For the sake of Jewish honor

People don’t really like us. We’ve been chased out of country after country, persecuted and discriminated against on six continents (the penguins seem generally averse to anti-Semitism) and in the past century alone a third of our people were murdered in cold Aryan blood. Popular and institutional support for our destruction has infected the world at large since time immemorial.
In 1948, though, we proved the world wrong and became the first indigenous people to return to their land and regain our sovereignty. And despite everything, our nation has succeeded socially, economically, and politically, and our cultural and academic achievements are envied the world over.
“The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose,” Mark Twain once wrote, “the Greek and the Roman followed, they held their torch high for a time, but have now vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all… all things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”
Seeing our successes, envying our unprecedented comeback, and perhaps feeling some shame over the crimes they’ve committed, several nations of the world have expressed their regret. Of note, Germany, Spain, and Portugal have all offered to re-naturalize the descendants of Jews who lost citizenship upon fleeing either during the 15th century inquisitions or under the Nazi regime.
The logical thing to do, the honorable thing to do, would have been to appreciate the sentiment, to thank these countries for trying, albeit in vain, to right these historical wrongs, and to reject these gestures.
Instead, a more sinister phenomenon has taken place. Hundreds of thousands of Jews from all over the world are desperately trying to reclaim the citizenship of the countries that murdered their families. Thousands of Israeli Sephardic Jews have applied for Portuguese and Spanish citizenship and many British Jews whose families fled Germany have applied for citizenship there as well, most in the hopes of obtaining the benefits of a European Union passport in the wake of Brexit.
It’s absolutely horrifying.
Let me make some things clear. Firstly, nations are responsible for the crimes they’ve committed against us, not their individual citizens alive today. Secondly, though I personally cannot bring myself to step foot in those countries of Eastern Europe that murdered my family, it is paramount that we learn and interact with those societies that in the past have worked towards our destruction. Cultural exchange is our primary weapon in the fight against bigotry and anti-Semitism. Lastly, I acknowledge that as a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, it isn’t necessarily fitting for me to criticize those who seek dual citizenship for themselves.
Regardless, to reclaim citizenship of Spain and Portugal, to say nothing of Germany, is an assault on Jewish honor. It is to spit on the memories of our ancestors — to trade in their pain and suffering for citizenship to countries that rejected them in life; and to play with our identities, trading passports like they’re worthless pieces of paper.
It’s been 70 years since we regained our state and yet Jewish self-respect is still a rare creature; we still suffer under the weight of a 2,000-year-old inferiority complex. There is no real need for a European passport; the only significant difference between a Spanish and Israeli passport is the required visas for 20 or so Arab and Muslim countries that are hostile to Israel.
And this is not an exclusively Israeli phenomenon. It is the same lack of pride that leads Jews of the exile, Jews of Dallas even, to flock to racist institutions like the Dallas Country Club, that for decades refused to admit Jewish members out of disgusting American anti-Semitism and white supremacy.
The children of Israel have forgotten themselves. We are the eternal nation, a people of priests, scholars, and warriors. We’ve given the world so much but we still behave like a hunted minority; our bodies are free but are minds remain in the ghettos. It is beneath us to beg for goyish approval and acceptance, for as Jabotinsky wrote, “Even in poverty a Jew is a prince, crowned with the diadem of David.”
The gates of our prison cell have been unlocked and our freedom has been returned to us. Let us return to Israel and let our people hold our heads high. Reject the offers of our oppressors, stomp on the passports they throw at us, boycott the country clubs, take pride in who we are and in what we have made for ourselves.
From Lecha Dodi, “Why are you downcast, why do you groan? Do not be embarrassed or ashamed! Arise! Go forth from the ruins! Too long you have dwelt in the vale of tears. Shake yourself free, rise from the dust! Your light is coming, the glory of the Lord is revealed upon you!”

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