Why the obsession with Israel? Heaven knows.

The population of Israel is just eight million people. There are 14.5 million Jews in the world, out of a total population of 7.5 billion people. Israel’s area is approximately 20,000 km2 out of Earth’s total landmass of 510,000,000 km2. So why are we always in the news? What is the source of the world’s obsession with Israel and the Jews? I propose two answers – one new and the other one, old.

Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations singled out the obsession and unfairness during her maiden speech at the UN. “So many events take place around the world, and we are only discussing Israel! This is a double-standard. The Security Council is supposed to discuss how to maintain international peace and security. But at our meeting on the Middle East, the discussion was not about Hezbollah’s illegal build-up of rockets in Lebanon. It was not about the money and weapons Iran provides to terrorists. It was not about how we defeat ISIS. It was not about how we hold Bashar al-Assad accountable for the slaughter of hundreds and thousands of civilians. No, instead, the meeting focused on criticizing Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East. This prejudice approach bears no relationship to reality”.

Obviously, her analysis is excellent. Haley is just as good as Danny Danon at brandishing figures – 70 anti-Israel resolutions as opposed to 7 anti-Iran resolutions. Yet, what is the deeper reason for this? Why does our very existence as Jews bother so many people and why does our living here in Israel drive them really crazy?

In Europe in 1935, Rabbi Yeruham Levovitz taught his students a class about the weekly parasha, Shlach Lecha which tells of the Sin of the Spies and our deep-seated connection to the Land of Israel. What he said then, could have been written today after watching the news on the BBC or CNN.

“The news is all about what is happening in the Land of Israel. Only a fool could say that these are simple or incidental things. Today there is but one politics in the entire world. Every event, even if it occurs at the other end of the world, becomes an issue that affects the entire world. And how do all these global issues become connected with the question of the Jews? It is unbelievable that there is hardly any place or hardly anyone in the entire world who doesn’t speak about Israel and the Jews. The entire world discusses the question of the Land of Israel, as if it is the only problem that exists. This is truly a sign from Heaven! What is it trying to teach us? What is the reason for all this awakened interest in the Land of Israel? I do not want to become involved and give an answer because I have no real understanding about this, but one thing is clear: It is no simple matter”.

Even if we ourselves do not understand the secret, we do understand that there is definitely a secret involved here.

About the Author
Sivan Rahav Meir is a media personality and lecturer. A Jerusalem resident, she is the World Mizrachi’s scholar-in-residence. Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands of listeners around the world. Sivan lectures in Israel and overseas about the media, Judaism, Zionism and new media. She was voted by Globes newspaper as most popular female media personality in Israel and by the Jerusalem Post as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world.
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