We Israelis always want the president of America to be pro Israel, and with good reason. For decades, the US has supported Israel in many ways — financially, in the international arena, and in military aid. This support did not come without its price tag, and the US has always had at least a certain amount of control over Israel’s foreign policy, but there is no question that America’s support of Israel has done us a lot of good.
In less than a month, America will vote on who will be its president for the next four years. I think this is a good time for us to reflect on what makes us worthy of support. What are we giving to the world? Why did we establish the State of Israel to begin with? Is it only in order to serve as a safe haven after the Holocaust? If this were so, then I’m sure the nations already regret their vote from November 29, 1947, when they supported the establishing of a Jewish state.
I think that to merit support from the American president, and from every other country for that matter, the people of Israel must live up to their name. We may want to be like all other nations, but we are not. We didn’t come from a single clan or tribe; we have no biological or familial affiliation. On the contrary, our forefathers came from clans and tribes from all over the Fertile Crescent, which were often hostile toward each other. These refugees from their own nations became a separate nation since they had the same ideology, the same spiritual idea that unity and love of others must transcend all other values. This is why we began our official nationhood only after we agreed to unite “as one man with one heart.”
We struggled with our commitment to unite all through our years in the desert and we achieved sovereignty only after we achieved unity. When our unity disintegrated, we were exiled to Babylon. When we reunited under Haman’s threat of destruction, we were given Israel once more. But then we started hating each other to the point that we slaughtered and starved one another while the Roman legion sieged the walls of Jerusalem, and that made us unworthy of having a land of our own and we were exiled until now.
After World War II, we were given another chance at sovereignty. But if we don’t rise to the challenge, the nations won’t support us. Unless we find a way to be once more “as one man with one heart,” and set an example of unity to the world, the nations will see no purpose in our being here.
If another vote on the establishment of the State of Israel were done today, does anyone believe that we would receive the required two thirds favorable votes? Regardless of our foreign policy, the nations will condemn us as long as we are an example of belligerence and internal division. The world looks at Israel with dismay and often with disgust not because of our military conduct, but because of our conduct with each other. If we behave the way Israel should behave, making unity our top value, then whoever is elected on November 3 will be a favorable president toward Israel, as will all other nations.
It is said that Jews are smart. I hope that we are smart enough to learn from our past errors so we don’t have to experience another cataclysm in the grief-stricken chronicles of our nation.