I happened to read two articles describing the same thing from very different perspectives earlier this week.
Though few may doubt that Jewish life in America could be threatened, Gordis effectively explains why this luxury is precisely because of the modern state of Israel. In the most powerful passages of the lengthy piece, he describes the Israeli contribution to the strength of the American Jewish psyche and standing. There was an era not long ago in which American Jews tiptoed around America, nervously striving to stay beneath the radar. They evoked that image of the spies who reported back to Moses after surveying the Promised Land: “We looked like grasshoppers to ourselves, and so we appeared to them.” The American Jews who believe they could survive the loss of Israel do not remember that era. They take it as entirely natural that thousands of American citizens confidently ascend the steps of the Capitol Hill on the lobbying day at AIPAC’s annual Policy Conference....Item Two:
Jews today no longer think of themselves as a tiptoeing people. When Soviet Jews awakened and wanted out of their national prison, American Jews supported them, and the State of Israel made their rescue a national project. When an Air France flight filled with Jews was hijacked to Entebbe, the State of Israel rescued them, and American Jews were filled with unprecedented pride. When Ethiopian Jews were caught in the crosshairs of a deadly civil war, the State of Israel whisked them out, and American philanthropists continue to make them a key priority. Much of what fuels American Jewish pride is the existence and the behavior of the State of Israel. In ways we do not sufficiently recognize, Israel has changed the existential condition of Jews everywhere, even in America. Without the State of Israel, the self-confidence and sense of belonging that American Jews now take for granted would quickly disappear.
So what is all the fuss about? It’s a paper entitled “Preparing For A Post Israel Middle East”, an 82-page analysis that concludes that the American national interest in fundamentally at odds with that of Zionist Israel. The authors conclude that Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because its nature and actions prevent normal US relations with Arab and Muslim countries and, to a growing degree, the wider international community....Among the many findings:
- Gross Israeli interference in the internal affairs of the United States through spying and illegal US arms transfers. This includes supporting more than 60 ‘front organizations’ and approximately 7,500 US officials who do Israel’s bidding and seek to dominate and intimidate the media and agencies of the US government which should no longer be condoned;
- That the United States government no longer has the financial resources, or public support to continue funding Israel. The billions of dollars in direct and indirect aid from US taxpayers to Israel since 1967 is not affordable and is increasingly being objected to by US taxpayers who oppose continuing American military involvement in the Middle East. US public opinion no longer supports funding and executing widely perceived illegal US wars on Israel’s behalf. This view is increasingly being shared by Europe, Asia and the International public;
Taken in tandem, it rather looks as if history may be threatening to repeat itself yet again. If the existence of Israel has made American Jews confident enough to stop tiptoeing around America and openly dominate Washington, Hollywood, and Wall Street to an extent the various American intelligence agencies believe should no longer be condoned, this would appear to be setting the stage for a power struggle of the sort that always seems to wind up with the Jews being expelled through no fault of their own. It raises two questions in my mind:
- Have the Jews ever come out on top in such a conflict?
- If not, what is the benefit of swaggering proudly rather than tiptoeing politely when one is a tiny minority of the population.