April 17, 2019


Trump and Netanyahu Are Breaking the Bond Between American Jews and Israel (JANE EISNER, 4/17/19, TIME)

For many American Jews, though, the status quo is not a victory. It is a source of worry, frustration, alienation and even rupture. The hallmarks of the American Jewish experience -- acceptance as a minority in a country built on the values of religious pluralism and social assimilation -- increasingly conflict with an ascendant religious nationalism in Israel. The already-strained relationship between the world's two largest Jewish communities is bound to splinter even further if, as expected, Netanyahu prevails in forming a majority governing coalition in the Knesset, Israel's parliament.

Politically, this election highlighted how the two communities are trending farther apart. In Israel, right-wing and Orthodox parties won more than 57% of the total votes, the highest proportion in Israeli history; only 34% went to centrist and left-wing Zionist parties. There is little reason to expect this to reverse: Young Israelis, especially, who have come of age during the prime minister's reign, have a hard time imagining another leader and another approach to governance. By contrast, among the 34 Jews in the current U.S. Congress, only two are Republican, both of whom serve in the House; there hasn't been a Republican Jew serving in the Senate for more than a decade.

American Jews are so loyal to our Founding ideals that they believe they apply to Israel.

Posted by at April 17, 2019 11:18 AM