The World Zionist Congress just finished its elections on March 11, 2020. There were few conditions to voting in the United States such as being Jewish and 18 years old. However, there was another requirement to have one’s diaspora voice heard in Israel: a confirmation of supporting the Jerusalem Program. As detailed by the American Zionist Movement, those beliefs are:
- The unity of the Jewish people, its bond to its historic homeland Eretz Yisrael, and the centrality of the State of Israel and Jerusalem, its capital, in the life of the nation;
- Aliyah to Israel from all countries and the effective integration of all immigrants into Israeli society.
- Strengthening Israel as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state and shaping it as an exemplary society with a unique moral and spiritual character, marked by mutual respect for the multi-faceted Jewish people, rooted in the vision of the prophets, striving for peace and contributing to the betterment of the world.
- Ensuring the future and the distinctiveness of the Jewish people by furthering Jewish, Hebrew and Zionist education, fostering spiritual and cultural values and teaching Hebrew as the national language;
- Nurturing mutual Jewish responsibility, defending the rights of Jews as individuals and as a nation, representing the national Zionist interests of the Jewish people, and struggling against all manifestations of anti-Semitism;
- Settling the country as an expression of practical Zionism.
Yet these same principles are not held by many members of Israel’s own parliament, the Knesset.
The Joint List – a collection of four Arab parties – received 15 seats out of the 120 in Knesset, a 12.5 per cent tally. The party is led by Ayman Odeh, a man who called on Palestinian Arabs across the Green Line to fight against Israel and refused to attend a meeting in New York City held on the same floor as the Jewish Agency, the group that helps facilitate “aliyah to Israel,” as called for in the Jerusalem Program. The party also includes Ahmed Tibi who has said that Hamas is “not a terror organization,” even with a charter calling for the total destruction of Israel and the murder of its Jewish inhabitants.
This collection of Arab parties includes people against the Jerusalem Program and Israel itself.
In the past, Arab List Members of Knesset (MKs) included people like Hanin Zoabi who said “I do not represent the State of Israel nor do I speak for the State of Israel, but rather in the name of a struggle that performs the exact opposite of the role of the Israeli Knesset, according to its vision.” Current MK Yousef Jabareen is a member of Hadash (part of the Joint List) who openly calls Israel a racist society and speaks of ending the national identity of Israel.
Israelis somehow don’t seem to mind.
Hadash-member Raja Za’atra founded the B.D.S. (boycott, divest and sanction) movement in Israel and has compared Israel to ISIS and Nazis. While not a member of Knesset he is welcomed as a member of the Haifa City Council.
The State of Israel demands more Zionist affirmation from Jews in the diaspora than from its own citizens with zero effect. The March 2020 elections concluded with openly hostile anti-Zionist Israelis securing a considerable showing in the Knesset, while the alt-left Hatikvah slate had to lie about its Zionist bona fides to participate in the United States’ WZC elections and also secured a sizable vote.
These anti-Zionists are inside the power structure regardless of approach, so a decision should be made whether the Jerusalem Program be scrapped as irrelevant or actively enforced in both Israel and the diaspora to discharge the venom within.
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