Letter to the editor published in the Sydney Morning Herald, 12 March, 1984:
“Jews and Zion”
Some of the recent contributors to your letters page have touched on the relationship between Zionism and Judaism.
The historical fact is that Zionism has always been an intrinsic dimension of Judaism. The Bible clearly accorded Zion what James Parkes, in his “Whose Land – A History of the Peoples of Palestine”, called “an all-pervading religious centrality”.
Even Jews who lived in other lands looked up to Zion for their inspiration, and yearned and dreamed and prayed and worked for the Biblically foretold restoration to the Holy Land.
Every Jew feels for Israel, and some of us have faith enough to see it as the beginning of messianic visions of the ages.
This does not mean to say that Israel has yet succeeded in being a completely model society, but it is a healthy sign that, as a recent visit reminded me, Israelis are frequently aroused to internal debate about national policies and purposes – a manifestation of democracy which the surrounding nations would do well to emulate.
(Rabbi) Raymond Apple
The Great Synagogue,