Ljiljana Popov, President of the Jewish Community of Zrenjanin, shares her views on Israel

"Looking at Zion” is an online project that aims to present a comprehensive look into the Israel- Diaspora relationship. In order to reach this goal we present a series of questions to members of Jewish communities around the world, asking them to articulate their thoughts and feelings towards Israel.
The interviewee - Ljiljana Popov, President of the Jewish Community of Zrenjanin. Zrenjanin is a city located in the eastern part of Serbia.
In your opinion, what importance, if any, does the existence of a Jewish state has to you personally and to Jewish people in general?
“Of course it has. It is our homeland that we all look up to. Our identity is closely tied with the existence of the state of Israel.”
Do you feel committed in some way to defend the future existence of Israel?
“The existence of Israel is of utmost importance for all Jewish people.”
Do you feel morally responsible for Israel’s actions (such as its management of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict)?
“I support the course of action of the Israel, since I’m aware of the root and the cause of the conflict.”
In your experience, are Jewish people sometimes held morally accountable for Israel’s actions by their non-Jew fellow citizens?
“Yes, we have been.”
In your opinion, what is the main thing Israelis fail to understand about the reality of being Jewish outside of Israel?
“Jewish people outside Israel are in position to think much more about coexistence with other nations and have to work constantly to build and maintain tolerance, so our support for Israel cannot be always as open and loud as we would like it to be.”
How would you describe Israel’s policy (formally and in practice) regarding its relationship with the Diaspora?
“Israel is great example how the state should care about its Diaspora. Ties are strong and constantly improving.”
In your opinion, does Israel have an obligation to defend and help Jewish communities in need?
“I believe it does. And, as I have answered before – it goes both ways.”
Have you ever been to Israel?
“Yes, I have, several times. Once it was a tourist trip, and other times I was visiting my family.”
Do you have family relatives in Israel?
“Yes, I do. I have a daughter, son in law and a granddaughter. Two uncles with their families also live in Israel.”
If an Israeli tourist should ever come across your hometown, which experience should he/she not miss?
“My hometown is rather small, but it is in environment that is multinational and multiconfessional, so it offers a variety of different content. Local Museum and Theater, but also some of the local Etno-restaurants are among things I would recommend.”
For more interviews with prominent members in Jewish communities around the world go to - lookingatzion.com
You can Contact us at- [email protected]