The question “Why is Israel losing the PR war?” is on everyone’s mind.
Is the MeToo movement unaware that Hamas calls for honor killings?
Do college professors need a lecture on why kidnapping children is immoral?
When a US Congresswoman tweets “From the River to the Sea,” are they suggesting the US take in the 6 million Jews in between?
In a dad’s discussion group I participated in, some blamed the imagery of uniformed soldiers bombing residential neighborhoods. Others said it’s the parallel; the fairer-skinned group will always be seen as the occupier. Some felt the problem is that it’s too complex to fit into 140 characters.
When all explanations fail, the best thing is to state one’s truth. Perhaps it’s time to openly state our truth:
Our ties with Israel are not because of the Holocaust or the UN. Our passion for Israel is not for its tech center or its breathtaking scenery. Our claims to Israel are not because of democracy or human rights.
Israel is the place our people were called upon to create a society based on Torah and Mitzvot. In it the Jewish idea was to come alive and shine forth.
It is the eternal homeland, given by an Eternal Creator to an eternal people to live guided by the eternal Torah
The reason my great-grandmother requested her body be transported to Jerusalem for burial was not because she wanted to be interred in “America of the East”. It was because she wanted to be in the “land of the living”.
Synagogues across Europe were built facing Jerusalem, not because its the capital of the start-up nation, rather because through it all our prayers ascend towards heaven.
As one group participant shared, ‘When at the end of the Seder my grandfather announced, “next year in Jerusalem,” democracy was not on his mind. Living in Afghanistan, he did not even know what it was. He was simply praying to be in a place where the Jew can serve Hashem passionately, openly, and completely.’
The famed medieval scholar Rashi, who lived during the crusades, writes:
‘Should the nations of the world accuse the Jews of being thieves by conquering and possessing the Canaanite lands, the Jews can reply that the entire world belongs to the Holy One, blessed is He, Who created it and gave it to whom He saw fit. He gave it initially to the nations of Canan and decided to then take it and give it to us.’
For many years we have been weary of using this argument. Perhaps it’s time to state our truth and try.