Israel Hayom covered a meeting organized by B’nai B’rith International and the Jewish People Policy Institute that focused on how Israel, because of the tragedy in Ukraine, has a unique opportunity to show its commitment to Diaspora Jewry and accept Ukrainian Jewish refugees.
The tragedy in Ukraine has provided Israel with a unique opportunity to show its commitment to Diaspora Jewry.
How can this be done? Jewish leaders gathered in Jerusalem several days ago to answer precisely this question, in a meeting organized by the Jewish People Policy Institute and B’nai B’rith International.
It is well known that despite a series of commendable changes in recent years, Israel is little invested – to say the least – in our brethren around the world. Perhaps precisely due to this, the familiar and visceral closeness to our distant family arose among the participants, as well as their recognition of the shared destiny, cooperation, assistance, and mutual responsibility.
Now is the time to practice what we preach for in the Nation-State Law, which stipulates that Israel will “strive to ensure the safety of the members of the Jewish people and of its citizens in trouble or in captivity due to their Jewishness or nationality” and “act within the Diaspora to strengthen the affinity between the state and members of the Jewish people.”
Although the Nation-State Law does not fully realize the state’s obligation toward world Jewry, our natural affinity with the members of our people emanates from every heart, leaving not a single person in Zion indifferent to the heavy price of war.
Even before the expected massive aliyah wave – which will require extensive government support – the mobilization so characteristic of Israel stood out in a series of commendable initiatives to help Ukrainian Jews – by the state, various organizations as well as private individuals and volunteers.
The Jewish community in Ukraine is in immediate danger. It is the birthplace of those who immigrated to Israel as part of the first aliyah waves. It is where the founders of our modern state and its plethora of movements and streams came from.
Now that Israel is strong, it is our turn to help our Jewish brethren. As such, we should ask ourselves: Is our commitment reserved for such extreme situations only or on “normal” days as well? In fact, we do not need a law that will fully realize our responsibility to the Jews of the world and adorn the proud Israeli heartbeat. This is our commitment to ourselves.