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Jew, be proud

In an age of inadequate political role models, one Israeli columnist finds a few points of light.

Jews, be proud, writes Judy Montagu in The Jerusalem Post:

If only we saw more examples of Jewish “self-respect and stateliness” among our current leadership, instead of dodgy dealings at home and a kowtowing to foreign rulers that makes one wince.

Why must our premier act so obsequiously when he visits foreign capitals, including Arab ones, lavishing over-effusive compliments on their leaders while they stand on their dignity?

And if only our leaders didn’t shy away from all public mention of the deity, so unlike the US presidential candidates’ “God bless you all, and God bless America.” Such an invocation here, a recent Post reader’s letter conjectured, could jeopardize a political career.

The way I see it, Jews today – whether as individuals in the Diaspora or as a nation in Israel – have two broad choices: They can either claim their Jewishness without apology, or shrug off this awkward “accident of birth” and try to act like good gentiles.

Neither course is easy. Those who choose the first must accept that their position vis-a-vis the world will be marked by the starkness of “being different” rather than the comfort of “blending in.” Those who opt for the second must, however assimilated, live with a nagging sense of having denied a part of themselves.

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