To defeat Hamas, diaspora Jews must make aliyah and come to Israel – The Jerusalem Post

Posted By on April 11, 2024

Hamass murderous October 7 attack wasnt only about hurting and killing people it was part of a larger, more ambitious plan: to remove all Jewish presence from Israel. This is why victory wont be gained merely by destroying Hamas but by making it clear to Israels enemies that we Jews arent going anywhere, that more Jews plan to move to Israel (make aliyah) and help to improve the countrys society and economy.

October 7 was, without doubt, one of the hardest days in Israels history. However, it also reminded us of the amazing people around us. Israel Defense Forces reservists arrived at their bases hours before they were officially summoned, with some units reporting that 130% of their manpower had arrived. Families opened their homes and hearts to people they had never met or spoken to. The days following the Hamas attack were a national emotional rollercoaster in which despair constantly mixed with love and hope.

But Israelis werent the only ones who stepped up to the plate. Around the world, Jews found ways to help Israelis they had never met. Duffel bags of clothing and military equipment were purchased and flown to Israel; some 300,000 people rallied in Washington DC in what was described as the largest Jewish demonstration in American history, and children wrote to Israeli soldiers in English, French, and Spanish with one message: In the face of evil, Am Yisrael Chai (The People of Israel live).

This support is amazing, and not taken for granted.

However, in the bigger picture, this help is tactical. If Jews want to be part of the strategic battle, they need to come to Israel. This war with Hamas isnt only on the battlefield. It is a long, ongoing war of ideas and ideals. Our enemies desired outcome is not that our soldiers surrender they wish [to kill us or] that we relocate from Israel to other countries; From the River to the Sea... They want Palestine to be Jew-free.

When I look at my enemys wishes, I know we must do the exact opposite. If Hamas and others desire is to kill us, we must live. If they want to destroy our homes and kibbutzim, we must rebuild them. If they do not want Jews living in our ancestral homeland, we must encourage Jews to come and live here. It is simple, yet sometimes the obvious needs to be stated: Winning the war means rebuilding Israel and living here.

And this is why Jews around the world can play a key role in the war effort. We want to see more Jews living in Israel or taking practical steps toward that goal; visiting Israel; more students electing to study in Israel; more young professionals interning in Israel more Jews eventually making aliyah and turning Israel into their home.

This is why we established Belong, a social enterprise aimed at encouraging aliyah and improving the experience, by customizing the journey and supporting those who decide to join us in building the Jewish nation-state. Jews should view Israel as a magnet to run towards, not as a refuge they seek when fleeing hardships. At the same time, the Israeli public needs to start viewing those who choose to immigrate to Israel as cultural and economic assets who should be welcomed and invested in. This is our job. To make sure Jews know, and feel, that they belong in Israel.

For too long, aliyah and the Israel-Diaspora relationship have been viewed as purely ideological, fields for nonprofit organizations and do-gooders. But as in other fields of life, it is time to change this paradigm.

The difficulties for those seeking aliyah should be resolved with business tools and experience; with the outlook not only of people who care, but people who believe their work needs a positive return on investment (ROI). My belief in Israel, and in the Jewish People, isnt new. But my decision to establish a social enterprise in this field is.

October 7 started what will be a seismic shift in Israeli society, and all the Jews should be part of these changes. After all, Israel isnt only my home - its our home, and to win the war we must all be part of it.

The writer is the founder and chairman of Belong, a new Israeli social enterprise that aims to encourage immigration to Israel and to improve the experience of moving here.

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To defeat Hamas, diaspora Jews must make aliyah and come to Israel - The Jerusalem Post

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