Israel Can’t Protect All Jews, Diaspora Affairs Minister Admits by the Forward

Israel Can’t Protect All Jews, Diaspora Affairs Minister Admits

Amid rising fear in American Jewish communities due to the increased visibility of neo-Nazis and other anti-Semitic groups, Israel’s Diaspora Affairs minister admitted in an interview published Sunday that the Jewish state could only go so far to keep Jews safe.

“We view ourselves as having a certain degree of responsibility for every Jew in the world, just for being Jewish,” Naftali Bennett told The Times of Israel on Thursday. “But ultimately it’s the responsibility of the sovereign nation to defend its citizens.”

Bennett, who is also the country’s Education Minister, was the only senior Israeli cabinet to quickly condemn the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this month. “The leaders of the U.S. must condemn and denounce the displays of anti-Semitism seen over the past few days,” Bennett said on August 13 — days before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a statement that criticized anti-Semitism but did not specifically mention Charlottesville at all.

Bennett also told the Times of Israel that in the United States, anti-Semitism is actually stronger on the far-left than it is on the far-right.

“We see the lions’ share of anti-Semitism is actually BDS [the anti-Israel boycott movement], pro-Arab, anti-Israeli anti-Semitism, which is on the rise. That would be, let’s call it, radical left anti-Semitism. And there’s radical right anti-Semitism. And we’re worried about both. We have to keep our eyes on both of them,” he said.

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink.

Author

Aiden Pink

Aiden Pink

Aiden Pink is the Deputy News Editor for the Forward. Contact him at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink .

Israel Can’t Protect All Jews, Naftali Bennett Admits

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Israel Can’t Protect All Jews, Diaspora Affairs Minister Admits

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close