A Bridge to Gap

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"Israel and the Diaspora: A Growing, Difficult Bridge to Gap"
Yes, read that last part of the headline again, and know that's the way it's printed in the magazine. Poor Uriel Heilman has a right to major grievances against his editors.

"A state monopoly on religion in Israel is emerging as a major impedient for Diaspora-Israel relations, the Jewish identity of Israelis, and aliyah," [president of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, Stephen] Hoffman says.

He's not talking about the identification of a government with a religion, which might turn off people with a belief in liberty and democracy. He's talking about the undue Orthodox Jewish influence on Israel's government, and how that may turn other Jews, including Israelis, away from Judaism.

For all the celebrating of what I more often see as Palestinian rights talking points against Israel ($3.5 billion a year or whatever in U.S. aid etc.), and the pointed refusal to look at Israel's situations from a justice-based perspective, there was certainly useful strategic advice.

One point it made carries over to whatever purpose your promoting.

Heilman wrote: Compared to trips to Israel, nothing else matters.

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) that takes people to Palestine certainly knows this. Similar things need to be done for every progressive community from cooperatives and intentional communities to Venezuela and Cuba, and indeed it would be good to get ordinary people in direct meeting and contact with ordinary people everywhere, regardless of progressive credentials, but first we have to work with our best bets. Global Exchange tries this but the scale is low.