It must be noted that Jews in Israel and abroad are one people. It does not matter whether you are an Israeli citizen or not, if you are a Jew, you are Israel. That is not only my opinion, but also the opinion of our enemies. The enemies of Israel target Jews abroad the way they target Jews in Israel.
A recent example of this may be found in the May 2021 Gaza rocket assault and Arab riots against Israel. Arabs did not only riot in Israel. They also rioted in other parts of world, targeting Jews abroad.
Israel’s enemies condemn Israel for being militant and defending itself. The typical response of liberal and self-hating Jews is to dissociate themselves from Israel and to condemn it as well, as if to say, ‘We are not Israel. We Jews don’t defend ourselves.’
In fact, those Jews are more interested in defending other minorities and unfriendly nations, to prove that they are unbiased and even divorced from Israel. They include the Ben and Jerry’s types who would go so far as to boycott Israel. They voted for the Democrats against Trump even though he was like a modern Cyrus the Great for Israel.
Such Jews think Israel gives them a bad name. If they want to be victims and to reap the benefits as victims of vicious anti-Semitism and genocide, then yes, Israel stands in their way; it is bad for business. Many people would like to treat them as victims and to further victimize them, but Israel stands in their way.
Although the opposite is also clearly true. Such Israel bashing Jews give Israel a bad name. To prove their loyalties, they openly condemn Israel. Their condemnation, as Jews, gives Israel a bad image. It is much worse than the condemnations directed at Israel by her enemies because their condemnation carries more weight. If Jews are anti-Israel, then why shouldn’t the rest of the world be as well?
Yet unfortunately, it is not only the self-hating Jews who give Israel a bad name. Many diaspora Jews who love Israel and are closely connected to it, but choose to remain in exile, especially in America, are unwittingly giving Israel a bad name.
The mere fact that so many Jews remain in exile, 73 years after the nation they dreamt of and worked so hard for has become a reality, gives Israel a bad name. It means that they don’t want Israel enough to live there and to physically fight for it. To them perhaps Israel is just another Jewish outpost, like Brooklyn, and not the end goal of Jews everywhere.
Well, that is very dangerous in my opinion. If we were dealing only with outspoken self-hating Jews, we could handle them. The problem is that we are talking about more than half of the world’s Jewry, including many expatriate Israelis. They are unwittingly backing the claims of self-hating Jews with their bodies, as they have physically separated themselves from Israel.
Spiritually, many of these Jews are deeply connected to Israel, and all Jews are theoretically a part of Israel, but physically they remain distant. Until they bridge that gap and come to Israel, diaspora Jews will continue to give Israel a bad name.
They demonstrate to the world that Jews don’t really need Israel, therefore the wars and the whole Zionist enterprise are seemingly unnecessary. They also demonstrate to the world that most Jews don’t want Israel enough to live in it, which makes them wonder why Israel doesn’t just abandon half the Land and give it to the Arabs as a gesture of goodwill.
Half the Land is reserved for diaspora Jews. They are needed to fill it. The attitude though of diaspora Jews is that we don’t need it because they aren’t coming.
This makes us feel like someone who has reserved adjoining tables at a restaurant for the whole family, but half its members have yet to arrive. People keep coming, including waitresses, asking if we really need the extra table. One family member goes ahead and sits there to physically reserve the space, but the waitress objects. Another family member, an expected guest, goes out of his way to call the waitress and to say, ‘You can take the table, I’m not coming.’
I certainly hope that is not the case because all Jews desperately need Israel for their immediate survival. And we don’t need half the country, we need all of it. Losing Israel, besides possibly losing many Jewish lives in Israel, would also mean losing the security of Jews everywhere and our ability to defend ourselves as a people.
If Jews feel secure in exile these days, without Israel they can expect that security to literally evaporate. Even with Israel powerfully present today, that security has been deteriorating, a direct consequence of Israel’s tarnished image.
Diaspora Jews need to wake up and come to Israel. Quit giving Israel a bad name. Make it your home and fight for it with your body and soul. It is literally all we’ve got in this world, so make it yours. Your presence is deeply needed and wanted in Israel.
Yshai Amichai made Aliyah from Los Angeles in 2001, settling in Israel, where he met his wife and where they raise their six children. He may be contacted at: email@example.com