Calling Israel To Account


Regarding Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “A Great Miracle Happened Where?” Dec. 23), it’s even more complicated [the relationship between American and Israeli Jews]. As an older American Jew, I have other thoughts on what they [Israelis] are thinking and what they really think of us. I wonder what they think of themselves … Do they see themselves only as Israelis — not as Israeli Jews? Do they see us only as non-Israelis, not as Jews, and their yordim [expatriates] only as yordim, not as Jews?

  Rosenblatt’s comment that the Israeli media cares little about diaspora Jewish life beyond Washington’s political and financial support of Israel is right on. But is it only the media? Perhaps there is less of a generational divide in the United States than Rosenblatt thinks. I support Israel and share the concerns about Israel’s Jewish character as well as its democratic character, about its treatment of secular, liberal and progressive Jews, as well as its treatment of Arabs inside and outside the Green Line.

Our concerns are justified and need to be addressed. We see ourselves, old and young, in Israel and outside of Israel, labeled anti-Semites and anti-Israel when we call Israel to account. As well as a gap in perceptions that American Jews and Israelis have of each other, there is a gap in the perceptions Israelis have of themselves. There needs to be an honest conversation.

Yonkers, N.Y.