The Diaspora as a Calling - Zionist Yearning and Propaganda

:‫וּבִת לֹא-ת ְנוּ, וֶ ַע לֹא-תְ ָעוּ ְכ ֶם לֹא-תטּעוּ, ְלֹא ִהֶה, ל ֶם‬ ‫י ְ י ָכ‬ ‫ִָ ו‬ ‫ִ זר ו ֶ ר‬ ‫ִ ב ְזר‬ ‫ַי‬ (35:7 ‫ִי בּאה ִים ֵשׁבוּ, ָל-ְ ֵי ֶם )ירמ‬ ‫כּ ָ ֳ ָ ל תּ ְ כּ ימ כ‬
due to Zionism? Has the Zionist Project propagated itself through Propaganda?
No, I’m not a Zionist. I’m a Jew. I’m not going to whitewash this despicable desecration of our inheritance and paint it as awesomely wonderful because of it’s scientific breakthroughs or its false appearance of democracy. The more venom you spew in my direction, the more I realize it’s true — that Zionists don’t really believe in Torah. Because Zionism is assur by the Torah. Zionism has nothing to do with Judaism. It is a Jewish nationalist movement. Judaism and Zionism are not one and the same. See to be a “good Jew” today, you don’t have to care about Torah. You don’t have to practice Judaism. You don’t have to believe in G-d. You don’t have to be educated in your history. You don’t have to be educated in our source material. You don’t have to learn gemara. You don’t have to lay tefillin. You don’t need to know a word of Hebrew. You don’t have to keep a single mitzvah or even know what a mitzvah is — sorry to tell you, it doesn’t mean “good deed.” No. You just need to unyieldingly, unquestioningly support Israel in every military decision (unless those decisions aren’t brutal enough against our supposed enemies, in which case, feel free to dissent). You need to perceive of a black and white world in which all Arabs and Muslims are evil and all Jews are good and innocent and worthy of your unconditional support. Nevermind what the Torah says about provoking both the wrath of G-d and the wrath of the nations. Nevermind capital-T Truth at all. Sieg heil, sieg heil, and “you’re okay in my book.”
--Daniel Sieradski, Jewschool, 2/i-know-the-days-not-over-yet/

Can the Diaspora be seen as a calling? Are there elements of the Diaspora that the Jews have lost

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all those exiled whom I exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters. Multiply there, do not decrease. And seek the welfare of the city to which I have exiled you and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its prosperity you shall prosper. For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let the prophets and your diviners in your midst deceive you, and pay no heed to the dreams they dream. For they prophesy to you in My name falsely; I have not sent them, says the LORD. For thus says the LORD: When Babylon’s seventy years are over, I will take note of you and I will fulfill to you my proise of favor—to bring you back to this place. (Jer 29:4-11)

“I do not care about Israel,” Atlanta journalist Binyamin Cohen, 30, declares flatly. “It sounds like a crazy, almost horrible thing for a Modern Orthodox person to say. But it [the founding of the Jewish state] happened more than 50 years ago, and it doesn’t mean anything to me. The love of Israel is not a gene that a Jewish person is automatically born with.” -Uncovering the UnMovement, Bnai Brith Magazine

Right from its foundation, the existence of Israel created new questions for world Jewry. If Israel's purpose was to accommodate a nation that could never be safe or fully itself in any other place, was it still possible for self-conscious Jews to flourish in “exile”? Some felt Jews had only two options: assimilate in the countries where they lived, or identify very closely with the new state, if not migrate there. Another dilemma arose from the idiosyncrasies of religious life in the new state. Many Israelis are secular—but religious authority in the country is in the hands of the Orthodox. Where does that leave Jews outside Israel who practise more liberal forms of the faith? And the biggest dilemma is this: however proud world Jewry felt of Israel during its early struggle to survive, how should a conscientious Jew react to Israel's new image as military giant and flawed oppressor? Faced with these puzzles, Jews all over the world are finding new ways to assert their identity and a new relationship with Israel. Most diaspora Jews still support Israel strongly. But now that its profile in the world is no longer that of heroic victim, their ambivalence has grown. Many are disturbed by the occupation of the Palestinian territories or more recently by images of Israeli bombing in Lebanon; some fear they give grist to anti-Semites. Quite a few think Jewish religious and cultural life in Israel is stunted. Others question the point of a safe haven that, thanks to its wars and conflicts, is now arguably the place where most Jews are killed because they are Jews. The most radical say, as the Palestinians do, that the idea of an ethnically based state is racist and archaic. - Second Thoughts about the Promised Land, the Economist: mRa-QJIKuoQLS2fC9Dw

