International Federation of Reform and Progressive Religious Zionists

The World Zionist Congress - How does the Diaspora impact upon Israel

This post is by Pro-Zion and Arzenu delegate to the Congress, Rabbi Danny
Burkeman - it is taken from his blog at

The World Zionist Congress - How does the Diaspora impact upon Israel
In the car to Jerusalem, an Israeli friend and I spent the journey
discussing (arguing) about the relationship between the Diaspora and
Israel. She just wanted us, in the Diaspora, to make the point that
Israel has a right to exist. For me that did not go far enough; we in
the Diaspora should be doing more than that. We need to be the front
line of Israel's PR defence. We didn't agree on this issue, but we did
agree it's complicated, and it left me once again thinking about the
role of the Diaspora in relation to Israel.

It was a very appropriate conversation on the way to the Arzenu
pre-WZC conference.

As I arrived at Beit Shmuel and saw the international group that had
gathered together it was a reminder of the fact that Israel can serve
as a source of unity for the Diaspora.

The first session I participated in was on the subject of the impact
the Diaspora has on Israel and Israel on the Diaspora. Listening to
the groups present their varied perspectives, it was clear to me that
it is a two way street and it is important that we allow, and ensure,
the traffic flows smoothly in both directions. We in the Diaspora are
stronger for having a State of Israel and hopefully we in turn
strengthen our shared Jewish homeland - and maybe that impact is

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