I’m a Zionist. I believe Israel has the right to exist for a multitude of reasons beyond what happened during the Shoah.
G-d promised the Children of Israel He would return them to the Promised Land in due time. After the fires of the Holocaust, when the UN voted to partition, they did so without a key city: Jerusalem. It was only through the hard work of Israeli soldiers that they were able to obtain it. When Jerusalem was unified in 1967, there was cause for celebration amongst Jews worldwide. For the first time in 19 years, they would be able to visit the Western Wall.
Israel is important for a host of reasons. First, it is a place to be proud of. Whether Religious or not, Jews around the world have a place they can call home. This is a land has been fought over for two millenia. Even an American Colonel, who spoke no Hebrew, felt the draw to become the first Isreali General in nearly 2000 years.
But not all Jews feel the same about Israel. There are a small number of Jews who feel that Israel should not exist because the Messiah has not come. The feel that since Israel does exist, it is a slight against G-d.
This is just not so.
Israel is the reward for having gone through such hardship. Like wandering through the desert for 40 years. Not everyone was able to see the Holy Land. The end of the Passover Seder ends with the phrase “Next year in Jerusalem,” a hope that was fulfilled in 1948.
The Land of Israel is more than just a promise fulfilled. It is a sign or pride. As Jews, we can look at the country, and feel a sense of indignation when it is attacked, just as we would if our own homes were attacked.
It is a country we can be ourselves. We don’t have to worry about being asked about why we wear those funny hats, or why we do or don’t do certain things. People just get it. The importance of identity is not there for all Jews, but they don’t question it, either.
So, why is Israel important? It has no oil: it’s just a patch of sand in the middle of the desert. Ask yourself this question: why is the house you grew up in so special? It’s home, right? That’s all we want: our home. And since we have it, we will do anything to keep it.