There was a time when being an American Jew also meant being supportive of Israel. Now such feelings are almost exclusively held by Jews well above fifty. For the millennials and later the best Israel can hope for is neutrality based on complete apathy with their concerns being for relatives who they more often than not make offers to assist them moving to the United States even arranging for employment and housing and then being confused when their parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents and occasionally brothers and sisters refuse. Yes, there are still remnants of Zionists, mostly religious Zionists, who are making their plans currently to make Aliyah and others who are caring for elderly parents or grandparents and will make Aliyah when their care is no longer required. The vast majority of Synagogues have little if any pro-Israel programs and one is far more likely to find Evangelical Christians having events supportive of Israel than the average synagogue. In some Reform Synagogues and leftist liberal Jewish organizations one is far more likely to find programs petitioning against Israel, support for the BDS movement and actual Jewish organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) that largely favor complete boycotts of everything Israeli and support the ‘Right of Return’ for five million Arabs who claim to be refugees from 1948 war of annihilation started by at least a half dozen Arab armies the morning that Israel became a nation. They see no need for Israel to remain Jewish and believe that Israel as a multicultural nation just like the United States would be preferable to the continuation of what they view as a fascist and oppressive Jewish supremacist state. There was an Israel Channel 2 News in-depth report this past weekend featuring anchorman and reporter Danny Kushmaro examining the Jews from JVP and their animosities and reasons for turning against Israel with such feelings vilifying the Jewish State and my summation was they see Israel as being too Jewish and not sufficiently politically correct and fully supportive of leftist causes. Embedded below is this report which lasts about fifteen minutes and is filled with interviews and information revealing their feelings and what they view as Israel’s shortcomings and failures.
if i-frames fails please use the link above or this link below:
Having made my Aliyah after a long discussion with aged parents who assured me they preferred I make Aliyah while I was ‘still young enough’ to enjoy Israel and as such I may hold some insights which I can share from my life often spent in a transient nature constantly moving across the width and breadth of the United States and meeting Jews either in or from virtually every state at some point and having spent time with numerous and varied synagogues. The following are my experiences and should not be taken as typical without also asking other Olim from the United States as most of my life was spent in towns and small cities with limited Jewish population, some where I was the first Jew to reside in certain really small places. The odd thing is even in these places I found there were, what I like to refer to as, stealth Jews who approached me privately and pleaded I keep their confidence. In their assessments, which were accurate, they figured that I would not be remaining very long as I seemed to be a restless spirit. They were correct and the reason was as simple as it was accurate; I seemed to be seeking a place where the Jewish community was of a similar attitude as myself. The truth I can refer to is that such did not exist in my travels as, almost to a ‘T,’ the congregations all had their few who were pro-Israel amongst a sea of at best apathy and at the worst animosity, placed Israel as one of their most dear and important issues, and who still remembered and strongly believed the lamentations of Psalm 137, also called the “Song of Babylon”, in particular the more benign but heartfelt first six lines which read:
137:1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
137:2 Upon the willows in the midst thereof we hanged up our harps.
137:3 For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, and our tormentors asked of us mirth: ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’
137:4 How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?
137:5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
137:6 Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.
I usually had to look far and wide to find fellow Jews who believed in being capable of taking responsibility of their own defense and not relying on the state, enlightened Jews who knew about Ze’ev Jabotinsky and had learned the lesson that no matter how egalitarian, how initially accepting, how incorporated into the various professions throughout the society, how assimilated the Jews had become, and how much they believed that, “It can’t happen here,” such was the large mistake the German Jews and the other Jews of Europe in the mid-1930s made and their refusal to believe things were heading south when the lists of registered firearms from the Weimar Republic were referenced by the Nazis for early use by the government to confiscate weapons, initially from Jews and other minorities and political groups they opposed and finding out far too late that those who had warned of the coming eclipse of life, as they had known was a definitive signal that the end was approaching. Even amongst the small minority of Jews who would seek me out at functions or services and confess their conservative views and even their membership in the Republican Party, a faux pas extraordinaire in virtually every non-Orthodox Synagogue which are all one can find in all too many locations outside the major cities, east and west coast states, as well as Ohio and Illinois. In the majority of congregations which I either joined or visited for a period of time before the differences became too uncomfortable for all, had there been Jews who wished to have the Rabbi perform a same-sex marriage there would have been little if any problems and such would be viewed as acceptable to hold such in the Synagogue using the same main hall where services were held on those occasions when sufficient numbers were expected such as weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvah services and the High Holidays as the congregation was accommodating and would be shocked should anybody find such use of the synagogue to be beyond acceptable accommodations. Where I have absolutely no problem with somebody with such proclivities as long as they remained Torah observant and did not act on their sexual urges, just as all Jews must guard against overindulgences and other forbidden sexual territories, but a same-sex marriage was taking acceptance too far though I held my tongue and simply skipped any services held that day.
