While it is true that Israel is not directly synonymous with the Jewish people – as any Jewish anti-Zionist can easily demonstrate – it nonetheless remains the case that Israel makes possible the self-defense of the Jewish people and thereby represents the great majority of us, no matter where we might reside.
One of the great pleasures of running a small political blog such as this one, aside from the occasional free book, is that I get to interact with people of similar concerns from all around the world. Like most US-Americans my relationships with other people through most of my life have been with other US-Americans. Now I find myself speaking with people from throughout Europe, Australia, and Israel, including the so-called “settlers” such as Yosef and Melody in Hebron.
Not all of these people, of course, are Jewish. What we all have in common, however, is an appreciation of the Land of Israel as the historical homeland of the Jewish people. I am even one of those who would go so far as to suggest that Israel represents the redemption of the Jewish people.
For Jews to exist without Israel would be something akin to a tree living without a forest.
We need Israel not only because, considering Jewish history, it is devoted to the survival and protection and well-being of the Jewish people, but because when it thrives we can also, as can our children. Look at Jewish history. It is no coincidence that the economic, creative, and political rise of Jewish prominence in the modern era coincides with the rise of the Jewish State of Israel.
Jews, prior to 1948, were a cowed and harshly discriminated-against people throughout the West. European Jewry, of course, was devastated by the Nazis and their European collaborators, including the French and the Brits. American Jews basically kept their heads down as the New York Times studiously ignored the Holocaust. I have no idea what Australian Jewry was up to at that moment.
But the point, of course, is that Israel needs the Jews just as the Jews need Israel.
What most people, including most Jews, do not realize is that the very word “Israel” refers to the Jewish people, not merely the modern state. Thus when hostile western-liberal anti-Zionists defame Israel and seek to diminish Israel and lie about Israel as a racist, colonialist, imperialist, militaristic, apartheid, racist state they are, on a certain level, condemning the Jewish people in much the same way that the Nazis did… and that all enemies of the Jewish people have done since the Romans came forth and kicked ass.
Criticism of the state is one thing. Defamation, however, is something else entirely.
Criticism seeks to be fair. Defamation seeks to slander and libel.
If we state the above, which is incontrovertibly true from a historical perspective, we are also sometimes accused of holding dual-loyalty.
As a citizen of the United States, a nation of immigrants, I assume that my feelings for the Jewish homeland is not so different from the feelings that French or German or Japanese Americans have toward their own.
The only difference is that no one credible is suggesting that France is not the homeland of the French or that Germany is not the homeland of the Germans or that the island of Japan is not the homeland of the Japanese.
Angela Merkel and the current EU immigration idiocy aside, everyone recognizes that Spain is Spanish, despite the fact that other ethnic minorities live there. Israel is obviously far older than is England or France or Germany or Spain and thus has, from an historical perspective, greater legitimacy as a nation-state than almost any other country on the planet.
Furthermore, as among the most persecuted people in history, the Jews require a safe haven and Israel would be it, but for the never-ending theocratic-bigotry of its violently hyper-conservative Arab-Muslim neighbors.
If American Jews who care about Israel seem to be “dual-loyalist” it is only because our tiny minority remains under siege by a much more populous Arab-Muslim majority in the Middle East that would see us dead.
I have no doubt that if Americans of Italian or Irish descent saw their countries of origin under siege they would be just as committed, as are many American Jews, to standing up for the land of their ancestors.