But if many North American Jews are interpreting the move as a betrayal, it's not as if their betrayal of Israel has gone unnoticed by Israelis. Commentary's Evelyn Gordon unpacks it--American Jews' betrayal of Israel--like this:
But to many American Jews, even many who consider themselves pro-Israel, it doesn’t seem to matter that Israelis have repeatedly made generous peace offers, only to have the Palestinians walk away without even bothering to respond. It doesn’t seem to matter that every territorial withdrawal has led to a massive increase in Palestinian terror. It doesn’t seem to matter that numerous conflicts worldwide have produced far more bloodshed and far more oppression than this one. It doesn’t seem to matter that after almost 25 years of failed peacemaking efforts accompanied by vigorous internal debate, a solid majority of Israelis has reluctantly concluded that while a Palestinian state might be a good idea in principle, in practice, for the foreseeable future, there’s no better alternative to the status quo.
Despite all this, liberal American Jews are convinced that they know better. They know that the continued “occupation” is mostly Israel’s fault, and that Israel must end it immediately regardless of the price in Israeli blood and their job as American Jews isn’t to support Israelis’ painfully reached conclusions, but to pressure Israelis to disregard the lessons of their lived experience. If there’s a better way of telling Israelis “You don’t actually matter to us,” I don’t know what it might be.
Moreover, pursuant to that attitude, many American Jews–and again, not just fringe groups like JVP–are actively undermining Israel in various ways. Mainstream American Jewish groups like campus Hillels repeatedly host speakers from organizations that spew outright lies about Israel, such as Breaking the Silence, which even recycles the medieval blood libel about Jews poisoning wells.
American Jews also provide substantial financial support to such organizations, mainly through the New Israel Fund. Rabbis and Jewish organizations provide cover for anti-Israel activists. Leading liberal rabbi Sharon Brous, for instance, praised Linda Sarsour for “building a movement that can hold all of us in our diversity with love” even as Sarsour explicitly banned all Israel supporters from her movement. The Anti-Defamation League defended Keith Ellison, one of the few congressmen who consistently backs anti-Israel resolutions while shunning pro-Israel ones, as “an important ally in the fight against anti-Semitism” right up until he was caught out in overt anti-Semitism. American rabbinical students term Israel’s very existence a cause for mourning and engage in anti-Israel commercial boycotts. The Union for Reform Judaism urges members to step up their criticism of Israel. And on, and on.Gordon concludes that, sadly,
American Jews [are] no longer the bastion of support for Israel that they once were. If they still believe they have a familial relationship with Israelis, it increasingly feels like an abusive one in which the abuser shows his “love” by causing pain. Thus, it’s no surprise that support for Israel has plummeted among young American Jews; how many of them ever hear anything positive about Israel from their “pro-Israel” elders?
The result is that some Israelis are starting to feel, as Hillel Halkin wrote in Mosaic last month, “The distance between Israeli and American Jews is growing? Let it grow … so what?” Until recently, few Israelis would have said such a thing, and I still consider it a tragedy. But if American Jews keep telling Israelis that everything they think, feel and experience “doesn’t actually matter to us,” the number of Israelis who agree with Halkin will only grow.
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