[Brian of London here with some background: Our good friends at StandWithUs organised to bring friend of Israel and Israellycool contributor, Ryan Bellerose to Israel. They did this over the Yom Hazikaron / Yom Haatzmaut two day holiday.
Ryan’s powerful writing, showing how the real indigenous people of Israel are the Jews, took the Internet by storm a few months ago and he’s been a staunch supporter of Israel for a long time. This is his first trip to Israel, a country he’s found so much common cause with as an indigenous Native American.
This morning I started with the Palmach museum. It was a really interesting take on a museum, rather than static stationary displays, it was an interactive movie, and really quite cool. It dispelled the notion that Israel’s creation was a foregone conclusion and instead showed how very close the world was to being a far less rich and diverse place.
I watched it with a young Israeli who is also a captain in the IDF. I think if people actually spoke to these young people they wouldn’t see soldiers, they would see young people who are trying the best to defend their people and who are not any different from any other kid their age other than a much more developed sense of responsibility.
We then headed to the Lehi Museum. Now if you know me, you know I am all about indigenous rights, the Lehi position was something that just resonated with me. They advocated that indigenous people (Jews mostly) should have self determination on their ancestral lands and that’s always been my position as well.
It irritates me that a group which targeted military targets and avoided civilian targets, unless it was in retaliation to Arab attacks on civilians, is labelled as a terrorist organisation on Wikipedia. It just shows that some people buy the Jews as colonists narrative and that anyone who fights colonisation is a terrorist. The Palestinians should ask themselves why they are fighting so hard to steal the Jewish indigenous identity. It is not a terrorist act to attack military targets and the Lehi were brave people who went out of their way to avoid killing innocent people.
I also met two original Lehi Members, and one of them gave me a copy of her book and even signed it for me. She spoke about putting up posters and planting mines in the road (and then putting up signs to warn people not to use that road). Her husband was in jail for much of the time. It was emotional for me to sit and talk to someone who had risked her life as a young woman to help gain freedom and independence for her people. I am posting the principles of the Lehi even though it makes this post really long.
At the end of the post are the 18 principles of rebirth but number 4 was really what sealed it for me….
“4. THE GOALS 1. Redemption of the land. 2. Establishment of sovereignty. 3. Revival of the nation. There is no sovereignty without the redemption of the land, and there is no national revival without sovereignty.”
It was awesome to speak with these people, and I ended my touring day with a tour of a secret bullet factory at the Ayalon Institute. basically the Jewish resistance built a secret bullet factory under a kibbutz, they didn’t wait for someone else to help them, they did it themselves.
Basically for me, today was an historic day, but also an inspirational day, because if this fractured and broken people, a people who were still reeling from the horrors of the holocaust, and from a brutal occupation and oppression by the British could overcome such ridiculous odds and retake their ancestral lands and build this miracle of a nation, then I know my people can take some of these lessons and apply them to our own situation. I am not talking about violence, I am talking about using it as a framework for building our own nation.
You can find all Ryan’s posts from his trip to Israel here.
AVRAHAM (YAIR) STERN:
THE IDEOLOGY OF THE LEHI
National Revival Principles (HaTechiya)
The Fighters for the Freedom of Israel (FFI) – The LEHI
by Avraham (Yair) Stern, zt”l
1. THE NATION The Jewish people is a covenanted people, the originator of monotheism, formulator of the prophetic teachings, standard bearer of human culture, guardian of glorious patrimony. The Jewish people is schooled in self-sacrifice and suffering; its vision, survivability and faith in redemption are indestructible.
2. THE HOMELAND The homeland in the Land of Israel within the borders delineated in the Bible (“To your descendants, I shall give this land, from the River of Egypt to the great Euphrates River.” Genesis 15:18) This is the land of the living, where the entire nation shall live in safety.
3. THE NATION AND ITS LAND Israel conquered the land with the sword. There it became a great nation and only there it will be reborn. Hence Israel alone has a right to that land. This is an absolute right. It has never expired and never will.
4. THE GOALS 1. Redemption of the land. 2. Establishment of sovereignty. 3. Revival of the nation. There is no sovereignty without the redemption of the land, and there is no national revival without sovereignty.
These are the goals of the organization during the period of war and conquest:
5. EDUCATION Educate the nation to love freedom and zealously guard Israel’s eternal patrimony. Inculcate the idea that the nation is master to its own fate. Revive the doctrine that “The sword and the book came bound together from heaven” (Midrash Vayikra Rabba 35:8)
6. UNITY The unification of the entire nation around the banner of the Hebrew freedom movement. The use of the genius, status and resources of individuals and the channeling of the energy, devotion and revolutionary fervour of the masses for the war of liberation.
7. PACTS Make pacts with all those who are willing to help the struggle of the organization and provide direct support.
8. FORCE Consolidate and increase the fighting force in the homeland and in the Diaspora, in the underground and in the barracks, to become the Hebrew army of liberation with its flag, arms, and commanders.
9. WAR Constant war against those who stand in the way of fulfilling the goals.
10. CONQUEST The conquest of the homeland from foreign rule and its eternal possession.
These are the tasks of the movement during the period of sovereignty and redemption:
11. SOVEREIGNTY Renewal of Hebrew sovereignty over the redeemed land.
12. RULE OF JUSTICE The establishment of a social order in the spirit of Jewish morality and prophetic justice. Under such an order no one will go hungry or unemployed. All will live in harmony, mutual respect and friendship as an example to the world.
13. REVIVING THE WILDERNESS Build the ruins and revive the wilderness for mass immigration and population increase.
14. ALIENS Solve the problem of alien population [i.e. the Arab inhabitants of Palestine] by exchange of population [i.e. expelling the Arabs from Palestine and bringing the Jews from Arab countries to take their place].
15. INGATHERING OF THE EXILES Total in-gathering of the exiles to their sovereign state.
16. POWER The Hebrew nation shall become a first-rate military, political, cultural and economical entity in the Middle East and around the Mediterranean Sea.
17. REVIVAL The revival of the Hebrew language as a spoken language by the entire nation, the renewal of the historical and spiritual might of Israel. The purification of the national character in the fire of revival.
18. THE TEMPLE The building of the Third Temple as a symbol of the new era of total redemption.