Recently a Montreal Gazette opinion piece written by an admitted Jewish Liberal lamented the fact he was being treated as a “one-issue” voter.
Many Jews, I believe, silently share his concerns. Yet our Jewish neighbours to the south seem to struggle less with the use of Israel as a divisive community wedge. In fact, the vast majority of American Jews remain Democrats, despite attempts by the American Jewish right to paint President Barack Obama as anti-Israel. Why?Here's the letter I wrote in response to that "Why?":
Bernie Farber says that American Jews "seem to struggle less with the use of Israel as a divisive community wedge." There's an excellent reason for that. Most American Jews are so far removed from both Israel and the practice of Judaism that they play little if any role in their lives. As such, American Jews are free to pledge allegiance to their real religion: "progressivism" and the holy Democratic Party.I think that's a big problem, both short term and long term. In the short term, it means American Jews cannot be counted upon to see who their true friends are--and, truth be told, Barack Obama and John Kerry are not their friends. In the longer term, it has profound implications for the future of Judaism.
That being so, Canadian Jews have little to learn from American ones, and should make no apologies for their clear-sightedness and their willingness to evolve politically, even if it displeases some Jews who cannot fathom the change. American Jews, however, distanced from their Jewishness, stuck in a "progressive" rut, unable to discern friends from enemies, have much to learn from us.