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Jewish Journal

What Israel means to me

May 15, 2008 | 6:00 pm

Stan Lee

Tovah Feldshuh

"I love, admire, and will eternally raise money for Israel because I am well aware that she takes bullets for me. She is my life insurance."

Judd Hirsch

"It's not easy to understand how a nation can reclaim itself after 5,000 years of banishment, occupation, and inhumane treatment by so many peoples of the world. Perhaps it only desires the same freedoms we exacted out of a bloody revolution. Or perhaps it yearns for freedoms of a different nature: the freedom to exist and be acknowledged by others in their existence; the freedom to defend itself from once again losing everything; freedom from bigoted hate by other peoples and religions.

But somehow I have faith that this nation, this people, this idea called Israel will give back in kind to a world that grants these freedoms."

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

"I visited Israel several times as a child and remember the youthfulness of the country, the vibrancy of its citizens, the clean air of the Be'er Sheva desert where my relatives resided, and the awe-inspiring holy sites at which I prayed."

Judy Ginsburgh "It was hard to believe that I was standing in this ancient land, this land that had become a homeland for Jews everywhere, this land that had blossomed into a paradise through the hard work of so many, this land that held so much of my heritage."

Monty Hall

"Any person who makes a trip to Israel will be overwhelmed with so many different emotions, ranging from historical and biblical references to the struggle of the Israelis to exist."

Theodore Bikel

"One could look at the achievements and at the very fact that Israel is alive and thriving and say, 'Dayenu; is there a need to look much further?' But look we must, as Jews who have regard not only for our yesterdays but for our future and survival."

Aviva Kempner

"I admire the active and talented Israeli film community, especially when their movies bravely examine Israeli society."

Larry King

"I've never been a particularly observant Jew, but when I look upon Israel's achievements, its strength and its vibrant democracy, I feel tremendous pride to be a Jew."

Stan Lee

"Eternally vulnerable, surrounded by much larger, hostile nations whose most fervent desire is its complete and total destruction, the postage-stamp nation of Israel stands like a shining beacon of courage and progress whose light has never flickered."

Larraine Newman

"Israel means Jews are no longer victims. War and conflict are never just or sensible. Neither is prejudice and blind hatred. Our people have been survivors for centuries because we value learning, family, and giving. I am proud of those values and proud to be a Jew, and I support the survival of Israel."

The Rev. Pat Robertson

"We believe that the emergence of a Jewish state in the land promised by God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was ordained by God.

"We believe that God has a plan for this nation that He intends to be a blessing to all the nations of the earth."

These quotations are reprinted by permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., from "What Israel Means to Me," edited by Alan Dershowitz. © 2006 by Alan Dershowitz.

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