age of 96. He was born in Kiel, Germany in 1926, and his family fled Germany in 1938 after Kristallnacht ("Night of the Broken Glass"), when the Nazis organized attacks against Jewish people and Jewish property throughout Germany. Haetzni was wounded during Israel's 1948 War of Independence, and he spent 18 months recuperating from his injuries. He earned his law degree from Hebrew University in 1954, and at the start of his career he was a left-wing activist before becoming disgusted by the corruption of the left-wing parties that ruled Israel at that time.

Haetzni became one of the leaders of the Jewish people who bravely returned to Judea and Samaria after Israel's victory in the Six Day War in 1967. Starting in 1972, Haetzni played a key role in the reestablishment of the Jewish community in Hebron, where Jews had not lived since the Arab massacres of the city's Jews in 1929. Haetzni served in Israel's Knesset (parliament) from 1990-92. He never wavered from speaking the truth about Israel and her enemies. Haetzni was a beacon of truth in a world where truth is often twisted and distorted. It is not popular in many circles to be a Zionist, but Haetzni did not seek popularity or approval; he spoke the truth, and he advocated on behalf of his people and his nation. Haetzni continued to work as an attorney while also being an activist, and his law office had both Jewish and Arab clients. Haetzni was a proponent of peaceful Jewish-Arab coexistence.

In short, he was a hero.

Self-proclaimed "progressives" want you to believe that heroes like Haetzni are actually so-called "colonialists," and that Israel's creation was a "catastrophe." They perpetuate violence by promoting Arab terrorists and Arab terrorism while asserting that Zionism is a form of white supremacy, but the reality is that Jews are not white--at least not in the way that self-proclaimed "progressives" are using that term. The white people who enslaved Africans and shipped them to the New World not only were not Jewish but often hated Jews and discriminated against Jewish people. It is bizarre that hate-mongers such as Louis Farrakhan blame Jewish people for white supremacy and the suffering of Black people. When white supremacists march and loudly proclaim "You will not replace us" the "you" being mentioned refers to Jews (and sometimes the chanters explicitly state "Jews will not replace us"); this is the so-called "replacement theory" that Jews are attempting to undermine white supremacy by replacing white people with "undesirable" non-white people

No member of the Ku Klux Klan considers Jewish people to be white, so it is paradoxical that Farrakhan and his fellow travelers accuse Jewish people of being white supremacists. When white supremacists enacted immigration quotas in America during the 1920s and 1930s, those quotas primarily targeted Jews, ensuring that most of the Jews trying to escape from the Holocaust could not find safe haven in America. To assert, within living memory of white supremacist immigration quotas aiding Hitler's quest to murder every Jew, that Jews and Israel are participants in white supremacy is a vulgar inversion of truth and a desecration of the memory of the Jews massacred by Hitler. 

The actors, entertainers, and athletes who embrace Farrakhan, or at least refuse to repudiate him, need to learn history, because following Farrakhan is not the path to freedom for anyone. Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and others are on the wrong side of history, and they are leading their followers astray. Ignorance inevitably leads to enslavement, both mental and physical. Actual white supremacists are surely delighted that so many self-proclaimed "progressives" direct so much venom at Jews and Israel, because white supremacists would like nothing more than to kill Jews and destroy Israel.  

Why am I writing about Farrakhan, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and self-proclaimed "progressives" in a tribute to Elyakim Haetzni? If a Jewish State had existed in the 1930s then the Holocaust would have never happened; Israel would have bombed the death camps, and Israel would have provided refuge to Jews who were not welcome in any other country in the world. Therefore, the people who slander Jews today and the people who slander Israel today are desperately trying to recreate the same situation that almost led to the total annihilation of the Jewish people. That is horrific and unacceptable. Maybe someday we will be able to "imagine" a world with no countries (as John Lennon dreamed), but until the far distant day when that happens every people with a distinct national identity has a right to have their own homeland. Elyakim Haetzni's tireless efforts on behalf of the Jewish people and Israel deserve recognition and praise.

While the white supremacists in America were enslaving Black people and then enforcing segregation after the end of legalized slavery, Jewish people were being persecuted by white supremacists in Europe, culminating in the rise of the Nazis in Germany--the same Nazis who forced Haetzni's familiy to flee to the Land of Israel, then controlled by the British and officially called the Palestine Mandate. It must be noted that the terms of the Palestine Mandate stipulated that the British would facilitate the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine: no one spoke of a Palestinian Arab national movement because no such thing existed, as I noted in Eyeless, Clueless and Senseless in Gaza:

The term Palestine was not understood to mean a separate Arab nation until an anti-Israel propaganda campaign transmogrified the meaning of that word after the founding of the modern State of Israel. Indeed, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964 in Cairo as an Egyptian puppet at a time when Jordan controlled Judea and Samaria and Egypt controlled Gaza. The PLO, sponsored at that time by the Soviet Union and other totalitarian countries, was not trying to "liberate" land from Israel, because the land that the PLO was supposedly trying to "liberate" was at that time under Arab control; the PLO was founded to destabilize and destroy Israel as part of the Soviet Union's Mideast designs during the Cold War. The PLO never represented the interests of an underdog, oppressed people; the PLO has always been a well-funded tool of various totalitarian regimes and the PLO's goals have always focused on destroying Israel, not on "liberation."

The Jewish people's brave fight against all odds to rebuild their historic homeland should be celebrated and should serve as a model for other persecuted people; it is blasphemous perversion of historical truth to assert, as self-proclaimed "progressives" do, that Zionism is a racist and colonialist enterprise. The self-proclaimed "progressives" are pushing that false narrative on college campuses, in teacher training programs, and in many media outlets while at the same time claiming that Critical Race Theory is not in fact being used to indoctrinate our school children. It is fascinating to watch them both deny that Critical Race Theory is being taught while also seeking to cancel anyone who tries to prevent it from being taught. The goals and tactics of the self-proclaimed "progressives" are ripped straight from the same playbook that created the Soviet Union, and we see the legacy of that catastrophe in modern Russia, led by Vladimir Putin.

The war against the Jewish people and Zionism is not just a war of words; antisemitic hate crimes are soaring both in America and around the world, and in the Land of Israel the Palestinian Authority destroys historical sites that provide evidence of the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel: such destruction is a form of genocide.

Elyakim Haetzni served on the front lines of this war both as a combatant in Israel's War of Independence, and then as a lawyer/activist/author proclaiming truth and refuting falsehood. May his memory be a blessing, and may his family be comforted in their time of mourning.

Further Reading:

"The Shock of Surrender" (2007) Elyakim Haetzni's paper detailing the historical, legal, and political reasons that Israel should not surrender her land to her enemies--but this is not a dry recitation of facts and legal reasoning. Consider Haetzni's description of the deep historical and emotional connection of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel (emphasis in the original):

With due respect for the honor of Paris and the soul of France, when Paris was still swamp and forest, our Patriarch Abraham had already bought the cave of Machpela in Hebron, Rachel was buried on the road to Efrat, Jacob saw angels ascending and descending in Beit El, the nation of Israel received the blessing and the curse on Mount Eibal and Mount Gerizim, Eli was priest in the sanctuary in Shilo where Chana stood bitter of spirit and poured out her heart to the God of Israel, King David reigned in Hebron, Yotam told his parable to the city of Shechem, and King Omri bought the land upon which he built the city of Samaria.

Interview with Elyakim Haetzni (2011) Dr. Ariel Zellman relates what he learned in conversation with Elyakim Haetzni. The document is not presented in Q&A format but rather as a dialogue, and it provides an excellent history of the evolution of modern Zionism from Herzl's time to the current era.

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