Blake Flayton is a senior at George Washington University, and the co-founder of the New Zionist Congress. He has written a very strong article entitled, “A New Zionist Congress is Born,” just published in Tablet Magazine. By his spirited writing, you can tell that he is a fine, upstanding young man, a determined activist, and a passionate lover of the Jewish People. Those admirable qualities make him a shining diamond in the Jewish American wasteland, which he describes so well, where a Jew has to play the role of “Stepin Fetchit” - making sure everything he or she says is politically correct lest it ignite the ire of the anti-Semitic elite. As he notes:
“Every time Jews speak out about anti-Semitism, we're immediately told to endure a corporate diversity training seminar, one which concludes that it's still our fault for causing all the drama. And yet for many in the Jewish community, this is a tolerable price to pay to sit at the table. Well, I don't want a seat at that table. I don’t want to be anywhere near that table. I am in fact determined to flip that table over.”
Bravo! Well spoken! A true fighter for Jewish pride and Jewish equality! But, alas, dear Blake has been infected by the same plague of darkness which blinds all of the diehards of the Diaspora, in his demanding to be a proud Jew in a foreign Gentile land. Now that we have the State of Israel, why bother to fight for Jewish pride and Jewish equality in America? That is not Zionism. That is Diasporaism. Let me explain.
At the very beginning of the Passover Haggadah, we say: “This year we are here; next year in the Land of Israel. This year we are slaves; next year we will be free people.” Our Sages chose this teaching to begin the Passover Seder, wanting us to remember that wherever we may be in the Diaspora, outside of the Land of Israel, we are “slaves” – even if we are living in America, the land of the free. We are slaves to a foreign identity, a foreign culture, a foreign language, foreign values, and slaves to the anti-Semites, having to play the role of good, liberal, self-hating Jew.
Dear brother, Blake, if you don’t want to play the game, don’t topple the table. Forget sitting at the table altogether! In truth, you don’t belong there. It’s their table not yours. Your table is here in Zion.
If you really want to be a Zionist – come to live in Zion! Only in the Land of Israel can a Jew be free – that what Seder Night is coming to tell us.
In your article, you write: “I stand on the shoulders of those who realized that self-determination was the only solution to the Jewish question: Theodor Herzl, Golda Meir, and Natan Sharansky.” Dear Blake, they all understood that the Diaspora Jew, in a national sense, could only be free in his own Jewish Homeland.
You insist, “I know my history.” Well, if you know Jewish History, you know that a Jew belongs in the Zion, and that we have no future in foreign lands, amongst the Gentiles, who all, sooner or later, remind us that we are not in our home. Passover, my friend, is the Festival of Freedom, the freedom gained by the exodus from alien lands to become free Jews in our own Jewish Land!
Therefore, your hope for the New Zionist Congress, to revitalize Jewish Pride on college campuses and Jewish communities throughout the Diaspora, is very noble, but your plans to promote Jewish Education, Jewish book discussions, to host lectures and debates, movie nights, and trips to Israel, are all doomed to failure, if you don’t make your goal to educate Jewish youth on campus, and their parents, and their Rabbis, and the heads of all synagogue groups and American Jewish organizations, that the goal for every Jew, and the only path to Jewish freedom, is to move to Zion.
Not to visit Zion, or talk about Zion, or to support Zion from afar – but to live here! To make “Next year in Jerusalem” a reality, not just some fanciful slogan in which no one really believes, so long as the anti-Semites allow the Jews to remain in golden America, England, Germany, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, and Timbuktu.
Make the goal Aliyah, my dear friend, Aliyah. As those two champions of Jewish-American assimilation cheerfully sang: “You don’t have to discuss much – just get yourself free!”
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."