Jews are not Israelis

Israel is considered around the world as the “Jewish” state. This article will not discuss the legitimacy of that claim nor will it comment on whether Jews are a religion or a nation. This article will not discuss any of those issues.

This article will discuss the concept that the term Israeli equates to Jew. In November 1975 the UN passed resolution 3379, equating Zionism is racism, which it later retracted, in December of 1991.

We have seen in today’s world that Israel (Zion) equates to Jew (ishness), and it is perceived that anti-Semitism encompasses more than anti-Zionism. For years now, in the anti-Israel media we see that due to Israeli actions, anti-Semitic attacks are being committed as a result. Also that being Jewish somehow gives legitimacy to anyone who is Jewish to criticize Israeli actions.

On January 25 2015 a popular BBC show called “The Big Question” asked an audience is it time to lay the Holocaust to rest? In the audience among the crowd, there were Holocaust survivors and their descendants. 28 minutes into the show Professor Nira Yuval-Davis makes the claim that Israel is using the pain of the Holocaust to justify their actions (against the Palestinians), “…part of the problem that we see is that on the one hand we see how Israel is using very cynically unfortunately this very important memory of the Holocaust”. It can be stated, fairly, that the state of Israel was born out of the ashes of the Holocaust, but this does not mean that Jews can be held accountable automatically due to the actions of the sovereign country of Israel. Israel’s actions are hers alone, representing only the people who through democratic choice selected its government. Just because one is a Jew that in itself does not give the right to dictate how a nation should act nor should any Jew suffer from anti-Zionist actions.

Yes, the majority of Israeli citizens are Jews, but that does not justify actions and accusations being hurled at Jews by their fellow citizens of their country of residence. Jimmy Carter said on The Daily Show, that one of the reasons for the recent terror attacks that rocked Paris was because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. More and more we see that Israel is constantly being defined as the Jewish state; while this goes on Arab-Israelis are considered as Palestinians. When Ha’aretz reports that another Israeli has Joined ISIS, it confirms that it is an Israeli Arab. Yet in the international stage, whenever there is a terror attack against Israeli Jews it is perpetrated not by an “Israeli-Arab”, but rather a Palestinian.

MK Hanin Zoabi, try as she might to fight for a Palestinian state and delegitimize Israel, is still a citizen of Israel and is still (until the March 17 elections) a member of the Israeli parliament, not of a Palestinian one. Israeli Arabs may identify with some of their Palestinian brethren, just as American Jews at times identify with their Israeli brethren. But just because one may share an ethnic, cultural and/or religious background does not necessarily mean one can be equated with the other. In simpler terms, an American Jew, no matter how much he or she supports Israel, does not retain the right to be called an Israeli until he or she picks up his/her Tehudat Zehut. Just the same there is no moral justification for anti-Semitic assaults because of perceived injustices by the state of Israel.

Even Israel’s enemies make sure to call it the ‘Zionist regime’. However in multiple documentaries, such as “Death in Gaza”, you hear Palestinians calling Israelis as Jews, not Israelis. It is as if Israel has never been introduced within their lexicon. Be the statesman or soldier be a Jew, Druze, Christian, Muslim, or other is called the Jew.

It is my firm belief that any action taken by Israel is Israel’s alone, no one else can be held responsible or grievances taken upon them. The terror attacks that took place in Paris have no justification what so ever, and to even consider to possibly understand their motivation for attacking Parisians and going out of their way to attack Jews Has nothing to do with Israel, it is not anti-Zionism it is anti-Semitism. For a BBC reporter to tell a French woman (daughter of a Holocaust survivor) that she must understand because of Israeli actions there may be some justification for anti-Semitic terror attack, in Paris, is ludicrous. It is accepted that Israel was built as a state for the Jews it has a majority population of Jews, the state institutions have a Jewish character. Israel and all of her citizens should be held as a sovereign nation and be defined as Israel. Any attempt to equate attacks on Jews or hold Jews accountable for Israeli actions should be dismissed. The world must not confuse anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism.

About the Author
Born outside of Israel, Baruch has since created his life and home in Israel.