What’s a Diaspora Jew to do about Israel?


Mick Davis, the chairman of Britain’s largest Israel-oriented Jewish charity, the UJIA, has an Op-Ed in the London Jewish Chronicle argues that Diaspora Jews have a right to try to influence Israeli policy, since they suffer some of the consequences of them. He writes:

Just as Israel feels besieged, so does every Jew in the diaspora. But whereas an Israeli can at least influence events through the ballot box, we are a simple recipient of their impact…

Jews in the diaspora must recognise that we have a legitimate role as a partner with Israel in developing that strategic design. I do not accept the notion that today’s diaspora, buffeted by the same winds which assail Israel, should not participate.

Israel came about because of a collaboration between Jews in the diaspora and Jews in the Yishuv, who jointly saw the modern state as a just and worthy project of all of the Jewish people. That project is not yet complete and will not be until we have peace.

Until then, our role in defending Israel in our home countries assumes a greater significance. We must not shirk from that responsibility.

If we are to build resilience amongst our young people and a sense of pride in their relationship with Israel, then we must equip them to deal with the complexities and challenges which they perceive in an honest and open way.

That means acknowledging and confronting the schisms which exist in Israeli society (as in all societies); accepting that there is a range of views on Israel’s foreign policy and stimulating rather than stifling debate; allowing for dilemma alongside certainty; and telling our own story as we learn to hear the stories of others.

Full column here.

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