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Diaspora-centric focus for an Emergency Aliyah Campaign

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From an Israeli Jews’ perspective the continued existence of Jews in a vulnerable diaspora, threatened by unprecedented levels of antisemitic attacks, seems illogical and counter-productive. But that is not the way to encourage Aliyah.

Regardless of the deepening international crisis against Jews, there exists a sense of incredulity that any Jew would prefer to live anyway other than the Jewish Homeland? Many voices urging Jews to make Aliyah while they still can, tend to regard their audience as living a meaningless existence, in comparison with their own lives in Israel. This is readily apparent when considering the often used phrase of being ‘better off in Israel’ This observation is unintended to convey a message that there is anything unworthy in sharing this belief, but is an important factor when considering the question of how to best communicate with the mass of Jews living in the diaspora.

On the one hand. it can be considered essential for Jews living in Israel to extend a helping hand towards their fellow Jews suffering elsewhere, from a position of absolute faith in the need for a presence of Jews to be living in the homeland. However, this approach can often be regarded as condescending towards those who feel very strongly about the righteousness of living outside of Israel.

The first question is whether Jews actually regard themselves as living in a diaspora at all, rather than belonging to their country of birth and the environment they currently live in? Small wonder that most people, anywhere, prefer to consider the place where they’ve established businesses, a community, friends and family, etc., as being their own unique homeland.

Furthermore, with factors like language and cultural barriers to contend with, Israel can understandably be seen as an alien entity to most Jews in the diaspora.

The next question flows from the first. Dependent on news and educational directives emanating from the diaspora, Israel also becomes regarded as a less desirable place of refuge than the vulnerable neighborhood they struggle to survive in. Prior to World War 2, the situation in Nazi Germany did not suddenly deteriorate over night. It was a gradual process whereby many Jews were lulled into a false sense of security before the next threshold in the downward spiral pulled them further down into its tightening grip. “It can’t happen here in our civilized country?” With the hindsight of history the answer to that rhetorical question is sadly known.

So with the real concern felt by Jews in Israel to the worsening plight of their people being gripped by the terrors unleashed against the Jewish Diaspora, the real question should be how best to communicate the need for Jews to find their way home before the expected deluge washes away all traces of a path leading to Israel?

The concept of a ‘diaspora-centric’ campaign should be the starting point prior to attempts to encourage mass Aliyah. This campaign should be honest in sharing the troubling fact that Israel is not the ideal place of refuge from attacks against the  Jewish people, but does offer a fully fledged undertaking to secure our borders and safeguard our people. But of far more significance, it should beforehand be prepared to address those living in the diaspora as those worthy of recognition within their current environment, deserving of praise for the many achievements they’ve brought to their adopted country. It then follows that Israel would be honored and proud to have such remarkable Jews share their lives with us in the Jewish Homeland.

Image: Pixabay courtesy of Grae Dickason 



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