Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Divided Loyalties

Jews living in foreign countries are often subject to (or at least think they are subject to) suspicions of dual loyalty. Yet, brandishing a charge of "dual loyalty" as a weapon actually makes no sense. Everyone has multiple loyalties - to God, family, country, coreligionists, baseball team, AA group... whatever. But if an anti-Semite speaks of "dual loyalty" in reference to Jews, then what he really means to say is that Jews have a "single loyalty" - to the Jewish people or state and not to the country of their residence in the Diaspora.

Well, I am going to finally reveal the truth. Pay attention, anti-Semites.

It's true: we Jews do have a "dual loyalty." There. I've said it.

But the irony is that the "dual loyalty" I have in mind only intensifies once Jews actually live in a Jewish state.

On the one hand, we are loyal to and often feel an obligation towards the Jewish people. On the other hand, Jews feel a loyalty to and often an obligation towards all mankind, especially those who are suffering.

That's our Jewish dual loyalty.

It was manifest throughout history - from the time of the Romans, when Jewish ideology and example contributed to slave revolts in the Empire, through the Jewish organizations taking the lead in efforts to raise awareness of the ongoing Darfurian massacres. Were not Jews overrepresented in the civil rights movement for Blacks in the United States? Were not Jews overrepresented among anti-Apartheid activists in South Africa? Were not Jews overrepresented among those idealists seeking to give the working man collective power in American industry?

A dedication to helping mankind does not guarantee that the path chosen to do so will be right or even moral. That is how Jews came to be overrepresented among early eastern European and Russian communists (but also, perhaps, why their less altruistic "comrades" later got rid of them).

And now that we have an independent state, Israeli medical professionals, scientists, emergency crews, firefighters, agriculturalists, and more are sent by that state to all corners of the world to offer aid and assistance. That is how Israeli doctors ended up providing medical help after the giant tsunami in southeast Asia, how Israeli search-and-rescue crews ended up in Turkey after that nation suffered a devastating earthquake, how Vietnamese "Boat People" ended up finding a safe haven in Israel, how even America received assistance from Israeli experts and universities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, how more than 140 countries have received Israeli humanitarian aid since 1948.

And yes, that is even how Israeli medical and humanitarian aid to the Arabs in the Palestinian Authority exceeds that offered by all the Arab nations, both when Egypt and Jordan controlled the territory in question and now. That is also how Iran was even given the possibility of foolishly and condescendingly rejecting Israeli aid proffered when the Bam earthquake killed tens of thousands.

Most recently, Israel sent a delegation to Peru after that country suffered an earthquake that killed upwards of 500 people. Israel also sent a delegation of firefighters to help Greece combat more than 200 fires that have wracked that nation.

So, yes, we have a dual loyalty. Nations and peoples around the world have benefited from it, we and others have sometimes suffered because of its more unrestrained manifestations - but there it is.

In contrast, living among us Israeli-Jews-with-dual-loyalty, is a non-Jewish population with no such "issues." They are a single-loyalty bunch, if we are to judge by the statements and actions of some prominent or not-so-prominent Arab (particularly Muslim) Israelis in recent weeks. They are singularly loyal to those Muslims or Arabs who are enemies of the country in which they live. Period.

An Israeli Arab MK is busy "building bridges" between Hamas and Fatah, two Palestinian Authority terrorist groups vying for seniority in bloodthirstiness. Police busted up a Hamas fundraiser in Jerusalem, attended by Israeli Arab Islamic leaders. An Israeli Arab terrorist group in the Galilee boasted of its murderousness. A former Israeli Arab MK who fled charges of espionage for Hizbullah has turned up again, flaunting his treason. Or is that simply his "single loyalty"?

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