The standing mitzvah which was the highest observance was their interpretation of Tikkun Olam which largely was interpreted as fighting global warming, fighting perceived persistent racial discrimination, healing society from and wiping out all vestiges of white privilege, amending social class differences, and above all else, voting for Democrats with blind and dedicated obedience. Nothing has brought their disregard not only for Israel, but also for the United States and perhaps the entirety of the free world with their inability to watch the unfolding events in the world or even in their own nation. The problem actually goes beyond any description or understanding. It almost appears as when it comes to voting many in the population vote for their party no matter whom the candidate is or who the opposing candidate is and when it comes to other than either of the two main parties it is as if the others do not even exist. Much of the blame goes to the media and particularly to the mainstream media as they are totally in the box for the Democrats and if not the Democrats, then for the Republicans. It is understandable how and why the United States breaks down to a two party system which is a direct result of their choosing the President basically in a direct vote and the requirement that they gain greater than fifty percent of the electorate rather than simply a plurality. This has worked just as much due to the requirement that the winner must attain fifty percent plus one of the Electoral College votes and not just a plurality of the electoral votes. This problem was brought to the fore when Ross Perot took a fairly large percentage of the voting and still had minimal impact on the Electoral College though Perot may have influenced the result in some states causing them to go from one of the major parties to the other party. There will be debates for another decade when this subject is discussed by the relative few who are informed and knowledgeable but when compared to the entirety of the eligible voters, but then barely over half even bother to vote, these so informed are but a small and impotent of voters due to their lacking numbers but that may be changing. George Washington, the United States first President and second elder spokesperson after Benjamin Franklin, warned about the evils and machinations of political parties in his farewell address (which can be read here)which was delivered to the media and leaders of the day on September 19, 1796. The most quoted of lines from this dissertation are, “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages & countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.”
There was a time before the great world wars and possibly even after where the public was not only knowledgeable on the every discussions and issues of their day and now the average voter honestly, whether they are aware of it or not, vote exclusively along party lines and in many cases are voting for the values the party might have arguable held decades before and had long since moved on in their trip to whichever end they favor as long as it is to an ever increasingly invasive governing of our daily lives with slightly different results and endgame. In Europe, despite there being dozens upon dozens of parties, the differences from the two extremes would not even test the bounds of one of the American political parties, both extremes in Europe are just reminders to Americans of where their party has transgressed on its inevitable end vision of government and their role in serving and controlling, an emphasis on controlling as both parties support any legislation which places ever greater control and monitoring of individual’s actions and approved views. Truth is you can harbor any thoughts you desire as long as you never act upon them.
Try to challenge the status quo and see how fast the government inspectors are snooping around your property and giving you ten days’ notice to have this repaired, painted, replaced, cleaned or whatever they can dream up. Before long you start to desire moving someplace where your name is far more anonymous. Successfully gain ballot access for Federal United States House of Representatives and win a number of points in meet the candidates functions in Churches, Synagogues, recreation centers and any other rally where an informal debate is held and you end up being refused place on the televised debates ten days before the election and when you get a hearing in court you walk in and the judge rules that your chosen representative may not address the hearing and the panels siting at the other tables, one for each major party, there are seated a representation of the State’s Attorney General’s office lawyers to bring witness against you and you get a real sinking feeling that if you had gained more traction they would have buried you, quite literally. With the onslaught of inspectors one has basically two choices, one is accept every summons stating you have anywhere from ten working days to as much as a month to rectify the problem the inspector claims to have found, and some of the “repairs” would require hiring a contractor to make actual physical changes to one’s residence, which gets even trickier if you are renting, or one can actually face them down by first walking them back off of your property and onto the sidewalk or street which demarks your property line and then require that they show you the exact particular problem and as they take that first authoritative, now I have the initiative back, step onto your property you stop them dead with an immediate verbal demand that they, “Please remove yourself from my property.” Should they ignore your request repeat it and ask if this will require the State Sheriff’s Office or will they comply with your demand to vacate your property immediately. Once they are back on the sidewalk or wherever you then repeat that they show you the problem and no matter how obvious the situation you just continue to not see what it is they are complaining about. When they try to gain entry to your property again you politely ask if they have a warrant. They will not have such so you simply hold to your Constitutional rights to keep your property inviolate without proper warrant. Any signed piece of paper other than a warrant is simply a useless piece of paper and warrants are most often accompanied by a police officer to enforce compliance. After the elections, unless you are a real glutton for punishment or have a real drive to buck the system and prove you’re actually the answer to the two party system, and especially if there is a family crisis requiring you to be elsewhere, moving is definitely the easiest solution to stop the inspectors because once they have your address they will never lose it and be back right on que every year, especially if a large puddle of water follows every rainstorm in your front yard, they will be right there to threaten to write you up for a potential wetlands hearing. Fortunately the parade of the heartache ends soon after the election either way, if you lose they go back to ignoring you unless they get a real hard dislike to you and if you win, they desire keeping their job and you have such power to affect that status when you win.
