By Dr. Dmitry Radyshevsky
Israel takes all visiting heads of state and other VIP official guests to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. This is always the highlight of the official program: Look what they did to us when we did not have our own state. Yad Vashem is a symbol and the Holocaust is a primary justification for the existence of Israel – a state as an asylum for the Jews.
It’s time for Israel to move on. Official guests must be taken to the Temple Mount and Judea: Israel is not about refuge. Israel is about restoration of justice and fulfillment of Biblical prophecies. Israel is the greatest restoration story ever told.
The Holocaust Remembrance Day is fast approaching. On April 28, Israel will remember the 6 million victims. There will be sirens. The whole country will stand for 2 minutes in silence. Yes, we must remember. Never again.
But we must also remember: The Holocaust forced the Jews to return to Israel whereas the Jews were obliged to do this long before: any time during almost 2000 years of exile. We were obliged to restore Israel, not to find a safe refuge but to restore justice – the basic principle on which human civilization rests. Right now, 4 million Ukrainian refugees will be obliged to return eventually to Ukraine, if only in order not to give a prize to Putin.
When the superpower of antiquity, Rome, occupied Judea and expelled the Jews from their homeland, Jews were obligated to restore justice, return to their homeland, and rebuild it. The Holocaust made this duty a tragic necessity. But we were obligated to rebuild Israel without the Holocaust — if not for the fulfillment of the Biblical promises, then for the triumph of human justice.
And if the occupiers settled other people in our house or made it possible for strangers to settle there – as the Arabs settled in the Land of Israel – these squatters must either vacate the house and return it to the rightful, original owners, or live in it peacefully and in accordance with the owners’ laws.
This is important to remember in Israeli public diplomacy: Israel is not about refuge, it’s about restoration. The job of restoration is not finished yet. Jews are still not free to settle in all parts of its ancient homeland. Jews are still not allowed to pray freely at their holiest site – the Temple Mount.
Foreign leaders visiting Jerusalem should be made aware of that: Jews were discriminated against for 2000 years and they are still being discriminated against in their own land, because most of the world supports those who resist the Jewish right to restore their national home which had been stolen from them.
Israel has to continue its struggle, not only for its security and survival, but for the full restoration of the Land. Israel needs it not only for its own benefit, not only for enhancing its security, not only for securing rights of all faiths of the Holy Land, but for the benefit of all the world – as the guiding light and as an inspiration.
In a world where the cult of the victim has been created and victimhood has became a fashion, everyone wants to be seen as a victim. The Jewish nation is an undisputable victim, but it is much more than that. Israel is unique, but not for becoming a refuge for victims. Israel is a uniquely inspiring example of rebirth and renewal. It is an example that nations can and should return to their ideals, to the highest purpose of their existence.
America has to follow Israel’s example: it can and must abandon the suicidal neo-Marxism and return to its ideal – the Shining City on the Hill, a State based on Biblical ethical values, the Land of the free and Home of the brave, leading the world by their example.
Dr Dmitry Radyshevsky is a Moscow-born Harvard-educated Israeli-American theologian, political analyst and writer. Author of “Universal Zionism” and “The New Maccabees”. He’s the founder of Jerusalem Summit – a think-tank dedicated to uniting the free world around Jerusalem and developing a joint strategy against the twin dangers: “Man without God” of Post-Liberalism and “God without man” of totalitarian states’ Statism and Islamism.