Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MK Yuli Edelstien | Offers Unique Perspective on Aliyah

In the wake of rising worldwide anti-Semitism and in light of the recent blatant, horrific, and atrocious attacks that were carried out on Jewish communities in France and Denmark, the subject of aliyah has become an extremely pressing matter, current topic of conversation, and a serious reality that thousands of Jewish families are grappling with in Europe, in Israel, and around the world.

Following the attacks on Jewish communities in Europe, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, voiced encouragement for all Jews, especially those who feel unsafe in their communities, to make aliyah. Netanyahu’s call for aliyah promises that all Jews will be welcomed with open arms, guarantees much-deserved protection, and invites all Jews to come home to Israel. As it goes when it comes to politics – especially delicate, multifaceted, and complex policies such as those of the Middle East – Netanyahu’s message elicited a very mixed global response, receiving both praise and criticism.

However, an alternate message regarding aliyah was suggested by MK Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Speaker of the Kenesset, during an exclusive interview with one of Federation’s main partners – the Jewish Agency for Israel. In the interview, Edelstein spoke of the importance of developing a Jewish identity as well as the importance of forming of a personal bond with the state of Israel prior to aliyah, which he believes will help Jews who are considering aliyah make an informed decision.

“We have to maintain the line that the Jewish Agency has taken: strengthening Jewish identity and the bond with Israel. That does not mean we should neglect aliyah – quite the opposite: you develop Jewish identity and the bond with Israel in order to help people make a decision that is very personal for them and right for us, as residents of the state of Israel. The decision to make aliyah should not be made because of terror attacks or fear, but out of a sense of conviction, Jewish identity and a bond with Israel,” said MK Yuli Edelstein.

Click here to read the full article about Edelstein’s alternate perspective, novel concept, and his fascinating life story.


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