In the very early hours of Tuesday morning, on Ammunition Hill, we kissed our 18 year old granddaughter Daniella goodbye as she joined dozens of young women on buses to take them to their first army base – the beginning of two years’ service.
Daniella didn’t have to go. She is devoutly orthodox, as are all of our son’s Jerusalem family. However, there was never the slightest doubt, not a fleeting thought as she grew up, that she would not join her older sister and her older brother as they joined the IDF.
There were various emotional reactions as we saw her off. The very personal ones – a mixture of fear and pride. The more philosophical one of why the distortions of this world require an 18 year old to go to war, instead of to first year of university.
The word “commitment” entered my mind.
Somehow, thoughts turned to what is going on in North America in response to the Israeli government’s recent capitulation to the ultra-orthodox members of its coalition – the decisions preventing the use of the Western Wall for non-orthodox prayer and, concurrently, vesting conversions in the inflexible Chief Rabbinate.
Both of those decisions result in assaults on Diaspora Jewry – whether intended or not. Both require condemnation. Both require that Diaspora Jewry make its feelings known to the government of Israel.
But, at the same time, both require that those who bill themselves as Zionists and lovers of the Jewish State refrain from joining, aiding and abetting its enemies.
For “leaders” of U.S. Jewry to threaten suspension of monetary support, urge visitors not to fly on El Al and to take other aggressive actions against Israel is to walk into the eagerly welcoming, open arms of the numerous enemies of the Jewish State. It is to give succour and support to the anti-Israel BDS movement and to all those who desire Israel’s dismemberment.
Israel’s ridiculous proportional representation electoral system (flirted with, thank goodness only temporarily, by the Trudeau government) has created coalition governments almost uniformly since Ben Gurion’s time. Political parties, hungry to maintain power, have made feckless decisions in the past. One can recall the near-disastrous decision relating to “Who is a Jew”, which raised its ugly head during the Peretz-Shamir coalition. So long as the current system remains, there will be unwelcome future decisions.
The role of world Jewry is to support the Jewish State at all times. This exists no matter what decisions that State may make, in accordance with the laws of Israel. Israelis, alone, have the right to change that country’s electoral system and have the right to take whatever actions they see fit.
We may plead; we may try to persuade. But we must never join with our enemies.