NATAF, ISRAEL — Asked to name the forces that led to the state of Israel, almost every Israeli would say Zionism and the Holocaust.
If those same people were asked just a few years ago which Israeli was likely to become prime minister, the name most often given would have been Avraham Burg — son of a prominent rabbi and founder of the country’s National Religious Party, former paratrooper, leading member of the Labour Party, speaker of the Knesset and head of the powerful Jewish Agency.
For more than 20 years, Avrum Burg, as he likes to be known, was a pillar of the Israeli establishment.
However, four years ago Mr. Burg turned his back on all that and wrote a powerful book, an indictment of how Zionism and the Holocaust have been used.
In The Holocaust is Over; We Must Rise from its Ashes, Mr. Burg slams what he calls the “omnipresence of the Shoah,” in Israeli society and urges his countrymen to move beyond Zionism. He goes even further and says that Zionism has become an excuse for racism. The statement is not far removed from the infamous 1975 UN “Zionism is racism” resolution to which Israel, Canada and many other countries strenuously objected, and had rescinded in 1991.