This is a photograph of Tzvi Mark (right), formerly of Maryland, who made aliyah to Israel yesterday. He’s standing with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said that the Jews will only be safe from persecution when exile ends and we’re "ingathered" in Israel. I don’t know, Bibi, I feel safer here.Also there was a lot of religious hoohah at that ceremony. That makes my guard hairs go up.
Haaretz reports— "From West Point to the IDF"– the statement at this press conference (at about minute 7 in the video) that Tzvi Mark had been a cadet at West Point till he decided to go to Israel and join its elite forces "One of the new soldiers left his studies at the West Point Military Academy in the United States after realizing he should be serving in the Israeli army instead of the American armed forces."
There’s a lot of effort involved in getting a kid into West Point, and a lot of our government money spent training someone to go off and serve, say in Afghanistan. What does Mark’s decision say about the dual loyalty issue in American Jewish life? Theodor Herzl’s big problem, when he was founding the political Zionist movement in the 1890s, was that established European Jews felt that Zionism would create suspicions of their "patriotism." They had a point.
Update: West Point public relations says that Mark was in the class of 2012, but left the Academy in May after one year.