Recently, and like many of you, I received the following e-mail from fellow blogger, Dan Illouz:
While it is not my habit to email all my friends like this, in the past two weeks, we have witnessed a lot of unfriendly, biased reporting with respect to Israel. Many of us have been frustrated with the lack of accuracy we found in traditional media outlets.
However, in the past few years, there has been a shift in the way the average individual gets his information. While people used to get information from Newspapers and Television, we now see individuals seeking information on Youtube, Twitter and Facebook. This gives us a great opportunity to counter the bias often faced in mainstream media. Still, for our approach to be successful, it must be organized and powerful.
I have started recruiting “online ambassadors for Israel” with the first goal of recruiting 10 000 ambassadors by June 20th. The role of the ambassadors will be to use his online presence to communicate accurate information to his friends whenever Israel is under attack.
Our goal is for these ambassadors to provide an organized response whenever Israel is attacked. We are not affiliated with any political party – we are just pro-Israel. We are also preparing many programs to maximize the influence of those ambassadors.
On top of joining, we ask that each of you complete the following task. It will take you no more than 3 minutes....
Here is my response:
Your intentions are commendable, but are totally misguided. Here is why I object to the details of your project:
1. I am wholeheartedly against any so-called "Hasbara" (PR) activities aimed at goyim or even Jews and goyim combined.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but these are exactly the kinds of goals you appear to be including in your project.
We must stop this co-dependent mentality and associated behaviors immediately. Such mentality and behavior have existed, at least, since, our expulsion from Spain. We must stop this for the sake of our People's psychological and spiritual health.
Give me one good reason why we should give a darn what the goyim think of us?
There aren't any.
2. I give more than 3 minutes a day for Eretz Yisra'el and for Am Yisra'el. Yet, and please correct me if I am wrong, what you seem to be asking is for me to give three minutes to the State of Israel.
Eretz Yisra'el and Am Yisra'el are NOT synonymous with the State of Israel.
The State of Israel provides me with many services for which I am grateful, and for which I pay taxes, not the least of which is protecting me from foreign attack,...sometimes, and when it is convenient.
However, I refuse to defend those of its actions which are becoming increasingly anti-Torah and otherwise anti-Jewish.
You religious Mamlachtim (undying State loyalists) are going to have to make up your minds already: Follow the Torah OR follow the Laws of the State, because more and more the two are in conflict. Pretty soon, they will be in total conflict, due to the [temporary] control over the Land by the "treif birds" (lashon of the Em HaBanim HaSmeicha).
[As far-fetched as it may seem] If the State of Israel ever passed a law requiring Jews to eat pork in public, even once per year, most of you would gladly sit in jail, yet it would NEVER cross your minds to refuse an order from an IDF commander which goes against the Torah, such as kicking Jews out of their homes in Azza,...or, for that matter, anywhere else.
There is a mahloqeth leShem Shamayim (respectful disagreement) between two Religious Zionist rabbis I would like to share with you:
One of the rabbis says that mamlachtiyuth (undying/unquestioning State loyalism) amongst religious Jews is avodah zarah (forbidden worship), like the worship of the Golden Calf.
The other rabbi disagrees, and says that it is more precise to call mamlachtiyuth fascism.
I do not know which opinion is correct, especially as there does not seem to be much difference between the two. They both replace the centrality of HaShem and His Torah with man-made constructions.
Dan, we are all frustrated by the lies told about Eretz Yisra'el and Am Yisra'el. However, we cannot let it get to us, and we must let go of our quest for external validation for our existence from the goyim, both as a sovereign land and as a people.
We must look only to HaQadosh Baruch Hu, (The Holy One, Blessed Be He) and to ourselves for such validation of our existence and, for that matter, our self-esteem.
Since I believe very strongly that any criticism of a problem should be accompanied by talk of a solution, I would like to provide you with some recommendations for an alternative approach:
1. Instead of reaching out to the goyim, I recommend that you e-mail/blog to you Jewish contacts abroad, report to them your first-hand experiences as to what it is like to live in Israel, encourage them to make aliyah, and recommend to them resources to help them to do so. E-mail/blog to them the truth about what is taking place here in Israel, and that although life can be challenging here, it is the ONLY place in this world for Jews to live.
2. Shift your focus away from the State, and move it toward the positive things that we are doing here in Israel as a People building up our Homeland, such as the agricultural innovations and commits to environmental protection by leftists and settlers alike, interests in organic food and alternative medicine across the spectrum of Jews, Haredi, Religious Zionist, and secular together, regular Shabbathoth experiences in the Shomron (Samaria) which including Haredi, Religious Zionist, and secular Jews together, and Haredi, Religious Zionist, and secular Jews working together in a soup kitchen,...you know, the real Ahduth Yisra'el (Jewish unity) that the Israeli, mainstream media does not want you to know about.
In any event, if this just goes in one ear and out the other, then please, at least, enjoy the free publicity from my not [currently] terribly active blog.