Monday, January 13, 2014

Could Haaretz Learn from Mayim Bialik?

Poor Ha-Ha-Haaretz.

Another high-profile Jew, Mayim Bialik

doesn't quite fit the paper's conceptualization of what a Jewish liberal must do:-

Bialik visits Israel frequently, but this is the first trip since her divorce. She remains close to relatives who immigrated to Israel from the United States after the Yom Kippur War. Some are on Kibbutz Gezer, near Ramle, while a larger, more religiously observant contingent lives in the West Bank settlements of Etz Efraim and Mitzpeh Yeriho. And yes, the great Hebrew poet Haim Nahman Bialik was her great-grandfather’s first cousin.Bialik is adamant about her Zionism, but, she says, “I try to be very apolitical, especially when I’m writing on Kveller. I make it very very clear that A. I’m a bleeding heart liberal and B. I’m a die-hard Zionist and the two can and do exist together.”When asked if her visits to the West Bank contradict her ‘liberal’ views, she replies: “My feeling is that’s where my family lives, that’s where all of them live in one place, that’s where I get to see them all together. I try to avoid topics of religion and politics with my religious Zionist family. But like I said, they came here after the Yom Kippur War, to be part of this country and protecting it and they serve in the military, they serve this country and they are very active intelligent people. Some things we agree on and some things we don’t. But to me it’s not a political vote per se for me to visit them.”If she were less deeply involved with her kids, she confesses, she would probably aspire to a higher profile during her stays in Israel. “I would love to put myself out there to a couple of other larger organizations, just because I feel like it’s a tremendous ahrayut (responsibility) if I could publicly do something like that ... I would like to make clear to American Jews that Zionists go to Israel, and its a safe place and its an important place and it’s a wonderful place ... But you know, I was divorced in the last year and I wanted my boys to have a really comfortable and kind of normal time here.”

Mayim, being Jewish, is outspoken:

I hate politics and I hate religion for so many reasons, and I don’t understand the government of Israel most of the time, or who runs the nation’s publicity campaign either for that matter. But I love the homeland of the Jewish people. I have wanted it very badly since it was a collective dream of an ancient set of wandering souls, gathered from the communities of despair and oppression and hope and desire. For thousands of years I have wanted that so badly.I go to Israel because I believe in the possibility of the state of Israel. The journey to possibility is personal and it is collective. And this is a land overflowing with possibility of so many things. Miracles, dreams, salvation. It is mine.

But she is a Zionist.

Haaretz could learn something from her.

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