On Sunday, the Israeli Government approved a “Strategic Framework to Ensure the Future of the Global Jewish Community.” The plan was presented by the new Minister of Diaspora Affairs Omer Yankelevich (Blue & Whtie), who declared. “Today, the Israeli Government declares that we are one Jewish People, comprised of the 15 million Jews in Israel and around the world.”
Instead of sending thousands of copies of the plan to Diaspora Jewish leaders and Jewish communities around the world, my advice to all those charged with carrying out the highly-touted plan is to put the original document into a paper shredder and throw the pieces into the nearest office trash can. Why waste more money?
The plan was formulated on the basis of research conducted before the Corona epidemic, before the world economic downslide that followed in its wake, before the widespread “Black Lives Matter” riots, and before the virulent outbreaks of anti-Semitism.
Let me explain. Firstly, the plan was formulated on the basis of research conducted before the Corona epidemic, before the world economic downslide that followed in its wake, before the widespread “Black Lives Matter” riots, and before the virulent outbreaks of anti-Semitism which point, as usual, an accusing finger at the Jews. All of these Corona aftershocks are likely to increase in the immediate future and very possibly for several years to come.
Any plan based on a pre-Corona existence is already ancient history. It assumes that Jewish Life in the Diaspora is reality forever, and thus seeks to embrace and accept the Jews who have chosen to live there, nobly declaring that all of World Jewry is one, when in our new inflammable Corona reality, the quicker the Diaspora shuts down, the better it will be for Diaspora Jews.
Secondly, the plan has eliminated the God of Israel from the future of the Jewish People, as if He isn’t a factor to consider. Perhaps He has gone on vacation. Perhaps in the minds of the formulators of the plan, He no longer exists. In what I read, I didn’t find a mention of the Creator of the World and the Master of Jewish History.
Nor is there any reference to the fact that the Diaspora was never meant to last forever. In the Torah, the original Master Plan for the Jewish People, the exile is to serve as a temporary punishment and curse which eventually comes to an end – something which could have happened with the founding of Medinat Yisrael, but which didn’t come to pass because the millions of Jews who had found comfort in the West didn’t want to immigrate to the Jewish Homeland, having discovered new Promised Lands in France, England, America, Australia, South Africa, and all the rest.
To the credit of the new Diaspora Minister, the initials for “Bezrat Hashem” appear at the top of the Ministry’s press release, but that’s the only time the King of the World, and the Creator of the Jewish Nation, appears in the new global strategy. Too bad nobody bothered to consider what kind of future He wants for the Jews of the Diaspora, even though it is clearly written in the Torah and reiterated again and again by the Prophets of Israel – the Exile is to come to an end.
Thirdly, the plan eliminates Israel as the one-and-only legitimate Homeland for the Jews. Just as post-Zionist, pluralistic movements and liberal manifestos, sponsored by foreign funds, are attempting to water-down everything truly Jewish in the State of Israel, including the Torah, Jewish education, Jewish law, and traditional Jewish family life, the new wonder plan heartily endorsed by the Government and Prime Minister, under the banner of, “We are all one family,” recognizes a “new reality” that Jewish life in the Diaspora and Jewish life in Israel are the same, on equal footing, one as legitimate as the other, with Israel at the center, but without any obligation to live here.
Zionism, as President Rivlin recently exclaimed at a conference dealing with Diaspora-Israel relations, no longer means a movement with the goal to live in Zion. Zionism now means merely being connected to Zion. Now there is Diasporism as well, with the goal of strengthening the Diaspora, not liquidating it, the way it was supposed to be liquidated by the ingathering of the Jews.
But the God of Israel doesn’t vacation or sleep, and the Eternal One of Israel does not change His Master Plan for the Jewish People to fit the whims of modern times. Unfortunately, since the Jews of the wealthy West didn’t abandoned the Exile by themselves, the Plague of Corona and its nasty after-effects are liquidating it, because God’s patience with his wandering and wayward children is apparently reaching an end. Whether we hook up Diaspora communities to the virtual respirator of this new solidarity plan, or leave it to die on its own, the Exile is approaching its conclusion. It may survive another year, or five years, or ten, but the Diaspora is terminally ill. No plan can save it.
Just the way the Zionist pioneers of old dried up the malaria infested swamps, in order to rebuild the Israelite Nation in the Land of Israel, the Master of History is drying up the Galut with Coronavirus and the waves of Jew Hatred to follow. Long ago, God established a truth - there is one Jewish Homeland, not two.
The new global strategy is comprised of 6 brightly-colored band aids, intended to rescue a patient in the last stages of cardiac arrest. They are:
- more Israeli involvement in the Jewish educational system throughout the Diaspora, with a focus on strengthening ties to the State of Israel and strengthening Jewish Identity via more programs like Birthright and Masa;
- to increase Israeli awareness of the challenges facing Diaspora Jewry and to encourage more active participation of Israelis in Diaspora life (as if we don't have enough yordim);
- to encourage young Jews to take a part in “Tikun HaOlam” via projects to help people-in-need throughout the world by employing innovations in technology, social media, and business (whatever that means);
- the Government’s implementation of revolutionary technology to enhance the connection with the Diaspora;
- the use of comprehensive research data and demographic studies to formulate a methodology for choosing the right educational programs for different communities;
- the formulation of a Joint Mission Statement between Israel and Diaspora Jewry, based on the broadest possible consensus, and outlining the future goals of united world Jewry.
