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April 20, 2016

Does American Jewish Antipathy To Israel Matter? (CBD)

Two influential American Jews have called into question the support for Israel among American Jews and the need for Israel to continue to court that support. Daniel Pipes adds the additional argument that American Jews are solidly leftist.

Jewish support for Israel has weakened primarily because Jews are solidly on the liberal-left of the political spectrum (these days symbolized by Bernie Sanders), the side most critical of Israel.

From Israel's point of view, the fact that American Jews are losing their ardor for Israel is a distinct loss. But it is made up for by American conservative support for the Jewish state.

The contrast between American conservatives and post-religious American Jewry is stark. Support for Israel among conservatives is tremendous, and while American Jews will claim that it is self serving because of religious reasons, at least part of it is linked to Israel's position as a democracy amidst the savagery of the Middle East. And....some of it is respect for the military prowess of a country that started with almost literally nothing, and has created a small but immensely competent armed force that contends successfully with wide-ranging threats; from single person attacks to well-organized infiltrations to rocket and missile attacks to the everyday possibility of large-scale invasion by regular armies.

Mathematically, is it better to have the near-unanimous support of Jews, who make up 1.8% of the U.S. population, or the very substantial support of the 38% who are conservative? To ask that question is to answer it. That said, this change does have disadvantages for Israel: For one, conservatives tend to know less about Israel. For another, Israel has become a partisan issue.

And I would argue that Israel should simply introduce conservative America to Israel! How many would like to walk on the Via Dolorosa or pray in the Church of The Holy Sepulchre, and then head into Tel Aviv for its world-class nightlife?

As for Israel being a partisan issue? of course it is. The fight against Islam is partisan, and Israel is at the tip of the spear. Those who would appease Salafist Islam will hate Israel...those who reject it will support Israel.

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posted by Open Blogger at 04:15 PM

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