sábado, 27 de noviembre de 2010

¿QUÉ DEBE ISRAEL A LOS JUDIOS DEL MUNDO? (Traducción del título)

El día 27 de los corrientes el diario digital israelí HAARETZ.COM publicó un artículo de Donniel Hartman que por su interés sobre las actuales negociaciones de paz en Oriente Medio y la afinidad con criterios publicados en este blog transcribo literalmente en su inglés original. Quienquiera que tenga interés en leerlo en español puede leer la traducción del mismo, de Ria Okret del HARTMANINSTITUTE, en mi otro blog http:/

What Does Israel Owe the Jews of the World? (21/11/2010)


The relationship between Israel and world Jewry - or more accurately - the diminishing relationship, is at the fore of Jewish institutional and leadership concern today. What can be done to combat the perceived disengagement from and increased alienation toward Israel?

One focus of the efforts is on improved public relations and education of world Jewry as to the case for Israel. An increased ability by Jews to defend Israel to others will lead to a parallel increase in affinity toward and possibly affiliation with Israel.

Israel, however, cannot combat alienation unless it ceases to generate it and be one of its primary causes. If Israel wants a Jewish world with a strong affinity toward Israel and its needs, it must also take into account the impact of its policies on world Jewry. At issue is not only legislation on issues of conversion and the rights of liberal Jews to pray at the Kotel. Israel must recognize that its foreign policy moves equally impact both on Jews' relationships with Israel, and also on their relationship to their home countries.

For decades, we have told world Jewry that since their children's lives aren’t on the line, they must remain silent and support any policy set forth by the Israeli government. While there is much truth to this argument, it is time to recognize that one of the causes for alienation from Israel is the perceived negative impact of Israel's policies on the way Jews feel around the world. An indefensible or questionable policy embarrasses Jews and exposes them to criticism and ridicule by their fellow citizens.

A world Jewry engaged with Israel is a world Jewry impacted Jewishly and personally by Israel. It is a world Jewry that connects its identity as Jews with the State of Israel. As Israelis, it is this type of engagement for which we yearn. It is time that we recognize the responsibility that it generates.

An example in point is the recent negotiations between Israel and the United States regarding an additional three-month settlement freeze. If the reports are accurate, Israel has bartered a freeze in return for F-35 fighter jets at a bargain price and written US assurances on security issues.

Let's leave aside the political debate regarding the legitimacy of the settlements, their importance or lack thereof for the future security of the State of Israel, and the dangers or benefits of further unilateral Israeli gestures toward the Palestinians for the future of the peace talks. The deal between Israel and the United States is so bizarre and troubling on so many levels that short of a blanket condemnation of both the United States and Israel for short-sightedness, it begs for an explanation. One cannot question the intelligence of Prime Minister Netanyahu, Secretary of State Clinton or President Obama. If the settlement freeze is tolerable to Israel's security and political interests, why not agree to it when our most significant ally asks? On the other hand, if a 10-month freeze was ineffectual why is an additional three-month freeze the object of such desire that the US is willing to bribe Israel to achieve it?

The purpose of the promises is not for Netanyahu, nor for anyone for whom the peace process is a serious endeavor. Its aim is to provide Netanyahu with a bribe for his coalition partners, many of whom see no value in negotiating with the Palestinians, nor with ensuring that Israel and the United States be in sync with each other. Absent these incentives, material ones are offered instead with the hope that they will buy votes. This is especially the case when it comes to the Shas Party, whom Israel regularly infantilizes by buying its votes both literally and through religious legislation.

This move to bribe coalition partners, however, not only extracts a price from the US administration, but from Jews around the world. It is embarrassing for Jews to see the Israeli government hondle with a friend who has been at our side. It is one thing for Israel to disagree and stand for its interests when necessary, even if those do not coincide with the interests of the United States government. However, it makes an American Jew uncomfortable with his or her loyalty to Israel when Israel's policies are not led by its values and larger security needs, but instead sees these values and needs put on the trading block for the highest bid. It causes American Jews to feel vulnerable to the critique of their fellow citizens, who associate Israel's actions with Jewish ones.

American Jews, and in fact Jews around the world, have for decades argued for the consistency and coherency of their loyalty to Israel with the loyalty they have to their home countries. Loyalty to Israel has been a source of pride and enhanced Jewish identity. When Israel sacrifices the identification of Jews around the world with Israel on the altar of short-term coalition interests, it belittles Israel and makes a case for alienation.

Let Netanyahu lead with principles, whatever they may be, and Jews around the world will at least be able to respect Israel and their affiliation with it. Let Netanyahu take responsibility for implementing the two-state solution that he publicly advocates and put the future of his coalition and his government on the line for his principles. When he does this, he will find himself less worried about Israel delegitimization and will find a Jewish community around the world at his and Israel's side.

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