Running for Federal office can and will give you insights to the political system and the first item you will learn, if you present a solid and appealing presentation of ideas, is that the two parties are actually so cooperative and often same sides of a coin and may even take up both sides of that coin such that the election is mostly meaningless. The only way the system will change is if more people run as third party, meaning no party which is best if you can manage that plus was the desire of George Washington who warned of the inherent evils of political parties, and the electorate begins to take notice and the political landscape returns to having an attentive and informed electorate which turns out to vote in numbers approaching or exceeding seventy-five to eighty percent in off-year elections and the public knows, understands and have debates amongst themselves and vote their minds, their hearts if necessary, and never settle for a candidate who does not agree with at the least sixty percent of the issues and completely on your three or four most important and meaningful particulars at the very least. Unfortunately such an electorate will require forty-years-wandering-the-dessert until all of the offending generation, with a few notable exceptions such as the two spies, Caleb and Joshua, who brought back optimistic and supportive reports out of the twelve spies, one from each tribe, went and gave witness to the Promised Land while the other ten told about a land full and bountiful but also included cities with towering walls manned by giant men of formidable strength who would be unbeatable by the Hebrews. They ignored the promise that Hashem would give them the lands if only they made the effort. For the sin of not believing and for allowing the rumors and timorous reports of the few to sap their will and faith in Hashem to fulfill His promises, they spent forty-years wandering the desert until only the next generation born outside of slavery was ready to take possession of the Promised Lands.
Meanwhile, the approximately three-quarters of Jews who voted for President Obama twice, both in 2008 and again in 2012, have either no knowledge of or are completely comfortable with a President who refuses to be seen with the leader of Israel in front of the media, insists the Prime Minister of Israel enter the White House for their first meeting by a side delivery entrance, and who goes to every extreme to place Israel in a compromised position, makes a statement which he knows is a lie to AIPAC and then within eighteen hours makes a retraction calling an impromptu press conference just to make completely sure that everybody knows he “misspoke” and did not mean what he said in his speech about Jerusalem and who has taken the Arab Palestinian side in-toto as his position on negotiations over disputed lands claiming Israel has no claim to these lands. President Obama’s statement and complete backing in heart even if not in vote as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations after vetoing a resolution against Israel and recognizing the Palestinian undisputed right to all of Judea and Samaria and sixty-percent of Jerusalem held a press conference where she announced that she, and implying the administration, actually agreed completely with the resolution but political pressures prevented their supporting it in the Security Council as a Chapter Seven binding resolution but would work towards the stated end in that resolution through actions taken in the Middle East. It could reasonably be believed that well over fifty-five percent of Jews would vote for President Obama again if he could legally run. The Jews in the United States as a whole care little to nothing for Israel and believe Israel should become a multicultural haven just like the United States and when informed that such would result in it becoming an Arab run state where the Jews would be persecuted, forced to leave, or murdered; they claim that would be a better result than allowing Israel to remain a, and I quote from the video above, “A Jewish supremacist State.” This is completely the opposite of the views of the Jews in 1967 when Jews dropped everything and watched the unfolding of the Six Day War in amazement and with pride that this was their people, this was Eretz Yisroel, their promised lands. I guess I was amongst the last of those Jews who I did finally find; they were all here in Israel.
Beyond the Cusp