American Italians don't tell Italy what to do

Why is it that American Jews feel they have the right to interfere in Israeli policies?

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Tzvi Lev, | updated: 12:35

Tzvi Lev
Tzvi Lev
INN:TL

This past week, Italy swore in a new government that is so right wing it makes Donald Trump seem like a moderate in comparison.

Made up of the anti-establishment 5 Five-Star Movement and the even more populist League Party, the coalition agreements call for every last illegal immigrant to be forcefully removed from Italy.

In a victory rally, new Interior Minister Matteo Salvini promised a raucous crowd that he had ordered his office to "reduce the number of arriving migrants and increase the number of expulsions".

"The good times for illegals is over -- get ready to pack your bags," added Salvini.

Meanwhile, Italian ex-pats around the world were nonchalant about the populist wave rocking the old country. Italians from Northern New Jersey and Long Island did not publish Op-Eds bemoaning the disconnect they felt from their people. The threats to boycott Italy were left unsaid.

Contrast that to how American Jews reacted to Israel's plan to expel the thousands of African migrants that have overrun South Tel Aviv. Almost every US Jewish organization that respects itself sent out a blizzard of increasingly shrill press releases denouncing the move.

"We share a deep hope that Israel, as a nation founded and settled by refugees, will protect victims of persecution who have fled their countries seeking safety,” said a letter signed by over 11 Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, J-Street, and the New Israel Fund.


A prominent journalist even suggested last year that all Jews worldwide should be given the right to vote in Israeli elections. 
One needs to ask himself why American Jews are the only ethnic group which demands that a sovereign nation succumb to their wishes. Irish Americans do not take issue with Ireland's immigration policy. Russians in Brighton Beach do not take personal offense do everything Vladimir Putin does. Why are US Jews different?

Much ink has been spilled on the widening chasm between Israel and the diaspora. Almost to the letter, everyone agrees that the Jewish State's right-wing lurch is to blame, along with the Chief Rabbinate intransigent policies towards non-Orthodox movements. 

The natural answer the pundits come to is that US Jewry should expand their role in Israeli affairs. Some Jewish leaders have openly called for a program that woulde enable diaspora Jewry to have representatives in the Knesset. A prominent journalist even suggested last year that all Jews worldwide should be given the right to vote in Israeli elections. 

However, no one has the nerve to tell American Jews to manage their expectations. For if one thinks about it, the very idea that Israeli politicians tailor policy to the feelings of US Jewry is ludicrous.

Why would politicians, who mainly dedicate everything they do in order to be reelected, do things to help people who cannot vote for them? More importantly, why should a politician invest blood and treasure on people who do not pay taxes, serve in the army, or take part in any of the civil society?

"But Israel is a Jewish State," goes the response. "How can you write off the other half of the Jewish people?"

100%. Israel is indeed a Jewish State. Every member of the faith can become a citizen under the Law of Return. Should the tribe face physical harm, IDF soldiers will appear to save them. However, that's where it ends.

As the Hebrew saying goes, “without obligations there are no privileges”. It's absurd to think that one's Jewish birth grants one say over how Israel runs its daily affairs.  One wonders what an elderly resident of South Tel Aviv whose life has been turned into living hell by illegal migrants would say to US Jews screaming about “Tikkun Olam”.

It's time for certain segments of US Jewry, even if they donate money to Israel, to recognize that Israel is not a vassal state of Scarsdale and Miami Beach.






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