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Open letter to Mexicans who profess the jewish faith

07.02.2017 20:02  | 

Itongadol.- Letter from the National Representative for Congress Waldo Wolff to the Mexican Jewish Community.

Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, February 6, 2017

Lic. Moisés Romano – Central Committee of the Mexican Jewish Community President
Ing. Mauricio Lulka - Central Committee of the Mexican Jewish Community Director
Mr. Elías Achar - Israelite Tribune President
Lic. Renee Dayán Shabot - Israelite Tribune Director

My name is Waldo Wolff. I am Argentinean. As stated in Article 14 of my nation’s constitution, I practice the religion of my choice. Although I am not required to make my religion known, I exhibit my status as a Jew openly and willing. I am also a Congressman.

A few days ago I read a series of releases published by the Mexican Jewish community following the expressions of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyahu regarding the wall that US President Donald Trump proposes to build to separate Mexico from the US.

You criticized, as Mexican Jews, Nethanyahu’s support of the idea of building this wall.

While for the purpose of my letter to you my position on Nethanyahu's statements should not be relevant, let me express my disagreement with him, as well as with the wall.

My concern about this criticism on behalf of the Mexican Jewish community is that you have fallen victim to the idea that, as Jews, we must over-display our nationalism in order to gain the acceptance of fellow Mexicans. This, in turn, actually further advances that notion, because we are verbalizing ideas as a separate group that is not part of the entire population.

Why should you express yourself as a Jew, about what a foreign president like Netanyahu does? Are you responsible for the actions of a foreign nation? Does this mean that Mexican, Argentine, Uruguayan or Belgian Jews respond to a foreign nation?
Our love for Israel is towards its status as the spiritual center of our religious affiliation, not towards the actions of its sovereign government. This is similar to the sentiments that Christians have towards the Vatican, Armenians have towards Mount Ararat, and Muslims have towards Mecca.

Have you heard Mexico’s Muslim community vocalize their opinions about the Twin Tower attacks, an attack that originated from a Muslim country, or Mexico’s Christian community apologize to the world whenever a pedophile priest is found?
Probably not. And it’s fine that you haven’t because they are Mexicans who practice a certain religion and are not responsible for the political decisions of foreign countries, even if those countries harbor the most sacred sites of their faith.

This is why, as your brother in religion, I ask you to avoid becoming more Mexican than what your constitution requires. Do not alienate yourselves and become a stranger in your own land by being against the policies of the government of another country, as that is exactly what anti-Semites want.

We are people of the law. We are the people who introduced to the world the guidelines of the guaranties for individual and collective freedom. The right to exercise our religion freely in democratic countries does not condition us to have to express ourselves as Jews about any other country, and that includes Israel.

I have also read that you expressed yourselves regarding the belief that Israel does not care about the Jews of the Diaspora. Jews of Mexico are the responsibility of Mexico, as those of Argentina are the responsibility of Argentina. Not of Israel. Israel already has a tough job taking care of the Israelis. If Israel was burdened with taking care of us, that would make us what the anti-Semites say we are: strangers in our own country. This is exactly what those who have learned their lessons through history, including myself, want to make clear that we never were.

I send you a sincere hug from Argentina.

Waldo Wolff
Argentine, Jew, National Representative for Congress

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