WHAT HAPPENED ON THE WAY HOME?
Yesterday Avigdor Liberman Israel defence Minister suggested Israel should work towards bringing 3.5 million Olim (new immigrants) to the Jewish State over the next ten years.
Avigdor Liberman Castigated for the Truth
Liberman said “the major threat to the Jewish people in the diaspora is assimilation, which has reached as high as 60%,” Liberman went on to say that Israel should allocate resources to prevent the “disappearance of the Jewish People in the Diaspora.”
Avigdor Liberman has been roundly criticised for his remarks as he was in his 2014 speech before an American Jewish audience at the Conference of Presidents held in Cleveland.
There as now the Defence Minister was politely criticised for being unrealistic and unprepared in his statements.
One longtime Jewish official suggested his comments “illustrated a deep knowledge deficit about Diaspora Jewry.”
Shmuel Rosner, a researcher at the Jerusalem-based Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) and longtime journalist said “the fact that he used the ‘six million phrase to drive his point home(‘if this situation persists, we will lose another six million Jews in a generation or two’). The response was not one of approval. ‘This is really cheap,’ one of them remarked. I had to agree.”
This shrill response to a current Israel Government Minister is not an isolated event. In 2015 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was roundly criticised for calling on Europes Jews to come home to the Jewish State by European leaders as well as Jewish community leaders.
Netanyahu Under Fire From Europe
Netanyahu’s call to Europes Jews followed shootings in Copenhagen and the kosher supermarket killings in Paris. Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “This wave of terror attacks can be expected to continue, including antisemitic and murderous attacks. We say to the Jews, our brothers and sisters, Israel is your home and that of every Jew. Israel is waiting for you with open arms.”
What a sorry state of affairs when an Israel Prime Minister and a Government Minister are ‘put out to dry’ over the issue of calling for mass Aliyah. Making Aliyah is one of the most basic tenets of Zionism and a national aspiration for the Jewish people.
A National Aspiration
Sifre Parashat Ree: says that the mitzvah (commandment) of living in Eretz Yisrael is as important as all other mitzvot put together.
Yehoshua said to the people of Israel: How long will you be remiss in going up to possess the Land which Hashem, G-d of your fathers has given you? (Yehoshua 18,3)
What a (great) mitzvah it is to desire to go up to Eretz Yisrael! The Shelah and Sefer Yereim teach that a person should constantly have in his heart a desire and love for Eretz Yisrael, as it is written, “And your eyes and your heart shall be there all the days. “(Based on I Melachim 9:3) If a man has all that he desires, he should always remember that he is lacking something, because he is not in Eretz Yisrael… He should be sad about that, for the most important thing is missing (Yeaarot Devash, beginning of Derasha 14.)
“In Israel, we are one nation, and not outside of it.” (Zohar ha Kaddosh Emor,93)
If your sons enter Eretz Israel they accept my kingdom, and if they don’t enter Eretz Israel then they don’t accept my Kingdom (Bereshit Rabba 40)