Israel as ‘homeland’ is untrue to many modern Jews

While I appreciated being informed about the safety concerns (or lack thereof) of Jewish University students planning trips to Israel, I must address the choice of wording in the Monday Minnesota Daily article “Jewish students continue planning trips to Israel.” The article consistently refers to Israel as the aforementioned students’ “homeland.” However, this word should be used with the utmost prudence.

I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but I can assure you that most Jews who settled in Latin America during the last two centuries call their countries “homeland.” Over the course of generations, these Jewish families have adopted the language and customs of their new nations and are honored to be called Mexican, Brazilian, Argentine or Cuban.

After 14 years living in the U.S., I am certain that many American Jews are incredibly proud of their country too and think of the United States as their “homeland.”

However, by continuing to adopt this language — where Israel is the homeland for all Jews — although seemingly harmless, we are promoting the same kind of speech terrorists use. Acting on the (false) notion that Argentine Jews are not really Argentines, two bombings ripped apart the center of Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994. The first one targeted the Israeli Embassy, and the second one targeted the largest Jewish community center in Argentina.

After decades of investigation, no one has been charged with these two hideous crimes. The fact is that Jews as well as non-Jews were killed and injured in these horrific attacks.

Argentines, no matter their religion and/or cultural affiliation, were attacked. Their “homeland” was Argentina — that’s where they were born, where they lived and where their dreams got shattered. Let’s start acknowledging that, yes, Jews will always have a connection to Israel, but many will also always feel their homeland is where they and their children