An article appeared this week in the newspaper, Israel HaYom, describing how a pro-Palestinian BDS group targeted Jewish students on a college campus in America, by posting signs in their dormitories telling Jews to vacate the premises, saying that was how the Israeli army treated the Palestinians. These signs have been taped to the door of dormitory rooms of Jewish students, giving the occupants three days to vacate, and warning that their belongings will be thrown into the street if they don’t abide by the order. This is the work of a BDS group called SJP – “Students for Palestinian Justice”. The signs appeared on many campuses across the United States, including the University of Florida and Berkley College.
Outrageous? Terrible? Scandalous? Not at all. I for one am glad. At least someone in the United States is telling young Jews that they don’t belong in America. Their rabbis don’t tell them. Their parents don’t tell them. The Hillel organization doesn’t tell them. The leaders of Jewish Federations and MAJOR JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS don’t tell them. At least the Jew haters are letting them know. Kol Hakod!
I’m glad. Though I am not convinced the Jews will get the message. A Jewish student from Berkley had this to say: “The connection which the SJP makes between our being Jews and their protest over the Palestinian plight in Israel smacks of anti-Semetism. A distinction must be made between their criticism of the situation in Israel and my being Jewish. I have nothing to do with what goes on in Israel. There is no justice in targeting me on my college campus just because I am Jewish.”
Notice what he says: “I have nothing to do with what goes on in Israel.” Notice how he cuts himself off from Israel. In his eyes, he is an American, not an Israeli. This in itself is the crisis of American Jewry and the reason for the ever-increasing assimilation. In truth, he is the true refugee from “Palestine” whom the Romans expelled from the one and only Jewish Homeland – Israel.
Because of our long exile and wanderings in foreign lands, this Jewish college student in America has forgotten his true identity. His parents, and rabbis, and teachers, and Jewish leaders, don’t tell him this truth because they too have forgotten. Rabbi Kook decries this tragedy of Jewish education in the Diaspora which fails to teach that the Land of Israel is an indivisible part of being Jewish, stating, “This orientation toward Eretz Yisrael is not worthy of bearing fruit. The concept of Judaism in the Diaspora will only find real strength through the depth of its connection to Eretz Yisrael.”
So if none of the Jewish educators and leaders are teaching young Jews the truth, it is a good thing that the boys from BDS are letting them know. More power to them!Tzvi Fishman