By Vic Rosenthal
Advocating aliyah creates friction. Sometimes people think you are trying to display your moral superiority (“nyah, nyah, I moved to the Jewish state and you didn’t”). Sometimes they think you are trying to steal their children – my wife was a religious school teacher in the US, and some parents didn’t forgive her when their kids became lone soldiers here. Sometimes they hate you for reminding them of what they already believe, but haven’t acted on. Sometimes they think that you are a pest, because they are happy being Americans or French or British. And sometimes they dislike Israel itself, oppose nationalism of any kind, or feel sorry for the Palestinians.
I used to avoid doing it. But not anymore.
For those living in continental Europe or Britain, it’s simply a question of how much Jew-hatred you are prepared to tolerate in your daily life. Yes, you are a tough guy, no antisemite can force you to do anything, but do you really want to live in a place where a large proportion of your neighbors dislike or even hate you? You know it’s going to get worse over time, so unless you perversely enjoy conflict, you are probably already thinking of leaving.
But what if you live in the US? The commitment to tolerance of Jews and other minorities is high, expressions of Jew-hatred have been relatively rare (until very recently), and there are large Jewish communities as well as places where there are practically no Jews at all, so you can choose whichever you prefer. You are not going to be rounded up and forced into ghettos, and your kids probably won’t get beaten up on their way to school (although that’s more likely than it was 10 years ago).
Nevertheless, you should still start planning your aliyah.
As a member of the Jewish people, can you share the national goals of your diaspora home? For example, the US has just delivered a shipment of weapons and equipment to the Lebanese Armed Forces, which we know is tantamount to giving them to Hezbollah, Israel’s most immediately threatening enemy. And this happened during the relatively friendly, if somewhat erratic, Trump Administration! The previous President did far worse, of course, making a deal with Iran that basically granted the regime the right to develop nuclear weapons in a relatively short time span, and pumped money into its economy (including delivering pallets containing millions of dollars in cash). How do you feel about the way your taxes are used?
We don’t want to admit this, but the interests of the US and the Jewish people are not the same. Support for Israel has become a partisan issue, and surveys show that the Democratic party has moved far to the left on issues related to Israel. When the Republican administration is replaced (as it surely will be) by a Democratic one led by a progressive candidate (almost a certainty) then the relationship with Israel will take …read more