Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Great Divide

United we stand, divided we fall...not just words but an efficient offensive strategy.

I admit that I continue to be surprised by the lack of knowledge regarding Israel in the so-called Zionist camps outside of Israel. Truthful information regarding Israel is readily available, more than ever, the web, speeches, lessons and so on.

Though I am not surprised by the orchestrated ignorance running amok among various congregations and communities allying themselves with the likes of J-Street and the New Israel Fund, I am very disturbed by this increasingly common characteristic among those who identify themselves with the Pro Zionist movements, even more so by those who study our holy scriptures and claim identity with our land.

The term I used before "orchestrated ignorance" was chosen because simply today many of the truths and facts regarding the conflict in Israel, specifically our historic heartland of Judea and Samaria, are keep strategically one sided, and hidden. Indeed, many of the historic truths read aloud every Saturday, or studied in Hebrew or Sunday schools are not identified with what today is branded as disputed territory. The chances of "hell freezing over" and a non-biased trip to our historical heartland, made by the less religiously affiliated or Conservative and Reform Jewish groups, showing our historic and present connection to areas such as Hebron and Shilo, are almost equivalent.

This keeping as many as our people ignorant as possible, or better yet misinformed, serves our enemies quite well by reducing the numbers of those outside of Israel who might otherwise support the Jewish state with fervorAn understandable strategy to say the least.

Sadly this strategy has an aftertaste resulting in too many cases of assimilation and extinction of a number of Jewish families. A definite existential threat to say the least.

On the other hand, it is disturbing to see the children who are sent on their "gap" year to study in Israel, their year in Yeshiva in Israel, and are not given the chance to connect and identify more with our land and the land of our forefathers.

Most of these institutions will simply not venture out to see our heartland, our historical and present day biblical sites, claiming parental fear and insurance issues. Needless to say that the parents of these boys are investing quite an amount of money for these gap "years" spent in Israel. The Israeli students pay a fraction for the same conditions.

The reasons these kids are sent to Israel vary, obviously they can receive the same learning where they hail from, so what are they getting here or what do their parents want them to get here in Israel?

There is no doubt, being, walking, living in Jerusalem and its environs is an experience, in all spectrums. But most of these kids do not fortify a true concrete connection to Israel. They return to their homes, and that is it. Israel is Jerusalem and the other tourist sites they have visited....the playground, end of story.

True opportunity is being missed, and criminally dismissed. These kids return to the outside, they face growing anti Israel acts in their lives, be they in campuses or everyday living outside their bubble. This is their chance to get a deeper understanding, to forge a true connection through knowledge and experience and to become true advocates for Israel, rather than the script carrying activists that frequent so many institutions today. I would like to think, to hope that maybe their parents would also hope for a deeper more meaningful experience for their children while they are in Israel. Most of the parents who send their children are strong Zionists. For the money spent, much more can be had, a stronger Jewish identity, a connection to our history, not just through words, but through actions, sights, smells and emotion. The passion they would come home with would stand up to any enemy or Soros/New Israel Funded activist.

Unfortunately most still come home not having experienced visits to the places they only study about, not even knowing how to find these places on a map. Don't believe me? Just ask them.

It doesn't matter who adheres to this policy of orchestrated ignorance, the results are seen and read about everyday. In this world where hatred against Israel grows daily, fueled by constant misinformation, petrol dollars and good old hatred, this great divide among our people is one of our true adversaries. We have plenty of enemies that are promoting this divide among our land and us. When we have a chance to close that gap, it must be taken advantage of.

Fighting it must remain among the top of our challenges; the battle against it must be ruthless, and one that must be won.

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