'Leftists have Forgotten What Zionism Is'

MK Shuli Muallem lashes out at statements by leftists leaders against calls for aliyah from France.

Shimon Cohen, Gil Ronen,

MK Shuli Muallem-Refaeli (illustrative)
MK Shuli Muallem-Refaeli (illustrative)
Flash90

MK Shuli Muallem (Jewish Home) told Arutz Sheva Tuesday that she is shocked by leftist criticism of the Israeli leaderships' recent calls to French Jews to make aliyah, following the attack on a Jewish supermarket.

She said that the criticism reflects a non-Zionist approach that advocates “a state of all its citizens.”

She was reacting to statements by MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) and reform rabbi Gilad Kariv. “The Jews of France are not a foreign entity in France, but citizens, and there is no need to bring them to Israel,” said Horowitz. “Israel is their country and France is their country.”

Kariv said that “The prime minister, the ministers and the MKs need to show solidarity with the Jews of France, no more. This is not the time to preach to them to make aliyah, or hint that the Jews do not have a safe place to live outside of Israel's borders.”

"Both speakers have forgotten what Zionism means,” said Muallem. “Jews have always prayed to return to Zion, all over the world. One hundred years ago, when [modern] Zionism began, the goal was to return to the land of Israel and establish a state there. Even when Jews are doing well in the Diaspora, it is not their place. The state of Israel is their 'back' in difficult times, but it is a mistake to say that there is a right time and a wrong time to call for Jewish aliyah to Israel. It is always the time for that. It is always our role as MKs and ministers to open all possible blockages so that Jews from all over the world will make aliyah here, even when things are good for them and certainly when they are bad.”

Horowitz and Kariv think that Israel is on its way to becoming “a state of all its citizens,” she said, rather than a Jewish state. “This will never happen,” she vowed.

Muallem rejected the argument that calling on Jews to make aliyah exposes them to accusations of dual loyalty. “We must not use the term 'dual loyalty,'” she opined. “Jews everywhere are loyal citizens of their countries. They, and we, know that they have a home here... Jews never had to decide between the state of Israel and the place where they live.”


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