Airing Dirty Laundry

Most times there is a push to give the least amount of attention to the topics that bother you the most. But sometimes a topic must be properly addressed to explain its faults.

This is one of those times.

Dr. Shahar Burla, a 37-year-old political scientist at the University of New South Wales and former resident of Tel Aviv, recently published a thesis called “Political Imaginations in the Diaspora” (Resling, 2013), that argues that Israel presents a two-faced image to Diaspora Jews to acquire as much financial support as possible from Jews living overseas. This two-faced image is the one of weakness to its global political counterparts and one of strength to the Jewish Diaspora so as to ensure there will never be another Holocaust.

There’s a concept in this world about airing dirty laundry. And this thesis, to put it quite bluntly, reeks of smelly socks. There must be a reason Burla left Israel. There must be a reason he’s calling on the Diaspora to stop “feeding Israel money,” as if it’s already an obese child that needs holds. His excuse that the Diaspora needs the money itself just doesn’t hold water. There’s no reason to justify his publicizing his thoughts and assumptions to the general public. If anything, all he did was provide the world with another name to list in their Jewish anti-Israel advocate directory, since all the world sees is a call to stop funding what is Jewish, and not the reasoning behind it. It’d be like a Christian calling on everyone to stop funding to the Vatican, since the Christians can use the money better locally, rather than fund an organization far off in Italy. Such a drastic move would result in the dismantling of the Christian stronghold. It just would never happen. So why should the Jewish stronghold be treated differently?

Israel is and will always be the stronghold of the Jewish people. We pray and yearn to return to the land of our forefathers almost daily. It’s our home, and we fund it because we haven’t made the move there yet. Funding Israel plays as the cover for our guilty conscious. Funding Israel gives us a sense of pride and involvement in its accomplishments. Funding Israel keeps the Jewish people in the diaspora united with one cause, since we can’t seem to agree on anything else. No matter what stance, a Jew can find a number of Israeli organizations they align with and strive to fund. No, I’m not saying that Israel needs the money. I’m saying that for some semblance of unity the Jewish people need to fund Israel, to unite as one, in different sectors, with one cause.

About the Author
Melanie Goldberg is a current student at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She also serves as the research assistant for Versa: The Israeli Supreme Court English Language Repository, and founded a chapter of The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights on her campus. Most recently, she was one of the recipients of The Jewish Week's "36 under 36" award.