I know this link will expire in a short while and will regret not copying the article, but I think Aloni, who has been in the forefront of Israeli political life for many years expresses the differences between being a Jew in Israel and outside of it in a compelling and convincing way.

1. There is no more exile; there is a Diaspora. Every Jew can leave his country if he so chooses, can immigrate somewhere else, and can certainly come to Israel under the Law of Return and become an Israeli citizen. Equally, he has the right to remain where he is, with his citizenship and his community.

2. As long as he lives in the United States or in any other sovereign country, and is a citizen of that country, his obligations as a citizen are to his country, its laws and the community in which he lives, just as the obligations of every Israeli citizen are to the state, its laws and all that this implies.

3. Our connection to global Jewry and its connection to us is a historical and sentimental connection, an ethnic connection and a religious connection, with all the contexts of the land of Zion and Jerusalem.

We are “one people” in the sense of “folk” or “peoplehood,” but not in the sense of “nation,” which has to do with citizenship and sovereignty. Thus, for example, American citizens of Irish origin are connected to the Catholic religion and the Irish people, just like American Jews have connections with Israel and the Jewish people with respect to ethnicity and culture.

She continues to delineate several aspects of living both outside and inside Israel as a Jew. If you haven’t clicked on the link, do so now, this is one sharp woman.

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