The wrong choice
Yoram Kaniuk
Published: 10.03.08, 16:25
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1. I concur
J K ,   NYC, USA   (03.10.08)
Let people who live in Israel who pay taxes and fight for (or fought for) the state have the honors. Diminishing nothing from Weisel who is a great man in his own right, but let an Israeli born and raised do this.
2. good point?
elie ,   philadelphia   (03.10.08)
I do understand the nature of the article, but what i dont understand is how can he say that if america and israel went to war, we would fight for america??? How can he possibly know that???? Has he spoken to the 5 million Jews in US and asked each and every one of them??? Bc I can say right now I would fight for Israel, and probably 100% of my my russian, non religious friends??? Some who arent even Jewish by halacha! So please, right your efn opinions about something else.
3. Wrong.
E ,   NY. NY   (03.10.08)
False. Israel is the home to all jews. This article is completely off- find something substantive to write about sir.
4. BS!
tom ,   bsas,argentina   (03.10.08)
Israel ans Sionism was Funded by european jews, and AFTER THE HOLOCAUST, millions of Jews went to Israel, Ben Gurion, Golda Meir, ALL WERE EUROPEANS, and Eli suffered the Shoah. Now.. if it wasn´t for the Shoah, Israel would never be established. Israel and the Holocaust are related. What you claim is bullshit. The entire country was established by Herzl thoughts, by european antisemitism, by european jews and so on... amazing!
5. Simple solution: Give ElieWeisel Israeli citizenship...
Rivkah   (03.10.08)
Many Americans have dual citizenship. An article in "FreeAmerican" magazine years ago said 120 of President G.W. Bush's top level advisors in his first term in office had dual American-Israeli citizenship such as Paul Wolfowitz who was then as assistant Defense Secretary. If Israel gives all those people dual citizenship without their living in Israel, why not give it to Elie Weisel, too, so he can light the 60th birthday torch for Israel?
6. Elie Weisel is too "Jewish" ....
Terry ,   Eilat, Israel   (03.10.08)
We wouldn't want too many Jews around for an "Israeli" celebration, would we? I mean, after all, what do these people have to do with us? It's bad enough we have so many of them around here as it is. They're just foreigners, what connexion do they have with us that they should celebrate our independence? Mr Kaniuk should be ashamed, really ashamed, first of all for being so petty & small minded, but even more for trying to create a gap between different parts of the Jewish people. I can't imagine anyone from any other nationality who would say such a thing for one of their own, especially someone who has done so much for his people as Elie Weisel. So much more than you have, Mr. Kaniuk.
Ben Avraham ,   Tel Aviv   (03.10.08)
8. Lighting the Torch
M. Hartley ,   Atlanta, US   (03.10.08)
It is my opinion that there will NEVER, EVER be war between the US and Israel. As for lighting the torch, that honor should be bestowed on the sons, daughters and parents of those who gave their lives for Israel; whether in l947, last week, or any time in between.
9. Wiesel will send wrong messege
andrew ,   miami,fl   (03.10.08)
Israel was NOT built on the ashes of the holocaust - too many people think that (why do the palis have to pay for what the germans did...?) He is not Israeli - he never was
10. Israel-Diaspora Connection
Alan L. ,   New York, N.Y.   (03.10.08)
While I agree with the author, Yoram Kaniuk, that those Jews who have chosen to tie their lives into the survival of the state, and all that entails (army service, taxes, experience of terror, etc.) do have a weightier share of the future of the Jewish state. However, what Mr. Wiesel's inclusion in the candle lighting ceremonies symbolizes is the irrevocable link between the diaspora and The Land. While half the world's Jewish population chooses to dwell outside of Israel, the links must be absolute, and some recognition must be given to the diaspora community, and the centrality of Israel. As surveys indicate that this link is weakening, efforts must be expended to strengthen it. Therefore, some acknowledgment of diaspora ties to the Jewish State will only be helpful.
11. #1 I also concur
mother of four ,   Israel   (03.10.08)
You've said it much more eloquently than I could. I might just add that I feel olim, including recent arrivals might also be considered. I think the point is being part of the country and not just a visitor, however illustrious.
