WHY I LOVE ISRAEL - AND WHY YOU SHOULD, TOO
- Political Zionism. Why should there be an Israel? Primarily, to save the lives of Jews who are in danger of persecution.
- Labor Zionism. Why should there be an Israel? To reclaim the land of Israel by working the land and soil of Israel.
- Revisionist Judaism. Why should there be an Israel? To save as many Jews as is humanly possible, and to make sure that the Jews possess as much of the land of Israel as possible.
- Religious Zionism. Why should there be an Israel? To enable Jews to fulfill the mitzvot.
- Cultural Zionism. Why should there be an Israel? To be the cultural engine of the Jewish people - to create a national culture that will fill the Jewish heart and spirit with pride.
- All of which merits the support of a final kind of Zionism - Diaspora Zionism. Why should there be an Israel? To help Jews, especially in the United States, to underscore the parallels and links between Israeli democracy and the democracy that they enjoy in their own lands of residence.
- The poet Rachel Bluwstein
- The founder of Hadassah, Henrietta Szold
- The prime minister, Golda Meir
- The left wing activist, Shulamit Aloni
- The right wing activist, Geulah Cohen
- The author of Yerushalayim Shel Zahav, Naomi Shemer.
- The young, firebrand social activist Knesset member, Stav Shaffir.
- ...at the heart of the original covenant that God made with Abraham - that before Israel was a people, it was a destination.
- ...in the words of Abba Eban, "the only state which has the same territory, speaks the same language, and upholds the same faith as it did three thousand years ago."
- ...the resurrection of the Jewish people out of the ashes of history.
- ...the stubborn refusal of the Jewish people to remain passive.
- ...the bulwark of the West.
- the revival of a language, the Hebrew language - the first and only time in history in which a people has brought its language back from the dead.
- ...the ability of the Jew to create a national culture of literature, art, music, theater, and dance.
- ...the vision of the ingathering of the exiles, with distinct cultures, foods, tastes and temperaments.
- ...the promise that no Jew will be homeless or irredeemably vulnerable.
In the words of the French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy: "If dark times, truly dark times, were to return, there would be, for imperiled and defenseless Jews, not a "solution," but a way out, which they so tragically lacked before."
- ...a laboratory of Jewish values. It is not always successful in promoting and living those values, but its failures do not depress me. They invigorate me. They are as noble to me as its successes.
- ...the reminder that we do not live for ourselves alone.