Popular Articles

Mapping Hezbollah

The Washington Institute develops groundbreaking, comprehensive interactive map and timeline of Hezbollah’s global terrorist activities

Read More »

Because the very fabric of Israel changed, many diaspora Jews are not comfortable with the Israel of today.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

A woman proudly holds the Magan David and Maple Leaf flags, embracing her support for both countries (Photograph: Montreal Gazette)

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

I recently attended a gala fundraiser for a Jewish cause, which was visited by distinguished guest panelists from Israel, the United States and Canada.  After guest speakers presented their unique observations and comments, they invited questions from the audience. Question after question had the same theme – ‘What is going on in Israel? How do we reconcile the policies and conduct of Israel with our values? How does Israel maintain support from world Jewry?

And this is not something new. It is constant, and even growing in our community and even more so in that of our brothers and sisters to the south. It leads me to the following observations.

Many diaspora Jews are not comfortable with the Israel of today. Why?  The irrefutable fact is that today’s Israel is not the Israel of our youth or our parent’s time. That Israel was the one of the underdog kibbutzim, created from the remnants of the devastated European community, socialist in nature, somewhat non-religious, predominantly Ashkenazi. Many kibbutzim had pictures of Lenin on their walls.

One for all and all for one. Those early Israeli pioneers embodied much of what we in the west admired and indeed aspired to. We poured our love and support for those accomplishing what seemed impossible. Their government was dominated by the socialist Labour party of Ben Gurion and his followers. For 30 years from independence until 1977, the Labour party dominated every government. Their visions and policies mirrored to a great extent the views of the ever more affluent North American Jewish community. Our love and support was unconditional.

Get thej.ca a Pro Israel Voice by Email. Never miss a top story that effects you, your family & your community

When and how did it change? Change was inevitable. Because the very fabric of Israel changed.  In today’s Israel more than 50% of the population have roots in the Mizrahi world compared to something slightly over 30% with Ashkenazi history. Mizrahi, the Oriental Jew or simply Jews from the Arab lands, have dramatically and irreversibly changed the face and nature and future of Israel.  And that makes us here, in safe North America, uncomfortable. Because they are “not like us”.

Since 1977 they have been the backbone of the conservative Likud party which has dominated Israeli politics with few interruptions until today. In combination with the smaller religious parties, it is virtually impossible to form a government without them.

MIzrachi supporters of Likud are the backbone of the longevity of the Netanyahu government. (Credit: Meged Gozani)

So now we, for the most part liberal Jews of North America, can’t understand why Israel doesn’t change its policies on egalitarian attendance at the Kotel, their strict rules on conversion, marriage and divorce, to say nothing of the call to “make peace compromises” with their Palestinian neighbours. We don’t agree with them and when they fail to heed our voices, it comes back to “They are not like us”.

This harkens back to America in the pre-war years. When the first major wave of Jewish immigration came to America from 1840 to 1900, they were predominantly German Jews. They were the Gimbels, Seligmans, Loebs, Goldmans, Sachs, Strauss, Frankfurter, Brandeis and Sulzberger who founded the New York Times. They carved a new life in America and they  prospered.  It was after WW1 that thousands of East European Jews began fleeing the pogroms of their homeland seeking shelter in the new world. But to the established liberal Jews of America, they were troublesome. They spoke differently, dressed differently, and were more religiously observant, in short, they, “were not like us”.

So when the U.S. government passed their draconian immigration laws in 1924, which virtually banned the Jews of Poland, Russia, Romania, and the rest of the Jewish pale, few in the established American Jewish community objected, if not indeed supported such laws. Tragic, uncomfortable and troublesome as it may now seem, during the holocaust again, few American Jews raised their voices.  True, there were some exceptions, but for the most part, the establishment remained silent, not to jeopardize their perceived acceptance into American society. The New York Times of Sulzberger printed details of the Shoah’s horrific atrocities on page 4 of his newspaper. After all the victims “were not like us”.

Kibbutz members at Kibbutz Ein Harod in 1936. (Photograph: Polaris/Eyevine)

Let us not forget this lesson when we choose to criticize our sacred homeland. Let us not repeat the failures of past generations. Israel does not have to change to keep the diaspora. The diaspora has to change to accept our brothers and sisters as they are.

Saul Glober is a lawyer and graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School. He was an intercollegiate athlete and participated in four Maccabiah Games for Canada. A history student and frequent commentator, he lives in Toronto with his four children and 5 grandchildren.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Read More

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

cOMING SOON…….

Breaking News

Recent

Features

News

Current Events

Opinions

Politics

Religion

Culture

Memoriam and Obituaries

PodcastS

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved