Beyond the Cusp

July 20, 2018

The True Future of Diaspora Jews

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 2:06 AM
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The Jews residing outside of Israel run a great risk of assimilation and leaving the faith as described in the article “Dear Israelis, America is not Israel.” This is even more likely when they live outside a traditional Jewish neighborhood, defined as, where all the children attend a Yeshiva, the family attends religious functions, the boys attend daily services preferably with the father and the home is kept properly kosher, will likely leave the religion within the next generation or two, three at the outside barring outside intervention. This will get a howl out of many who will claim that they have the magic formula by which to instill the balance of Judaism and secular community involvement. They may keep kosher at home; but not necessarily when eating out, especially at that great Chinese restaurant that all their friends rave about and where they eat with other families on special occasions. Perhaps the non-kosher outing is monthly pizza night. What about their children when attending school, do they necessarily keep kosher or might they sneak a non-kosher snack every now and again? Are their children hanging mostly with other Jewish children or a mixed crowd? When dating starts, are their dates from known families or sometimes are they dating from an unknown family and if so, what guarantees assure the person they are dating is Jewish? The potential for dangerous situations which will grow more and more prevalent as time progresses and once they are away at college it has become far too late to make corrections. The truth is even if your children are presently retaining a Jewish lifestyle while under your roof, will it be strong enough that they will do the same with their children, and then again through to their children? From what we have seen and even personally witnessed, this is not the case.


Youth who were raised with a complete Jewish background, Bar Mitzvah, president of their B’nai B’rith youth chapter, hooked into the Hillel House when attending university, and intermarried and children brought up in both religions which is almost the same as no religion; their children’s children will likely not be Bar Mitzvah and will float even further adrift with the generation after that not even knowing they came from a Jewish background looking back a few generations. We have a Mormon friend whose grandmother in his mother’s side was Jewish. Legally, he could make Aliyah to Israel on his maternal grandmother’s having been Jewish. They are but one example of how quickly a family can drift from Judaism. The reality can be seen ever so clearly just by looking back into Jewish history. The first mass scale assimilation came early on in Egypt. The Jews may or may not have been slaves or an indentured workforce and may have simply been workers whose only available employment was working on the construction projects. This was apparently the case for many Egyptians, so why not the Jews in Egypt. The truth according to most recounting is that a mere 20% of the Jews left Egypt while the majority preferred the security of what they knew over their faith. Then there was the sorry story about the Ten Lost Tribes which went into exile under the Assyrians and were never heard from until the present day. There is no proof these tribes of Jews coming from all corners of the earth are from the Ten Lost Tribes, but it makes for a very romantic tale. Finally, we have the Babylonian Exile. This was brought to an end by the conquest by Persia under Cyrus the Great. He was named Cyrus the Great by the Jews because he permitted their return to their homelands and with instructions to rebuild their Temple, what would in time become the Second Temple. Here the Jews were liberated from a cruel exile and still, once again, 20% returned to Israel, then known as Judea. The rest saw the wealth and glitter of Persia and decided to take their chances with a complete unknown rather than return to their homeland and rebuild their lives. It was easier to simply melt and assimilate into Persian life. Why should this return be any different other than we have already had more than 20% of the Jewish population, perhaps we should say known Jewish population, return to modern Israel. The number is still under 50%, but at least this time it will end up being over 20% and for that, we can be thankful. The sad news is that mostly parents who are not residing in a close knit Jewish neighborhood and whose children are not attending Yeshiva, the likelihood that their grandchildren will be within the Jewish fold is a slim bet. Yes, some will manage to hold on to that slim thread of tekhelet (blue) from their father’s or grandfather’s Tzitzit, but most will lose their grip and wander astray. This will be the sad end of many a Jewish family line.


But this is not the only influence that America has on Israel. Much of Israeli culture is Middle Eastern but with a definite American flavor. Nowhere in Israeli law is there a guarantee of free speech yet that is often part of a judicial ruling. Now if only Israel would write a Constitution and even include much of the Bill of Rights as there are worse examples of governmental theories. Israel is a liberal democratic nation with many of the equalities written into her laws. Many come from Britain while others from America and the Weimar Republic, the German governance before the Nazi hijacked the nation and too many of its people. There is also the fable that the United States has supported Israel from her inception. There is a partial truth to that as President Truman did advise the American Ambassador to the United Nations to vote in favor of the formation of Israel, or at least the UNGA Res 181. What people are less aware about is that Truman then immediately signed an arms embargo which included Israel. During the Eisenhower administration there was still an arms embargo on Israel including for the duration of the 1956 Suez War. Israel was also insisted upon to return all lands and properties to Egypt at the conclusion of that war by President Eisenhower. Truth be told, the start of American aid to Israel came in the 1970’s with the initial trickle in the late 1960’s. The earnest beginnings of the aid to Israel came during the Yom Kippur War where Israel was desperate for a resupply of arms from anywhere willing. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger advised President Nixon to wring some concessions from the Israelis before sending any aid. President Nixon ignored him and commanded the Secretary of Defense to send whatever the Israelis required immediately. That did run into a small problem, Europe. Every American base in Europe was immediately closed by their hosting nation to any aircraft resupplying the Israelis. The Europeans saw this as finally the opportunity to have Israel removed from the map and their “mistake” of allowing her formation erased. This threatened the entirety of Operation Nickel Grass as the United States could not fly these provisions directly and air refueling was not a viable option. In the end, despite every European nation refusing American use of their airspace for this operation, Portugal was willing to help allowing the aircraft landing and refueling permission at Lajes Field in the Azores Islands. This was the start of the American-Israeli cooperation and interdependence as Israel provides the United States with a good amount of intelligence which they otherwise might not have and cooperation on some operational missions providing deniability for both nations. Still, the United States is dearly loved by the average Israeli. Even during the Obama administration there was the feeling that Israel would not be sacrificed, as the American people would never stand for such. This was the general belief and it has definitely carried over to the Trump administration whose moving the embassy to Jerusalem sent waves of joy and appreciation of the promise fulfilled through the tiny nation.


There are things which can reinforce one’s connection to the Jewish faith, though such is not the desired means of having one return to the faith. There are many in Europe who are finding that they are very Jewish, at least as far as those who find hatred of a Jew as part of their callings. When Synagogues in your town or the city just down the highway is being firebombed and Jews who wear an identifying piece of jewelry or clothing are being attacked regularly as happens in certain places and cities in Europe, then one remembers their attachment to Judaism, as they have no choice. It is known that anti-Semites will check birth certificates and trace people’s heritage back even two or three generations and if anyone in your family was Jewish, to the anti-Semite you are Jewish and are a target. Some places in Europe rabbis are advising their congregants not to wear a kippah in public and to remove them when they leave prayers for safety’s sake. When the people around you in the public start to treat you differently because, as they would state it, you have Jewish blood, then you realize that for many once your family was Jewish always your family is Jewish, and this includes you. Even those who intermarried are not free of such hatred but their non-Jewish spouse will be considered contaminated by marrying you. This anti-Semitism is returning to Europe in all of its ugliest phenomena. This disease is growing and it is infecting the youth in Europe, especially the Muslims but it is far from limited to just Muslims. There are still the old right wing anti-Semites, some neo-Nazis and others just neo-fascists. The problem is that there is another form of anti-Semitism rising in Europe which many have tried to ignore or even claim cannot exist, but the reality is there. Anti-Semitism is becoming adopted by the far-leftists and even some presumably liberals. These groups include pro-Communists and socialists as well as the militant left. In too many places the name Jew and Israel are used interchangeably and with equal animosity. Jews will soon come to a choice in Europe, either go underground and hide their having Jewish roots until they are found out or get out of Europe. If leaving Europe is your choice, a small piece of advice, choose Israel for reasons we are about to make evident.


The United States also is facing increasing anti-Semitism. Most of it is in the form of anti-Zionism and anti-Israelism, but in the end, it will be played out as anti-Semitism. Even in New York where Joe Crowley in the 14th congressional district just lost the primary to challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an outspoken BDS supporter who is strongly pro-Palestinian and believes Israel is illegal. Our bet is she probably does not like Jews period. Ocasio-Cortez spoke out strongly against the Israeli army’s actions on the Gaza border on May 14, tweeting, “This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore.” When asked about the Tweet, Ocasio-Cortez replied, “I think I was primarily compelled on moral grounds because I could only imagine if 60 people were shot and killed in Ferguson. Or if 60 people were shot and killed in the West Virginia teachers’ strikes. The idea that we are not supposed to talk about people dying when they are engaging in political expression just really moved me.” She also claimed to support Bernie Sanders who is also outspokenly anti-Israel, and yes, he is supposedly Jewish.


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Tweeting as an Outspoken BDS Supporter

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Tweeting as an Outspoken BDS Supporter


The waves of anti-Israel protests on major American college and university campuses as well as intimidation of Jewish students with mostly verbal abuse but some numbers have been spat upon and more recently attacks have taken place. Those inciting such actions against Jewish students will also be amongst the leaders in the future after these students graduate and take their place in the society. These positions are taking on a following strongly along the lines of the activist left. Apparently, if one is a Zionist, you cannot be an honest feminist, honest. Some say that supporting Israel bars one from all pro-rights and leftist protests and movements. The writing is on the wall even in some high schools where anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head. These types of things grow slowly and almost unperceived and eventually hit a tipping point, and then people turn around and start asking things like how did this happen and where did it come from. It came from not paying enough attention to what was growing in the shadows simply waiting for the best time to jump out and take center stage. The United States is approaching just such a tipping point when it comes to Jew hatred. This hatred has been festering in the background since the early 1980’s, and had never completely disappeared. Now it is growing with the aid of Islamist groups who are painting hate for Israel as protecting human rights and using that as the introduction to all Jews equal Israel. Even Courtney Love has referred to Linda Sarsour as an “anti-Semitic terrorist” stating in a Tweet, “I won’t follow anything that’s being led by an anti-Semitic terrorist that’s using feminism as a tool to promote her radicalism.” This is going to heat up and catch many Jews, especially those who have wandered from the religion and are completely unaware of what is coming their way.


Beyond the Cusp


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