Last week I read this article, titled “Far-left Diaspora Jews increasingly coming to Israel – and sticking around.” A few questions arose:
“Far-left?” Why, because they are interested social justice, coexistence, and minority empowerment? Does that mean that those who self identify as left-leaning, moderate, or even right oppose these values? I hope not.
Increasingly coming to Israel? I’m not sure. Although, someone much more academic than me could check. I’d like to give a shout-out here to just a small sample of experienced activists in the field who are involved in this work in the Negev (my home region), Vivian Silver, Yosef Abramovitz, Daniel Birnbaum, Debbie Golan.
I moved to Israel in 2004. While at Rutgers during the second intifada, I knew there there was more nuance to Israel than the black & white rhetorical name-calling: Palestinian = Terrorist, Israeli = Militarist Killer.
My personal and professional journey has brought me to serve Bedouin Society in the Negev. After ten years of work in Negev Development, I sought out Bedouin visionary leadership looking to ignite change from a position of choice, knowledge, and belonging. I found that in Ibrahim Nsasra and over time became the CEO of the organization he founded, the Tamar Center.
Many North Americans who make Aliyah seek meaning. I’m sure that many of those who find meaning, find it in social-justice work, which is also the essence of tikkun olam. If this makes us “far-left,” gesundheit! So be it.