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Hey Bari Weiss, Why Not Move to Israel?

16 4 12
24.09.2021

Bari Weiss recently wrote a powerful essay, titled “Everybody Hates the Jews,” which raises the alarm on growing antisemitism in America, from both the right and the left. This piece, by the favored, former New York Times opinion columnist (who gave up what many think is one of the best jobs in the world to be independent) is partially based upon a newly released Brandeis study examining antisemitism on US college campuses. Still, Weiss’ analysis goes far beyond the study to describe the surging levels of antisemitism that permeate the entire political spectrum.

As a lifelong Zionist, I have a question for Weiss. Given her detailed account of the profoundly troubling escalation of hate crimes against Jews, why not promote Herzl’s antidote to rising antisemitism in Europe, and suggest aliyah (moving to Israel) as a solution for American Jewry’s problems?

In my youth, I believed Herzl was correct, i.e., the establishment of a Jewish State would normalize the Jewish people worldwide. Herzl posited that creation of a Jewish safe haven would provide a solution for those who settled the state, as well as for those living in the diaspora. When I first moved to Israel in 1975, at the age of 20, it was not to run away from America (a country I love to this day, and whose history I have spent a good part of my life writing about). I made the move to take part in the most crucial experiment in modern Jewish history; the creation and maintenance of the Jewish State. Jewish history was being made in Israel, and I wanted to be a part of that.

I also believed America was different, and that serious antisemitism could not flourish in the United States. American Jewry nearly started off on the wrong track, when Peter Stuyvesant disapproved of Jews settling in New Amsterdam. However, Stuyvesant’s decision was overturned by his Directors back in Amsterdam. Still, there have been ugly anti-semitic incidences in US history, such as, Ulysses Grant’s exclusion of ‘Jewish traders’ from his camp; and the hanging of Leo Frank outside Atlanta in 1915; not to mention, a lineup of infamous American........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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