The Question of the Jewish People

From a speech delivered in September 1994: 

I think that the major reason why the world's Jewry did not come to live in Israel, and kept generations of Zionist Jews from making Aliyah, was the fact that Israeli institutions always presented Israel as a third world country, a country that needs support, that has economic and social problems. 
[...] We allowed this misleading image of Israel and this exaggeration regarding its security and economic difficulties to be created only for guaranteeing the cash flow between World Jewry and Israel. 

 

[...] At present, the dependence of Israel on Diaspora Jews is much smaller, and the relationship of help, of a capable brother supporting his incapable brother, of one brother asking: "please don't reject my check because it is my expression of love to you" and the other taking the check although he does not really need it, this relationship must no longer go on. We are no longer the poor brother, thank god. For many communities in the world we are the capable brother. This is what stands behind one of the biggest crises between Israel and the Diaspora, because we do not know how to relate to each other when circumstances change. 

 

[...] I think it is time to establish a democratic worldwide Jewish organization, which will enable the creation of a new dialogue between us. An honest dialogue that will be based on the true reality between the communities, that will deal with the actual questions of the Jewish people. This organization may be established from within or instead of an organization which, to my view, has no right to exist, and it is the Jewish Agency. If the Jewish Agency could become a democratic and representative organization, then its structure could serve as foundations for a new Jewish organization. 

 

[...] Another question is what causes should we dedicate Jewish resources to? I think that we should dedicate them to Jewish education and to visits of young Jews to Israel. Without Jewish education and with no Jewish culture, there will be no Jewish people, neither religious nor secular. Our roots and history are what unite us, Jews who are not familiar with their roots, will not stay Jewish. The question is how to strengthen Jewish education. 
While most of the ideas being discussed on this issue remain on the level of the abstract, (i.e. education and culture), a visit to Israel is a very concrete idea, and for many youngsters, it is the most significant event in their Jewish life. 

 

[...] I suggest that we make this a national project: To offer every young Jew in the world a free ticket to Israel, and a variety of programs for a ten day visit. After their visit I suggest we should maintain contact with each one of them. This way we can reach almost every Jewish youngster, and can reduce the chances of losing them. 

 

[...] The main sources of funding for these projects should come from the resources which are now dedicated to welfare projects in Israel. It is time that the United Israel Appeal stops sponsoring charity activities in Israel. The current relationship between us and the World Jewry must change. It calls us to take steps that we did not dare take before."