12. Ridiculous
Israeli   (03.10.08)
Elie Wiesel has done a tremendous amount as an advocate for Israel around the world. There is no reason not to honor him
13. #3 Israel is only your home if you make it your home
Eli ,   Jerusalem   (03.10.08)
Of course you are welcome as a Jew to live in Israel, and it could be your home. But instead, you choose to live in New York where life grants you many benefits that make it worth staying there. We in Israel forfeit the easier life of the Diaspora - a life of money, nice apartments, hot water when you want it, long weekends and peace - so that we can make the Jewish State a reality. Our choice to actually live here forces us to give up quite a bit. Sending money, which is something American Jews have been so gracious to do, is much appreciated, but that does not make one Israeli. You can, however, make yourself Israeli if you're willing to live the hard life we do. We have every right to have one of our own light the torch on Israeli Independence Day.
14. Very Stupid
john ,   Darwin Australia   (03.10.08)
What a load of hogwash. No one in any other country, besides for what i thought was israel, actually considers a JEW as a TRUE part of there country. Yes that includes USA. What a nerve to exclude any Jew from an equal share of the same land that was promised to him from his fathers. HOW RUDE!
15. #13
elie ,   philadelphia   (03.10.08)
Listen, I would love to move to Israel, I really would. I have been to Israel 5 times in 5 years, I have alot of family in Israel. But the only way I would move there is if i had $30 million in tax free money. I see how some of my family lives in Bat Yam, in Haifa. I dont want that. YE i love Israel, and i would die defending it, but moving there, and living there for what??? So i can say that im a Jew and i live in israel, while all of my neighbors call me an idiot for moving to Israel, instead of staying in Philly. Please, save me the amazing life talk. Ye, Israel is amazing, but im not sacrificing my standard of living (and trust me, i dont care about serving in the army, or the terror attacks) im talking about the corruption, the backwards political system, the taxation, the impossibilty of finding a normal job!!!!!!!! If my relatives, people that went through the army, that r sabras, tell me not to move there. They tell me that its not a good place to live, who am i going to believe. Maybe if Israel changes politically and socially, then maybe, but until people like Olmert are in power, corruption is in power. Im not lining his pockets with my tax money, so that he can relax and sit on his throne. The real Zionists were the ones who built Rishon Letzion, who died for the idea. Not him, who worked for army radio, while some of my uncles were fighting terrorists. Change the attitude and the society, and maybe more Jews will stop choosing Germany over Israel, which is despicable. I bet the author forgot to write about that!!!
16. really??? read your history books
natanel ,   ny/jerusalem   (03.10.08)
It is indeed the Jewish State, but "most of them are not partners to our life here, aside from being observers. America’s Jews donate money, but if a war breaks out between us and America, they will fight in the US Army." americans have been fighting for israel since day 1 in every war, in addition to providing millions in cash and arms. your suggestion of american jews fighting israel is a joke.
17. Elie Wiesel--and ex-Israeli
bob ,   potomac md and TA`   (03.10.08)
Having a yored light the fire does not really seem appropriate--
18. Article is flawed
Thomas ,   Cleveland, USA   (03.10.08)
I think I speak on the behalf of diaspora Jews in saying that Israel means more to us than you think. Israeli independance has EVERYTHING to do with the Jewish people, not just our brothers and sisters who happen to be Israeli citizens. "America’s Jews donate money, but if a war breaks out between us and America, they will fight in the US Army." Wrong again! I do not know a single American Jew who would be willing to fight Israelis or Israel in a war. Most American Jews would refuse. I think I smell the stench of a post-zionist...
19. Americans welcome for hasbara, but not birthday...
Jesse ,   USA   (03.10.08)
American Jews are asked to contribute to Israel's Hasbara efforts following the murders at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva, but not share in the Simchas of its 60th birthday? Not surprising at all, unfortunately, given the rote disregard for American Jewry by Israel, except when convenient.
20. #15
oleh ,   Israel   (03.10.08)
It is because people like you choose the US over Israel that Israel is in the condition it's in. You don't need $30 million dollars to live....nobody does. What the world needs is humans who put their own people before themselves. You are only hurting us!
21. Forget the russian immigrant or the ethiopian
jason white ,   afula,israel   (03.10.08)
Let a Jew who made alyah from the west lit it. We gave up a lot to come here and did not come from piss poor f.s.u. or fourth world ethiopia.
22. Israeli Citizenship
Shoshannah ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (03.10.08)
To #5 and others - all Mr. Weisel has to do is apply for citizenship. I'm sure he will receive his teudat zehut quickly once the paperwork is finished. That's all any Jew in the world has to do to become a citizen of Israel. Until that is done, those Jews who are NOT citizens of Israel have no right participating in our Independence Day program. This is a celebration for Israeli citizens, NOT for diaspora Jews.
