Like any other advertiser, Israel’s Ministry of Absorption offered a claim and a benefit its competition couldn’t make (“Israelis And Us: It’s Complicated,” Between the Lines, Dec. 9). The warm and fuzzy promise of a society that speaks the language of your youth or your need to share the moments unique to the State of Israel are not necessarily persuasive benefits to come home, but at least the claim is credible. At the very least, America can’t make that claim.
Chanukah, however, is a different story. Israel doesn’t own Chanukah. It belongs to the Jewish people. Had Jewish life in the Holy Land at the time of the Maccabees been as comfortably Jewish as Israel is today, the holiday wouldn’t even exist. In fact, the very threat of our culture being usurped by someone else’s culture is what the holiday is all about. Chanukah is not anti-Christian. Chanukah is anti-assimilation. Israel certainly doesn’t come near America in owning that problem.
With all the fuss about Israel reprimanding American Jews, one important fact is left out Any implication that everything Jewish belongs to Israel is more than a slap in the face: it’s false advertising.