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A.B. Yehoshua: Americans, unlike Israelis, are only partial Jews - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

A.B. Yehoshua: Americans, unlike Israelis, are only partial Jews - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

American Jews are only partial Jews while Israeli Jews are total Jews, Israel Prize laureate A.B. Yehoshua claimed at a lecture he delivered Friday on the relationship between Israel and Diaspora Jews.
"They are partial Jews while I am a complete Jew," Yehoshua said, referring to American Jewry. "In no way are we the same thing - we are total and they are partial; we are Israeli and also Jewish. In recent years, my friends and I have needed to defend Israel against the matter of the state, as if it is merely an issue of citizenship, while Israel is the authentic, deep concept of the Jewish people ... in no siddur is there a mention of the word 'Jew' but only 'Israeli'. The name of our country and the territory is Land of Israel - and it is about this deep matter that we must defend against a Jewish offensive."

In response to a question from the audience about the difficulty facing Diaspora Jews to immigrate to Israel, Yehoshua said: "If Judaism is important to you, then come here, receive it in full and be part of it. But it is important that you understand: 'they' and 'us' are not the same thing. Do not make do with texts. At least learn Hebrew, learn about us through the intimacy of Hebrew. They should come here more often. All the love they have for Israel, [yet] they were here for barely a five-day visit; barely 20 percent of them [American Jews] were ever in Israel."
This is not the first time the internationally-renowned author has made such statements. During an American Jewish Committee conference in Washington five years ago, his statement struck a similar chord.

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