23. You're 100% right, thanks for putting it so clearly!
Flavio ,   Sao Paulo, Brazil   (03.10.08)
24. US-Israel war????
Jewish CANADIAN   (03.10.08)
At present this is an impossibilty, But if Israel should ever become a fascistic theocratic state or commit some horrific genocide - as so many rightists seem to dream- then all bets are off, In THAT scenario you better believe almost all American Jews would side with America-just as Italian and German Americans did in WW2,
25. Israel is first and formost a people
joel ,   usa   (03.10.08)
Mr Kaniuk, this is a pitiful article. the jewish people are part of an uninterrupted chain that ,as you certainly well know, goes back thousands of years. what a narrow minded vision you have to call us a young nation and to isolate the jews born and living in israel from the rest of their brothers and sisters. so what now? there is jews and there is israeli's? no sir, hell no. there is one people of israel, the jewish people, where ever they may be. we are part of a very long strugle, we the jews, that has survived the test of time. a strugle for the land of Israel, our ancestral heritage. and the ones who fight today are part of the same army that fought before , way before. israel is not exclusively the home of israeli residents as you point but rather the home of all the jews.it has been established this way, not 60 years ago but thousands. any celebration must include all of us. i therefore encourage the idea that Elie wiesel, a member of the jewish nation, light the torch of the jewish land's independance. and what a foolish thing to write that american jews would fight in the american army against israel, this truly is a poor statement.rest assured that american jews,or any jew for that matter,would never , ever, fight their own people. so please,i urge you to restrain yourself of such comments. sincerely
26. Completely agree
Yael ,   Tel Aviv   (03.10.08)
Israeli Independence is for Israelis. Can you imagine the United States inviting someone from France, a non-citizen, to come and take a key role in their Centennial Celebrations? No. They would choose Americans. Elie Wiesel has done much not only for world Jewry but for humanity. Yet he is not Israeli. The Jewish State is open to being the home for all Jews, but it is only the actual home for those Jews who actually live here. And it is the independence of those who live here that we are celebrating.
27. Yoram - Israel is no more yours than it is mine
Besalel ,   Kew Gardens, NY   (03.10.08)
Understand this well, Yoram: The same right that allowed you to come from Poland and create a state on land inhabited by non-Jews gives me ownership right in Israel today. Until you understand this, your arguments vis a vie the Palestinians will always fail. The Arabs are right in one way: there is no such a thing as an "Israeli people." Only Jews, who were given a right by G-d. When you recognize this fact, so will the Arabs.
28. Elie
Graham ,   Germany   (03.10.08)
I disagree, E. W. will represents all those who might have been Israelis - had they not been murdered The author's suggestion negates the entire diaspora. Yad Vashem is not "Israeli" either....... OK it's in Israel........... but does it involve Israel???? If you want a better representaiton of Israelis - then bring more in - but do not deny Elie this moment, he's not doing it for himself....he'll be there for those who never made it - and that is more important than where he chooses to live... Graham
29. WIESEL fought te brittish and FOUNDED THE STATE -
gabriela ben ari ,   jerusalem   (03.10.08)
Why was this very precious piece of information not mentioned in the article escapes my reasoning He should be the first to light the torch !!!!
30. #20
elie   (03.11.08)
Really, its people like us that are hurting the state??? Can I ask you a question? How am I hurting the state, how am I doing anything to the state?? By not moving there, I am hurting it??? Ok, let me ask you this, what are you doing for the state?? Just because you live there, does not mean you are accomplishing a great feat. You think because I enjoy a standard of living, that is higher than Israel's, than I'm hurting the state??? IF EVERY AMERICAN JEW MOVED TO ISRAEL, THAT WOULD BE HURTING THE STATE, BECAUSE THERE WOULD BE NO JOBS!!! THE MARKET WOULD BE A LOT MORE SATURATED THAN IT IS NOW!! Stop thinking in terms of a Jewish majority, and think of how this state will survive. Do you remember the 90's, where you had mathematicians, physicists, and doctors sweeping the streets because they were Russians and didn't speak Hebrew??? My aunt cleaned stairwells in apartment buildings...no sorry buddy, you live in Israel, I will stay in the U.S., and if need be I will come and serve, send a nice check and visit couple of times a year, but live there, probably not!!! Have you seen Bat Yam? Maybe you are a loaded, orthodox guy from NY who has a nice place in Har Nof, but there is a totally different reality in Israel. One that has to do with poverty, no hear in the winter, and no air in the summer, and a lot of head aches??? Why should I pay 25 shekels a month, so that a tv should stand in my room?? Did Herzl put that down in his book the Jewish State. No, its called CORRUPTION!!!!!
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