In the sturm und drang that marks the conversations about Israel, those who are to the political Right accuse those who are to the political Left of center of undermining the Israeli government while they, the Right, support the government.
This is a charge to which the Left of center must plead guilty. But realistically is it wrong? The Left of center groups such as JStreet believe in a safe, secure, Jewish and Democratic Israel. In a part of the world that is decidedly none of those things, we believe that all four of these attributes can live here. But we have much to do in order to fully realize these ideals. Both internal and external issues pose real threats to these ideals. We point out the deficiencies because we do love Israel and we believe the State aspires to the best we can be only when we realize these four goals. So we are critical because of our commitment to an Israel whose soul and body are sound.
Often people hear the criticism and do not hear the rest. The rest of it, the basis for all of it, is that love and commitment. Only when you truly care about something can you become invested and strive to help make it better. That message sometimes gets lost. But it is fundamental to everything we do. Israel is imperfect. we love it none-the-less and work to make her better. Leonard Cohen’s refrain from his song Anthem sums it up well:
Ring the Bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in