Tuesday, November 20, 2018 -
Print Edition

Yes, a refuge

Netanyahu is sending a message to world Jewry, specifically European Jewry, that Israel is ITS home. And he is being criticized for it with anger, as if saying Israel is there for you as a homeland is a bad thing. “We say to you our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home. . . Israel is the home of every Jew, waiting for you with open arms.”

The response by French and Danish leaders? Rejection and criticism, as if Netanyahu were expressing a controversial thought, sparking conflict.

I can’t speak as a European, but as an American that for the most part shares the same Western values as Israel, yes, it is very much possible to be a completely loyal American with a feeling and commitment of fealty, allegiance and love for both of your countries, America and Israel, at the same time.

The question is, how do we approach Israel? Should we simply view it as a place of escape? Shouldn’t, ideally, moving to Israel be a choice for something, a running to versus a running from? Ideally, yes. It is always healthier to make choices from such a place. But if the choice of aliyah has to be made for security reasons, it may not be ideal, but thank G-d we are blessed in this generation with that choice. By all means, go!

Even without moving to Israel, her mere existence gives each and every Jew, consciously or subconsciously, wherever we might be, a certain degree of security and dignity, which we take for granted. Aliyah is a privilege and blessing our grandparents in Europe could have only dreamed of. And to think, in history, what a difference it would have made. If only. If only there had been an Israel . . .

Netanyahu is simply articulating what most Jews feel.

The rest of this article is available in the February 20 IJN print and digital edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at carol@ijn.com or subscribe to our online e-Edition.

Tehilla R. Goldberg

IJN columnist | View from Central Park

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