Sara Reef, Project Manager at Intersections International, writes at The Huffington Post on the American Jew’s “right” to speak on the state of Israel:
As an American Jew, I do not bear the day-to-day security challenges that accompany Israeli life. I did not grow up in the shadow of the Intifada nor did I have to leave home at 18 to serve in the army. I do not pay taxes nor do I vote in Israeli elections. For these reasons, speaking on behalf of Israel has always seemed hypocritical to me.
To some, this perspective was not as clear. Israel has always been considered the eternal homeland of the Jews. Under the Law of Return “Every Jew has a right to come to this country (Israel) as an Oleh (a new immigrant).” Many believe that because Israel is their real home — and under this law they can return at any time — they therefore have a right to speak on its behalf.
However, three recent events have pushed me to reconsider my previous position.
Read more on the “small distinction between an American Jew and an Israeli Diaspora Jew,” and the questions it raises, here.