Without Christian missionaries, many indigenous languages would never have acquired a written form. Many of these languages would have never acquired the status of a “language” and would have remained in the less honorary state of “dialect.” Sometimes it took more than a missionary to do the job; it took an army and a navy. The Jewish linguist, Max Weinreich is famous for the quip A shprakh iz a diyalekt mit an armey un a flot – “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy (1945).
If a country has a big army, few would be willing to mess with it. Which brings me to the Zionist state of Israel. According to Neturei Karta (Ultra-Orthodox Judaism), the
Zionist movement’s early misfortune was that it lacked what other nations possessed, namely, a state and army. “Their salvation is possession of a state and army etc. This is clearly spelled out in the circles of Zionist thought, and among the leaders of the Zionist State, that through changing the nature and character of the People of Israel and by changing their way of thinking they can set before the People of Israel ‘salvation’ — a state and an army..”
Neturei Karta gives several reasons why the Zionist State is contrary to the Torah. Here is their first reason:
“FIRST — The so-called “State of Israel” is diametrically opposed and completely contradictory to the true essence and foundation of the People of Israel, as is explained above. The only time that the People of Israel were permitted to have a state was two thousand years ago when the glory of the creator was upon us, and likewise in the future when the glory of the creator will once more be revealed, and the whole world will serve Him, then He Himself (without any human effort or force of arms) will grant us a kingdom founded on Divine Service. However, a worldly state, like those possessed by other peoples, is contradictory to the true essence of the People of Israel. Whoever calls this the salvation of Israel shows that he denies the essence of the People of Israel, and substitutes another nature, a worldly materialistic nature, and therefore sets before them, a worldly materialistic “salvation,” and the means of achieving this “salvation” is also worldly and materialistic i.e. to organize a land and army. However, the true salvation of the People of Israel is to draw close to the Creator. This is not done by organization and force of arms. Rather it is done by occupation to Torah and good deeds.”
((See Neturei Karta’s other reasons here http://www.nkusa.org/AboutUs/Zionism/opposition.cfm).
Neturei Karta states that this the “Orthodox” position of the “People of Israel.” Many Orthodox Jews (those who are strict observers of the Torah precepts) would not find any contradiction between Zionism and Orthodoxy.
Could it be that modern Hebrew, the lingua Franca of Israel, is a language today because the Zionist State has a strong army (if not such a strong navy)?