U.S.-Israel Divide


Thank you, Gary Rosenblatt, for your perceptive essay (“Israelis Are For Trump; U.S. Jews Are From Venus,” Between the Lines, Dec. 16).

Knesset member Aliza Lavie is correct when she says that “‘the gap is growing’ between diaspora and Israeli Jews.” Israelis have hunkered down so much in the face of the wearying and relentless criticism of their need to defend themselves that many apparently no longer seem sensitive to the moral injustices done in reaction.

Diaspora Jews, particularly here in the U.S., are committed to moral values and humanitarian sensibilities that Israelis often dismiss as elective in the face of existential threats. The rising extremism and the lamentable radicalism of the religious right is severing that very connection that progressive Jews have cherished, celebrated and affirmed about Israel: “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Sadly, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s arrogance concerning American Jewry reflects an increasing divide that is alienating many of us who consider ourselves Zionists, leaving us wondering whatever happened to “our” Israel. The chasm between these two communities is itself an existential danger.