web analytics
January 25, 2015 / 5 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Jerusalem Belongs To All Jews


The justification for the modern State of Israel is Jewish history – both glorious and grim – and there has long been a compact between the Jews in Israel and the Diaspora. Israeli Jews were on the front lines and Diaspora Jewry was a vital source of economic and political strength. The Jews of Israel bore the lion’s share of the pain, but also reaped the bulk of the benefits.

There have been rifts: Often in Israel’s history, Jews of one stripe or another have taken issue with a government’s policies, and vulnerable Diaspora communities have at times become front-line victims of terror or violence perpetrated by Israel’s enemies.

But our bond withstood all because Israel’s leaders ensured that it remained a Jewish state. Perhaps nothing embodied this commitment more than the dedication to preserving Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, the 3,000-year-old capital of the Jewish people reunified in 1967.

In recent months, however, there have been rumblings from Israeli government ministers about negotiations with the Palestinians on the potential re-division of Jerusalem. On the eve of the Annapolis conference, in response to objections from U.S. Jewish groups about this alarming trend, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert bluntly declared: “The government of Israel has a sovereign right to negotiate anything on behalf of Israel.”

In that, of course, he wasn’t wrong; but his formulation missed a corollary truth that no Israeli government has the unilateral or unfettered right to negotiate anything on behalf of the Jews when it comes to the eternal Jewish verities or heritage, such as our capital.

As such, Olmert’s statements were not merely disappointing to Jewish sensibilities, they were dangerous to Jewish interests.

As Israeli prime minister of the moment, Olmert can try to negotiate anything he wants with Palestinians – including whether Jerusalem is a re-divided war zone, and even whether Israel itself remains a Jewish state or is transformed into a “democratic state of all its citizens.” He just has no right to expect or demand that Jews acquiesce.

Nor do Jews in America – the country whose influence is most strongly felt in Israel and which also holds the largest and most powerful Diaspora community – require Olmert’s permission to exercise our political clout in accordance with our best moral, religious and political assessments.

Jerusalem unites Jews across religious and ideological lines as well as across geographical ones. This is not a struggle of Diaspora Jewry vs. Israeli Jewry; it is a struggle that unites Jewry.

Jerusalem’s mayor is opposed to dividing the city and is working with American Jews. Most Knesset members oppose negotiating Jerusalem, and they also are working with American Jews. Dozens of Israeli organizations are working with American Jews.

Contrary to those who characterize this as a “right-wing religious” or an “anti-peace” bloc, the groups in the United States and in Israel range all along the religious and secular spectrum, and are fully committed to peace and security. They simply are mindful of the deadly consequences of previous “peace processes” and current realities, like the unending barrage of rockets from the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip. Jerusalem’s mayor reports that the talk of ceding control of parts of the city has already begun to stir radicalization and unrest among the city’s Arab population.

In short, as Olmert has himself done many times and is doing even now, Israeli citizens and leaders are working together with Diaspora Jews for that which affects us all.

It surely must be awkward for Olmert to be on the other side of an issue that so unites Jews and to find such tepid support for his own position, but it is important that he not let his frustration erode core principles on which Israel’s existence always hinges.

We recall Olmert’s own adjuration that every Jew is obligated to speak out regarding Jerusalem’s fate because “Jerusalem is not only the city of those who live in Jerusalem, it’s not only the city of those who live in the State of Israel – it is the city of every Jewish person no matter where he lives.”

In uttering those words, Olmert ratified personally that which every Israeli prime minister has declared and which Jews have believed since long before the State of Israel came into being.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Jerusalem Belongs To All Jews”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, with their sons Yair (R) and Avner (2L),  on December 01, 2014.
Iranian News: ‘Teheran Targeted Netanyahu’s Sons’ in Retaliation
Latest Indepth Stories
Golan map

Obama’s Syrian policy failures created the current situation in the Golan Heights.

Social Media pic

Our journey begins by attempting to see things differently, only then can we be open to change.

Middle-East-map

Despite Western ‘Conventional Wisdom&PC,’ the Arab/Israeli conflict was never about the Palestinians

Salamon-012315

Confrontation & accountability, proven techniques, might also help dealing with religious terrorists

In fact, wherever you see soldiers in Paris today, you pretty much know you’re near Jewish site

Inspired by the Perek Shira pasuk for “small non-kosher animals” we named the bunny “Rebbetzin Tova”

The abuse following publication proved a cautionary tale: no one followed in Peters’s footsteps

Plainly, there is no guiding hand dictating choices across the board.

How many sites that tell you to check your politics at the door have 10,000 likes?

In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.

While we recognize the Republican Jewish Coalition is hardly a non-partisan outfit, a snippet from a statement the group released is worthy of note:

“These are good matzah balls,” my aunt Robertine would say, but her sister Irma would counter “No, not compared to Mama’s. They were always so light yet they never fell apart.”

Despite the 2005 Koby Mandell Act no Palestinian implicated in harming an American has been charged

The NY Times suggestion that HaMavesar cropping women from a photo is Israeli censorship is absurd.

More Articles from Jeff Ballabon

The justification for the modern State of Israel is Jewish history – both glorious and grim – and there has long been a compact between the Jews in Israel and the Diaspora. Israeli Jews were on the front lines and Diaspora Jewry was a vital source of economic and political strength. The Jews of Israel bore the lion’s share of the pain, but also reaped the bulk of the benefits.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/jerusalem-belongs-to-all-jews/2007/12/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: