November 20, 2012 | 10:18 am
Posted by Rabbi John Rosove
Both Jeremy Ben Ami (President of J Street) and Yossi Klein Halevi (Writer and Journalist at Jerusalem's David Hartman Institute) are personal friends. I respect them both as thinkers, as committed Jews and Zionists, as men who truly love the people of Israel and see the State of Israel as the embodiment of Jewish national dreams.
This dialogue on criticism of Israel by Diaspora Jews during war time which Jeremy and Yossi have undertaken (below) is as good a discussion as we will find on the sensitivities and moral obligations of Jews vis a vis the Jewish state, whether we be Israelis or Diaspora Jews.
I recommend you read the entire piece below, but before doing so it is important to recognize two elements of Jeremy's and Yossi's discussion with each other that have enabled them to talk with such candor and respect:
1. Their conversation together is civil, respectful, honest, and clear;
2. Each is motivated by ahavat Yisrael (love of the people of Israel) and ahavat Medinat Yisrael (love of the State of Israel).
With regards to point #2, unfortunately, many Diaspora Jews do not feel this love for Israel, do not identify with Israel's history, struggle, fate, and destiny nor with the Israeli people, and identify policies of the Israeli government with the meaning of the Jewish state. When they criticize Israel, therefore, they do not do so from a position of love - and to me, that is a critical difference from those who do love the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
One final point - Jeremy is right (and Yossi expresses his appreciation of this point) that we living here outside Israel cannot know what it feels like to live there in time of war, and it is the Israeli people who must live with the consequences of decisions they make. The rest is commentary.
Here is the piece:
Point-Counter-Point, New York Jewish Week
6.14.13 at 9:22 am | At Sinai God sought a new way for the people, to. . .
6.11.13 at 7:31 am | We need to be supporting Secretary Kerry vocally,. . .
6.7.13 at 9:35 am | Korach and his minions were not democrats at all;. . .
6.6.13 at 7:13 am | As a co-chair of the J Street Rabbinic Cabinet, I. . .
6.5.13 at 10:13 am | The first is my blessing when a beloved pet dies.. . .
6.2.13 at 7:44 am | The poem reflects a depth of generosity,. . .
6.11.13 at 7:31 am | We need to be supporting Secretary Kerry vocally,. . . (141)
6.14.13 at 9:22 am | At Sinai God sought a new way for the people, to. . . (40)
6.19.12 at 7:13 am | One has to ask why would so many people would. . . (24)
We welcome your feedback.
Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.