>In the car to Jerusalem, an Israeli friend and I spent the journey discussing (arguing) about the relationship between the Diaspora and Israel. She just wanted us, in the Diaspora, to make the point that Israel has a right to exist. For me that did not go far enough; we in the Diaspora should be doing more than that. We need to be the front line of Israel's PR defence. We didn't agree on this issue, but we did agree it's complicated, and it left me once again thinking about the role of the Diaspora in relation to Israel.
It was a very appropriate conversation on the way to the Arzenu pre-WZC conference.
As I arrived at Beit Shmuel and saw the international group that had gathered together it was a reminder of the fact that Israel can serve as a source of unity for the Diaspora.
The first session I participated in was on the subject of the impact the Diaspora has on Israel and Israel on the Diaspora. Listening to the groups present their varied perspectives, it was clear to me that it is a two way street and it is important that we allow, and ensure, the traffic flows smoothly in both directions. We in the Diaspora are stronger for having a State of Israel and hopefully we in turn strengthen our shared Jewish homeland - and maybe that impact is enough.