By Meron Benvenisti
''Now that i'm seventy years of age, it's my prerogative to supply a summing up,'' says Meron Benvenisti, the world over identified writer and columnist, Jerusalem local, and scion of Israel's founders. Born in Palestine in 1934 to a Sephardic father and an Ashkenazi mom, Benvenisti has loved an strange vantage element from which to think about his homeland's conflicts and controversies. all through his lengthy and provocative occupation as a pupil, an elected reputable, and a revered journalist, he has remained in detail concerned with Israel's social and political improvement. half memoir and half political polemic, Son of the Cypresses threads Benvenisti's personal tale throughout the tale of Israel. the result's a vibrant, sharply drawn eyewitness account of pre-state Jerusalem and Israel's early years. He memorably units the scene by means of recalling his father's emotional trip from Jewish Salonika in 1913 to Palestine, with all its attendant euphoria and frustration, and his father's pioneer commitment to inculcating Israeli early life with a ''native's'' attachment to the native land. In describing the colourful and energetic Jerusalem within which he grew up, Benvenisti remembers the numerous demanding situations confronted by means of new Jewish immigrants, who stumbled on themselves not just in clash with the Arab inhabitants but additionally with one another as Sephardim and Ashkenazim. He revisits his personal public disagreements with either Zionists and Palestinians and stocks indelible thoughts resembling his boyhood reviews of the 1948 struggle. In remembering his existence as an Israeli sabra, Benvenisti bargains a shiny checklist of the old roots of the clash that persists this day.
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Extra resources for Son of the Cypresses: Memories, Reflections, and Regrets from a Political Life
Building the country”: the absorption of millions of immigrants and the creation of an economic infrastructure to support them, the establishment of settlement faits accomplis for political and security-related objectives—these were the essence of his brand of Zionism. He believed that the boundaries of the Jewish collectivity were deter- Delayed Filial Rebellion 37 mined by the extent of Jewish settlement, and he therefore followed with interest and pride the construction of—and in—the pioneering communities of pre-state times and the early days of the state.
The authors’ response was to write: The completion of the book took place at a time when the Hebrew public in this country was alarmed to hear the royal commission’s recommendation to establish a Jewish state within very narrow boundaries. At that time, many were of the opinion that our work, as well, must be restricted to within the boundaries of the proposed state. Nevertheless, the authors have not deviated from the course that they laid out at the beginning of their work, out of a clear recognition that never in its life- A Founding Father 25 time have the Jewish People had but one land, which was set aside for them in its historic and natural boundaries, even though it has become a land of gentiles.
In the fall of 1993, prior to Israel’s withdrawal from the Jericho region, the Israeli Antiquities Authority embarked upon wide-ranging archeological excavations with the purpose of ensuring that no relics of the Jewish past would fall into the hands of the PA, especially not ancient scrolls like those that had been found hidden in caves near the Dead Sea decades before. The initiators of “Operation Scroll” did not disguise their intention to conduct salvage excavations prior to the handover of the area to PA control, and their action was interpreted as an act of illegal seizure in contravention to the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.