Edgar Bronfman on the Israel-Diaspora Relationship

Edgar Bronfman writing in The Huffington Post:

The Jewish State and the Jewish Diaspora

… The debate that has sprung up over the past several years regarding the proper contours of the Israel-Diaspora relationship is a crucial one. Simply put, the relationship needs to be rethought and updated for the twenty-first century. The ideas and emotions that served us so well for the past six decades simply do not resonate as strongly with the younger generation of American Jews, who have no personal memory of 1948 or 1967. Instead, what they see is a troubled Israel yearning for peace with its Arab neighbors, while unsuccessfully trying to extricate itself from over four decades of occupation over the Palestinians. They also don’t understand why a minority – a powerful minority – believes that all of the land is God-given to us Jews, and that no compromise over it is possible.

… In my frequent discussions with prominent Israeli and Jewish Diaspora leaders, we regularly air our own frustrations with the Jewish state’s current direction, while at the same time also appreciating the country’s many positive attributes. I am sure that these same types of conversations are repeated in synagogues and Jewish community centers and college Hillels all across the Diaspora. The beauty of Judaism is that it demands we ask questions, especially of ourselves.

Indeed, there is really no better sign that we care deeply and profoundly about Israel – otherwise, we would not spend our days working on its behalf, giving money, thinking about its future, or simply following events half a world away. We do it out of love.