Friday, August 6, 2010

We do it out of LOVE

For the American Jewish community that struggles with Israel, identity and being heartbroken over a seemingly intractable conflict. To question is to support and make better. This is an important piece to read. An excerpt from Bronfman's HuffPost Piece is below. I encourage everyone to read it in its entirety. 

But what would a "better Israel" actually look like? First, it has to be noted that the American Jewish community will only support a liberal and democratic Israel. These are not just slogans, and as I wrote earlier this week; they need to be backed up by the right policies and the right kind of political system. Maintaining control indefinitely over millions of Palestinians will inevitably lead to a demographic nightmare and cannot be sustained if Israel is to remain true to its founding principles.

Making this point publicly should not be controversial. The notion that as a Jew, one has to take the position of "my Israel, right or wrong," is deeply problematic. I would rather have the right kind of Israel. Moreover, calling anyone who criticizes certain Israeli policies a "self-hating Jew" is simply alienating and divisive.
In my frequent discussions with prominent Israeli and Jewish Diaspora leaders, we regularly air our own frustrations with the Jewish state's current direction, while at the same time also appreciating the country's many positive attributes. I am sure that these same types of conversations are repeated in synagogues and Jewish community centers and college Hillels all across the Diaspora. The beauty of Judaism is that it demands we ask questions, especially of ourselves.

Indeed, there is really no better sign that we care deeply and profoundly about Israel - otherwise, we would not spend our days working on its behalf, giving money, thinking about its future, or simply following events half a world away. We do it out of love.

1 comment:

  1. I thought you would appreciate this passage Louis de Bernieres' book The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts:

    "There are two types of patriotism, although sometimes the two are mingled in one breast. The first kind one might call nationalism; nationalists believe that all other countries are inferior in every respect and that one would do them a favor by dominating them. Other countries are always wrong, they are less free, less civilized, are less glorious in battle, are perfidious, prone for falling for insane and alien ideologies which no reasonable person could believe, are irreligious and abnormal. Such patriots are the most common variety, and their patriotism is the most contemptible thing on earth.

    The second type of patriot is best described by returning to the example of General Fuerte. General Fuerte did not believe in 'my country, right or wrong'; on the contrary, he loved his land despite the faults that he could so clearly see and that he labored to correct. It was his frequently stated opinion that anyone who supported his country when it was obviously in the wrong, or who failed to see its faults, was the worst kind of traitor. Whereas the first kind of patriot really glories in his own irrationality and not in his country, General Carlo Maria Fuerte loved his country as a son loves his mother or a brother his sister."

    -sorry, I'm not so good at the incommunicado biz quite yet.