Israel's selfish attitude toward Diaspora Jewry
Israel gives clear preference to the Orthodox when it comes to determining Jewish identity, as in the "Who is a Jew?" debate. Only Orthodox Jews can fill certain official government positions and serve as rabbinical court judges, or local or regional rabbi. The state is even hostile toward Jews who don't conform to a particularly traditionalist brand of Orthodoxy and wish to act in accordance with their beliefs. One such example is Women of the Wall, who think that even women have religious rights, including the right to wear a tallit in front of the Western Wall, that historic site which has become a de facto ultra-Orthodox synagogue.
The Prisoner X case is another painful and scathing example of Israel's selfish attitude toward world Jewry. In this case, according to media reports, the State of Israel's willingness to endanger Jews around the world for its own needs has yet again been revealed. As Jonathan Pollard was used for his U.S. citizenship, Ben Zygier appears to have been used for his Australian citizenship. It should have been clear to his handlers that such an exercise, if discovered, was liable to put the Jewish communities abroad in a bad situation. But did any of the handlers, or the leaders responsible for them, even think about this problem?
Jews around the world, most of whom are not Orthodox, will largely continue to love Israel, to fear for its future, to work on its behalf, and even to sacrifice themselves or put themselves at risk for us. They are fulfilling the obligation, ingrained in Jewish culture, to look out for one's fellow Jew. They will do so because that's what Jews do. They will do so despite the fact that, as it has in the past, Israel will continue to treat them selfishly and cynically.
By Shlomo Cohen