The Diaspora as a Calling – Worksheet for Counterpoint developed by Ariel Beery and Aharon Horwitz

Diaspora Jews are aware that they have a homeland that will always be ready to accept them as lovely swans rather than ugly ducklings, and this helps them feel more secure about living outside of this homeland. Knowing that Israel exists as a second home for all Jews, provides even those conasidering aliyah with a feeling that they do not need to rush—Israel will always welcome them with open arms. The fact that Jews received their own “Ireland” or “Italy” in 1948 enables them to feel in America and elsewhere like other immigrants who left the “old country” behind. – Yossi Beilin, His Brother’s Keeper (2000)

As we have for thousands of years, Jews today are thriving outside the Land of Israel. The American Jewish community (if we can refer to the multitudes in the singular) is teeming with resources and ideas. We are integrated into society in the vast majority of areas where we live and, for better or worse, have joined the top echelons of many. We therefore must reconsider our tradition’s ageold liturgical longing for another place. In this era of global conflict, unprecedented mobility for the upper classes, and natural disasters that send millions running from their homes, we must ask ourselves: Can home be any place but the place we live? -- Ilana Sichel, Editor, New Voices Magazine s%2520as%2520Homes_5b6884073e.pdf+Ilana+Sichel+Hom e+issue&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=firefox-a

The problem with Israel, in short, is not—as is sometimes suggested—that it is a European "enclave" in the Arab world; but rather that it arrived too late. It has imported a characteristically late-nineteenth-century separatist project into a world that has moved on, a world of individual rights, open frontiers, and international law. The very idea of a "Jewish state"—a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded— is rooted in another time and place. Israel, in short, is an anachronism. – Tony
Judt, Israel: The Alternative, New York Review of Books (2003)

As Jews, especially in America, feel more secure socially and economically and have power over place and space, they are beginning to examine internal differences. The question of Jewish difference has become all the more pressing with mass migration of Jews from the former Soviet Union to Israel, Germany and the United States. These groups of Jews speak different languages from the Jews in their new host countries, maintain different sense of Jewish identity, and often maintain separate communal institutions…What does, in fact, an upper-middle-class professional, secular Jew in Los Angeles have in common with a working-class Israeli Sephardic religious Jew in Bnei Brak except the fact that each one calls herself a Jew? – Caryn Aviv and David Shneer New Jews: The End of the Jewish Diaspora (2005)

Why, one might ask, has the Jewish contribution to the wider world of Western culture and knowledge been so much more marked in some regions than in others? Take the Nobel Prizes in the serious sciences. Of the 74 British prizes, 11 were won by Jews, but, with one possible exception, none of them was born in Britain. Of the 11 Russian prizes won since 1917, six or seven went to Jews, presumably all natives of the region. Until 2004, no Nobel Prizes in science had been won by Israeli researchers in any country, although Israel has one of the highest outputs per capita of scientific papers: 2004, however, produced two, one native-born and one born in Hungary. On the other hand, two or perhaps three have been won since Israel became independent by members of the modest Lithuanian-Jewish population of South Africa (c.150,000), though all outside that continent. How are we to explain such striking differences? .. Patently, without both the opening of US academia to the Jews after 1948 and its vast expansion, the enormous wave of home-grown US Nobels after 1970 would have been 3 impossible. A more important factor, I believe, is segregation, whether of the pre-emancipation kind or by territorial/genetic nationalism. This may explain the relatively disappointing contribution of Israel, considering the relative size of its Jewish population. It would seem that living among gentiles and addressing a gentile audience is as much a stimulus for physicists as it is for film-makers. In this respect it is still much better to come from Brooklyn than from Tel Aviv.-- Eric Hobsbawm, “The
Benefits of the Diaspora.”

The Diaspora as a Calling – Worksheet for Counterpoint developed by Ariel Beery and Aharon Horwitz