For many Jews and Christian Zionists in America, Israel is the team we love. We rush to visit, bring planeloads of people, like a busload of children arriving at Yankee Stadium; if they’re from an influential school, they may even step onto the field to shake Derek Jeter’s hand. Zion-seekers with the right organization might get to the Knesset floor or be welcomed at the home of Israel’s president.
We buy Israeli products, hang flags on our homes, and get passionate about her politics. Some write about it; others hold dinners to declare their solidarity and profess their beliefs. Whether it is Peace Now or the One Israel Fund, American Zionists are enthusiastic about their buffets serving up carved meats, sushi and opinions.
Yet unlike sports, where the outcome does not truly change lives, we are in a position to effect policies that impact the lives of the people who live in Israel. Whether AIPAC is lobbying the Hill for money or simple verbal support, or the former American Jewish Congress helping draft a proposed constitution for Israel, Americans are more than committed fans. They are pseudo-citizens, influencing events inside the country itself.