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"Jews who dwell outside the Land of Israel are idol worshippers in purity." Talmud, Avoda Zara 8

Are you a Zionist? Think Again

"You can't sit in Manhattan and be a Zionist just because you like oranges, falafel and come here once a year to argue in Jerusalem about 'Where is Zionism going?' There is only one answer: Zionism is going on here.” "Zionism as I see it exists only in its practical form. And as a person who likes shoes isn't a shoemaker, so a Jew who likes Israel isn't a Zionist.''

(Yonatan Geffen, Israeli Poet)

“Blood For Money,” the translation of the Hebrew title of Israeli journalist Matti Golan’s book about the relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jewry. In English it was titled “With Friends Like You:

What Israelis Really Think About American Jews”

Diaspora Jews are aware that they have a homeland that will always be ready to accept them as lovely swans rather than ugly ducklings, and this helps them feel more secure about living outside of this homeland. Knowing that Israel exists as a second home for all Jews, provides even those considering aliyah with a feeling that they do not need to rush—Israel will always welcome them with open arms. The fact that Jews received their own “Ireland” or “Italy” in 1948

enables them to feel in America and elsewhere like other immigrants who left the “old country” behind. – Yossi



Who then has forsaken the Land of Israel? -- You Have! More than any Israeli, you have voted the loudest and strongest for territorial compromise, because you have remained in the United States. No matter how strongly you feel, how loudly you protest and how much you send to groups n Israel who oppose territorial compromise, as long as you remain here, you remain the primary reason that Israel must consider such a drastic step. The numbers are clear, the Jewish-Arab demography in Israel is a reality, and the large Jewish population outside of Israel is a fact. Roughly half of the world's Jews remain outside of Israel by preference. How can they then demand that the other half -- the half that have sacrificed so much already -- sacrifice even more, and in the judgment of their chosen government risk their very existence, in order to hold on to every inch of the Land, all in deference to those who don't even respect the Land enough to live there?! Pardon me, but even Israelis would consider that to be Chutzpah.

Do we have an historic right to all of the Land of Israel? Of course we do. But with all rights, come responsibilities. How can we expect to actualize our rights if we're not willing to shoulder the responsibilities and inconveniences that are a part of them.

Consider this. There are more than enough Jews in Chicago to change the destiny of the city of Hebron, if they would all move there tomorrow. Imagine, Hebron would become a Jewish city with a Palestinian minority overnight, instead of a Palestinian population center, with 500 Jewish residents who require special security arrangements. There could be signs at the entrances to the city - Now entering Hebron - A gift to the State of Israel by the Jews of Chicago. That's quite a bit more impressive than a sign dedicating the wing of a hospital or a school.

I'm not deluding myself into thinking that such a scenario would actually happen. However, I would like to make one point stick. When you sit in mourning this Tisha B'Av over the destruction of Jerusalem and the loss of the Land of Israel in our past, your thoughts may turn to the painful compromise in the Land of Israel that is taking place today. If you feel th urge to look for someone to blame, just make sure you also look in the mirror. -Chaim Shacham, Consul-General of Israel to the Midwest, 1995





As long as it is clear to all of us that Israeli Jewish identity deals, for better or worse, with the full spectrum of the reality and that

Diaspora Jewry deals only with parts of it, then at least the difference between whole and


acknowledged. But the moment that

Jews insist that involvement in the


interpretation of

texts, or in the organized activity


institutions, are equal to the totality of the social and political and economic reality that we in Israel are contending with - not only does the moral significance of the historic Jewish grappling with a total reality lose its




validity, there is also the easy and convenient option of a constant flow

from the whole to the partial. AB

Yehoshua, People without a Land, Haaretz


American Jews and Israel – Summer Institute For Creative Zionism