A recent survey showed that the vast majority of Israeli-Jews believe that it is essential for the survival of their country that they have the support of their Jewish mishpachah in the United States. In conjunction with that survey, the recent pew survey said that 94% of Jewish-Americans support the State of Israel. Yet at the same time, 75% of Jewish-Americans voted for Barack Obama, perhaps the most anti-Israel President in American history, not once but twice. It seems that there is a little cognitive dissonance and a case of willful blindness on the part of Jewish-Americans going around. Either the Jews of the United States refuse to see Obama for whom he truly happens to be when discussing Israel or quite frankly they actually agree with his outlook on the Middle East. And what does it mean about Israeli-Jews that they actually put stock in the Jewish-American community, who itself has no idea what it is doing and is its own worst enemy when it comes to its political future? HERE
It is an old adage of the Jewish community that Jews help each other. The oldest known concepts of societal charity and compassion are found in the Torah and the Talmud. There are mitzvote associated with tzedukah, and tikkun olam. Kept apart from the larger communities in which they lived, either due to Christian and Moslem religious or even secular decree, Jews, throughout their history, created vibrant functioning communities under the worst of circumstances. Meanwhile, as modern societies in the world opened their doors to the Jews in their midst, these Jewish concepts of charity became part of the larger society. In fact the modern American concept of charities and community service can be directly traced back to the commandments found in Jewish religious texts.
What this did then is create an atmosphere for the Jewish-Americans of a feeling of belonging to the larger world rather than being part and parcel of an insular maligned group living just outside the borders of respectable society. In fact, eventually these Jewish organizations, charities, hospitals, schools became “respectable society” in and of themselves. The modern Jewish-American has found a way to incorporate their “Jewish society” into the larger whole of American life. And in so doing has evolved into a different kind of Jewish individual; persons that are part of the whole of a diaspora society not simply a community relegated to a fringe existence.
Jewish-Americans are individuals where the association with the Jewish community as a universal ideal is not that important to their well-being or to their survival. Jewish-Americans see their world as Americans. Their culture as American. Their language as American-English. Their international politics evolved from issues in response to American foreign adventures. Their social policies derived from living the American experience. Their priorities are American made, American created and American developed. Judaism is their religion, but America is their soul. Their priorities are what is best for the United States and not the old-country worry of “is it good for the Jews as a community?” (Yes even though there is some trepidation within the Jewish-American world when a member of the Jewish community is charged with crimes or wrong doing, these individual contretemps are no longer seen as a collective Jewish personality trait by the majority of society. No, of course, all vestiges of antisemitism are not gone, but this age-old hatred is slowly dissipating in the US as the most recent polls indicate.)
Israeli-Jews on the other hand, live Judaism. They live the Jewish community. They live the Jewish religion and the Jewish soul. They see the Jewish people as one people, responsible for each other and dependent upon each other for survival. They have linked their children’s lives to the understanding and the compassion espoused by their fellow Jews in the United States that the Israeli plight, situation and existential threat of survival is important to the future of all Jews worldwide. The Israeli-Jew still asks “is it good for the Jews as a community” because they still live within that Jewish world, with the Jewish sense of belonging. However, they also ask, is it good for Israel first and foremost.
For Israel is a sovereign independent nation, separate from the United States. Both nations are entitled to its own path and its own perspectives. Hence, the catalyst for the discord and disagreement among the two largest Jewish communities. For as the care and continuation of the Jewish people are important, the human allegiance to individual nations is the reality. HERE
Meanwhile, if the polls are to be believed then the Israeli-Jews cannot fathom that Jewish-Americans pay only lip service to Israeli survival. They must think that there is some kind of method to the Jewish-Americans’ perspective that they are missing. Why else would Israelis then think that the Jewish-American community as a whole will fight for their survival when the Jewish-American community has yet to stand up once to Obama and his anti-Israel policies as a group? Even with the reality of an Iranian nuclear weapon on the horizon the national Jewish organizations cannot coalesce on whether or not they agree with Obama’s policy. Even sadder still, Jewish-American democratic senators and congresspersons hide beneath their politico shells in the hopes that the entire episode will blow over and their political future will be left unscathed. Sadly, the American ideal has become for those in power to remain in power and not about what is the right thing to do anymore. It’s not about honor, dignity or duty. It’s merely about what is best for individual preeminence, be it financial or political.
The question is whether Israelis really do not understand how the majority of Jewish-Americans truly, willfully, did not see Obama for who he is in regards to Israel. They do not understand how Jewish-Americans can support a US president whose main foreign policy belief was to put daylight between the Israel-America alliance, broker deals with the virulent antisemites of the Moslem Brotherhood, side with the kleptocracy of the Palestinians and now advance the theocratic Messianic Iranian death cult towards a nuclear weapon. They do not understand how Jewish-Americans are so blind to Obama’s foreign debacles, how he has single-handedly created an unstable worldwide atmosphere by leading from behind and that he is the architect of a new Middle East nuclear arms race.They seem to not understand how Jewish-Americans could overwhelmingly vote for a President who puts another 6 million Jewish lives at risk.
The Israelis who put so much stock in the Jewish-American community do not understand that the Jewish-American priority is abortion, gay rights and anything the progressive Left tells them to think about before Israel’s survival. They do not understand that Israel is no more than a sermon topic on the High Holydays or when talking to Uncle Saul over honeycake or even a resented inconvenience.
It seems that the Israelis answering that poll do not understand how the average Jewish-American thinks, perceives and experiences life. It seems that the average Israeli answering that poll does not understand how Jewish-Americans cannot tie their own freedoms to the strength and viability of the Jewish State. They do not seem to understand how their fellow Jews can turn towards a politician who aids and abets the most virulent and hateful of modern antisemites. They seem to not understand the willful blindness that is the Jewish-American experience. It is time that Israeli-Jews stop thinking that the Jewish-American community has not changed into something that is unrecognizable in the annals of Jewish history. It is wishful thinking on the part of the Israeli-Jews that the majority of Jewish-Americans will sacrifice anything about their lives in order for another 6 million Jews to survive. For if Jewish-Americans truly cared about the survival of Israel above all else, they would not still support Obama and especially not support any of his foreign policy miscalculations and misadventures. Except they do, and in an incongruent number equal to their pronouncements and protestations.
Jewish-American lip service in support of Israel is easy and for the most part its cost-free. More that 76% of Americans as a whole support Israel and 56% support an Israeli military strike on Iranian nuclear sites. But as with most people it’s not what you say that counts in the end it’s what you do. The majority of Jewish-Americans still remain acolytes of the Obama Presidency. In truth, it is time that Israelis stop living in a world of wishful thinking when it comes to the majority of their American co-religionists. Israelis need to turn to the average American for support and respect. The American populace that thinks, understands and sees Israel for the true American ally, friend and democratic partner in a frequently more dangerous and less free world, is Israel’s true support. It is also time that Jewish-Americans own up to the fact that their rhetoric concerning Israel is hollow, self-serving and vacuous. It is time that the Obama disciples of the Jewish-American community actually own up to the fact that where supporting Israel is concerned they are simply just full of shit.