MembersWhen Israel’s Foreign Policy Endangers Diaspora Jews

Israel’s founding fathers felt the weight of responsibility not only for Israel’s Jews, but for the Jewish people worldwide

By Jason Silverman | | Topics: diaspora
Friends and family mourn the Jewish victims of the Paris Kosher Market terror attack in 2015. Antisemitism has a tendency to spike when people say they are opposed to Israel's policies. Photo: Ben Kelmer/Flash90

How can Israel defend herself when foreign policy may stir antisemitic violence around the world as we saw in the recent war with Hamas? Must Israel’s foreign policy always take global Jewry into consideration?

Since its establishment in 1948, the State of Israel has continually emphasized its special responsibility for Jewish people wherever they may live. Moshe Sharrett, Israel’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs, touches directly on this issue in September 1949 stating, “Now we have a country, but it is not only the country of the Jews living in the Land of Israel. Rather, it is the country of all of the Jewish people around the world.” Emphasizing Israel’s responsibility, Sharrett, referring to the Jewish diaspora, added, “We need them, we are responsible for them.”

Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, held a similar view. Referring to Israel’s responsibility for Jewish people abroad he stated, “Theoretically it is so: we always say we are responsible only for the Jews of Israel. But practically Israel belongs to the Jewish people. We know, in...

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