B’kitzor, in brief, more of the same, sugar-coated with empty hi-tech terminology
It is important to note that the new Minister of Diaspora Affairs, Omer Yankelevich and her staff of obviously dedicated people, had nothing to do with the plan’s formulation, which was written before she was appointed to the post. The plan is based on the conclusions of a public committee, appointed by the Government to “examine avenues for ensuring the future of the Jewish People.”
The Committee was appointed a year and a half ago to examine Government activities relating to Diaspora Jewry, and was headed by a former CEO of Intel Israel, and a CEO of Start-Up Nation Central. The Intel Israel website describes the company as:
“A leading technology company in Israel and in the world, Intel develops and manufactures integrated and connected digital technology and computing platforms. Although Intel is known primarily for development of semiconductors, we do a lot more than this. In recent years, we have evolved from a company that served primarily the personal computing industry to become a company that drives the largest data-centers in the world, connecting millions of mobile installations and Internet of Things-devices, as well as providing information systems protection for organizations and governments.”
This is all well and good, but what does it have to do with Jews, assimilation, and strengthening Jewish Identity?
Likewise, Start-Up Nation Central is described as:
“We connect business, government, and NGO leaders from around the world with Israeli innovation. We identify technological sectors with high growth potential, helping them to mature. We currently focus on the Digital Health, AgriFoodtech and Industry 4.0 sectors, exposing them to global audiences, helping them develop practical tools, attracting investors, and establishing and nurturing tech communities to increase collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and skill expansion.”
What does this have to do with preventing Moishe from marrying Brigitte?
Aliyah?The subject is too loaded. It bothers the sensitivities of the lovers of the foreign lands, so it has been dropped from the agenda of the Diaspora Ministry, lest our brother and sisters overseas get angry and join the boycotts against us.
I am sure all the people on the committee are fine and serious individuals, and that they consulted with experts in the field who haven’t, in the last two decades, succeeded in stemming the skyrocketing intermarriage around the globe, but all of their new, innovative, hi-tech plans are doomed to failure, because there is only one solution to the problem of the crumbling Diaspora, and that is Aliyah. Only Aliyah can save the Jews embedded in the quicksand of alien cultures, and Aliya is not mentioned in the plan. The subject is too loaded. It bothers the sensitivities of the lovers of the foreign lands, so it has been dropped from the agenda of the Diaspora Ministry, lest our brother and sisters overseas get angry and join the boycotts against us.
So the new global start-up plan to strengthen the connection between Israel and Diaspora Jewry, and to strengthen Jewish Identity in the lands of Santa Claus and Christmas, is doomed to fail, because the impure cultures of foreign countries eat away at the soul of a Jew until he sets Washington D.C., NY, LA, and Berlin above his highest joy, and when he or she says, “Next Year in Jerusalem,” no one really means it.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, adding another 20 worthwhile programs like Birthright-Taglit and Masa won’t make one bit of a difference.
- An army of 10,000 slichim from Israel won’t halt the intermarriage.
As the Gaon of Vilna warned, the cultures of the Gentiles eat away at the Jewish communities in Galut, even the most Haredi, the way worms slowly devour a corpse. Now with Corona, violent riots, and the Tsunami of anti-Semitism which is certain to explode, the Diaspora is finished and thank G-d for that.
The task of the Government of Israel is not to save the dying Diaspora, but to rescue its Jews. And this can only be done by bringing them home to Israel - ASAP. So shred the new plan and:
-Shut down the Diaspora Ministry, along with the Jewish Agency and WZO, and transfer their astronomical budgets and workers to the Ministry of Aliyah and Klita.
-Create a Nefesh B’Nefesh rescue network in every country, The task of the Government of Israel is not to save the dying Diaspora, but to rescue its Jews. And this can only be done by bringing them home to Israel - ASAP. So shred the new plan.
and declare that from this day forth a National Aliyah Campaign is the Number One Priority of the State of Israel. Let it be called, project “Save Diaspora Jewry.”
-Put young olim in tents, young couples in caravans, families in caravillas while they, alongside Israelis build a huge, new “Olim City,” a network of them, on the site of the burnt and abandoned Moshav Modiin, and between Eli and Shilo, and in the Negev, with a new hospital for the Jewish American doctors, and a high-tech, start-up, industrial park for the Jews from Silicone Valley, and a look-alike 770 and Boro Park for the Haredim, with their shuls and yeshivot and kosher bakeries intact
Build another Brooklyn Bridge if need be, to make them feel at home, while giving them the feeling that we really want them here, to stay here forever, and not just for a 10-day vacation trip to strengthen “Jewish Identity” which can never be strong when a Jew lives on foreign soil, in a foreign, culture, in an alien land.
Such a tachlis agenda will be a great boost to Israel’s faltering economy, providing thousands of new opportunities and jobs – and how fast the Arabs will flee from our borders when millions of new Jewish immigrants arrive on our shores! And of their own free will.
Let the Diaspora end. Then, after we recite a thunderous Kaddish heard all around the world, we will all sing “Hava Negilla” in united joy, all of the Jews together, in the Jewish Homeland. Then we will all dance a hora while the words of King David echo over the Biblical hillsides and valleys of the Promised Land, “When the Lord brought the exiles back to Zion, we were like those who dream. Our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongue with ringing song.”
Tzvi Fishman was awarded the Israel Ministry of Education Prize for Jewish Culture and Creativity. Before making Aliyah to Israel in 1984, he was a successful Hollywood screenwriter. He has co-authored 4 books with Rabbi David Samson, based on the teachings of Rabbis A. Y. Kook and T. Y. Kook. His other books include: "The Kuzari For Young Readers" and "Tuvia in the Promised Land". His books are available on Amazon. Recently, he directed the movie, "Stories of Rebbe Nachman."