Are American Jews Indifferent to Israel?

Are American Jews Indifferent to Israel?

Last night I came across this video of wedding guests in the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon fleeing a Hamas rocket attack. It is absolutely horrible.

Yes, I know that the Israeli attacks on Gaza are worse (no one has yet been killed in Israel), but I’m not writing about that now. I am writing about Israel.

Until Binyamin Netanyahu became prime minister the very idea of bombs falling on Tel Aviv would have sent the American Jewish community into the streets.There would be mass demonstrations, near hysteria in our conversations with each other, real terror in our hearts.

Not this time, and this despite the fact that it is not Israel that is responsible for the current escalation of violence but Hamas. And still, other than the organizational old guard (which helped Netanyahu create this catastrophe and is exploiting it for fundraising) Jews do not seem particularly upset. 

And we should be, and not only because Tel Aviv, the symbol of the Zionist achievement and the greatest Jewish city in the world, is under attack.

We should also be upset because Netanyahu has produced this massive indifference to Israel among Jews. Not all, but many, and certainly most younger (under 50) Jews. 

Netanyahu’s lies about the Palestinians — (Abbas is not fighting terrorism), about Iran (negotiating to end the nuclear threat will produce a Holocaust), about President Obama (he cannot be trusted), and about pretty much everything — has made even the most stalwart Israel supporters stop listening to anything the Israeli government says, even the occasional truth. 

He is like the boy who cried wolf, although I never heard that the boy’s lies undermined the survival of his country. But Netanyahu has. Most of the world cannot stand Israel, and that includes the Obama administration. Read this, from a top administration official.

For me, as a Jew, this is among Netanyahu’s greatest crimes. It took 2000 years for Jews to get back to Palestine and now, just 70 years after the Holocaust, he is jeopardizing the Jewish state to appease fanatic settlers and ultra-Orthodox rabbis. Herzl, Ben-Gurion, and especially Golda, would strangle him with their bare hands.

The worst part is that Israel has repeatedly been offered peace by the Palestinians. Peace within the ’67 lines with U.S.guarantees to ensure that no attacks on Israel would ever emanate from the West Bank or Gaza. (The Palestinian Authority has ensured that no attacks emanate from its territory.)  To be fair, Netanyahu was not the prime minister who destroyed Israel’s best chance at peace, Oslo. That was Ehud Barak. 

Enough. I didn’t want to get into all that. I merely wanted to say how utterly sad it is that Israel is in real trouble and most of us don’t care very much.

Thank you, Binyamin Netanyahu. Israel will survive you. After all, Jews have survived worse. But you won’t be forgiven. 

Meanwhile, I feel terrible about Tel Aviv, and Gaza too. But I know Tel Aviv, I love Tel Aviv, and it’s under attack. 
By | 2014-07-09T15:56:00-04:00 July 9th, 2014|Blog|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Gil Kulick July 10, 2014 at 4:58 am - Reply

    Once again, MJ speaks the terribly uncomfortable truth with courage and utter clarity. WE need much more of this truth-telling. Welcome, MJ, to the PPI Forum.

Leave A Comment