Below is my response to Yishai Fleischer's article (Comment #34).
Proud Jew, Proud Israeli
by Yishai Fleisher, 10/24/08
Division between "Israeli" and "Jew" is artificial
This article may seem at first to be dealing with nothing more than semantics. But in this case, we are dealing with words pertaining to our very identity. Our identity is the way we perceive ourselves and broadcast that perception to others. The name we are given and words we use to describe ourselves are fundamental to our identity.
In an interview with Haaretz journalist Daniel Ben Simon the day following Shimon Peres' defeat to Benjamin Netanyahu in the 1996 election, the following exchange took place:
Interviewer: "What happened in these elections?"
Peres: "We lost."
Interviewer: "Who is we?"
Peres: "We, that is, the Israelis."
Interviewer: "And who won?"
Peres: "All those who do not have an Israeli mentality."
Interviewer: "And who are they?"
Peres: "Call them the Jews."
Although you make a couple of good points,....
1. There are three types of religious settlers, not just one:
a. the mamlachti State loyalist2. Peres's statement was a classic indication of the division between Erev Rav, which has no connection to the Land, and the Jews who actually inherited it.
b. the Gush Etzion "I'm not a settler, I live in a J-M suburb, and think my part of Israel is called 'The Gush'"
c. the "Torah first, Israel law second" minority
3. Any time there is a mahloqeth between datti leumi and haredi, the so called post Zionists are jumping for joy. Let's not give them the last laugh. So, how about if the mamlachtim lay off the haredi bashing. They're part of Israel's future, not the Rabbanim Tze'irim who refuse to acknowledge the stiroth between the Torah and State.
Reaching out to secular Jews is one thing, but to their Erev Rav leadership, no way.