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September 15, 2013


Speaking as one of those liberal, self-hating Jews, I think it's Israel who has changed, not American Jews. No matter how much Netanyahu tries to blur the lines, political Israel is not religious Israel.

political Israel is not religious Israel

That's fairly obviously true; a smallish minority of Israel is composed of observant Jews.

Is there any way t share ObWi articles on Facebook? I'd like to share this one with a Christian friend who has strange ideas about how Jews are supposed to act out her church's ideas. I don't think she actually knows much about what Jews believe. She seems to see Jews as actors in a Christian production.

Worse, Kristian(TM) hardliners and extremist Jewish groups in Israel see each other as the useful idiots in their respective plans and both see secular and/or moderate Jews as a prime enemy. Arial Sharon was quite open about it. When asked what he thought about taking support of those that see Israel as a tool to trigger the apocalypse, he answered: When the Messiah comes, we will ask him, whether it's his second coming (clearly implying that he believed in neither and that it was a case of fools and their money getting easily separated)*.
I also get the impression that no one gets more viciously attacked for criticising the Israeli Far Right than dissenting Jews (esp. but not exclusively in the US).
From German Jews I know that there is an inofficial ranking scale among Jews. On the second lowest rung are those Jews that stayed in Germany after WW2 but on the lowest are those that move from Israel to Germany (not for a visit but to stay there). For some it seems to be the equivalent of a re-born that suddenly rejects grace and embraces Satan. The only way to top it is to try to seduce other Jews to follow the example.

*It was not this he fell from grace for but for the Gaza retreat

This seems like a wonderful phenomena, but I wonder how widespread and effective it actually is. I mean, have AIPAC donations dried up at all? Are Jews who work in Congress (whether as congressman or staffers) any less inclined to support Israel no matter what? Have donations to Israeli peace groups increased? Have Birthright trips plummeted?

Even if none of those things have happened, it is still a good thing.


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The average age of AIPAC donors is high, whereas the phenomenon I'm talking about is mostly found in Jews under 50, or under 40.

Birthright trips seem to be one of the *causes*, actually -- or at least among non-Orthodox rabbis and rabbinical students [pdf], more visits to Israel correlates with *less* political support for Israel.

It's really hard to tell how important it is, because (as Corey Robin's rabbi discovered) so much of the change is *silent*, made by individuals thinking things over for themselves and not bringing their views up because they don't want to make Grandma cry.

Basically, any Jew who's not pro-Israel rah rah has had the experience of being *screamed* at by members of the older generation. So we've mostly stopped fighting about it, which means we've stopped talking about it, and now the screamers are surprised that we've been changing our minds without telling them.

I assume support for Israel in Congress is still extremely high, because that's where the money is.

I agree with Slartibartfast. "political Israel is not religious Israel

That's fairly obviously true; a smallish minority of Israel is composed of observant Jews.

Very good, thoughtful, post, Dr. S.


I'm not sure what the implication of Sharon's remark about the Messiah is, but skepticism about the Messiah's arrival is a commonplace of Jewish humor.

So expressing it is unlikely to get one much grief.

Christian fundies (well, all fundies) lack the humour gene. From the context my interpretation is: "These idiots give me money and lobby for me because they believe I'll be their tool to start the Biblical apocalypse and will be swiftly dicarded and thrown into hell right afterwards. But I know that it's all rubbish, so why should I not take the money and run with it? Easy money, no risk" And the idiots did not mind because they thought Sharon was delusional for not knowing that he was just a pawn to be discarded etc. by the One True G*d. At least they did not mind until Sharon started to act against the divinely ordained plan. Consequently they interpreted the stroke Sharon had as heavenly punishment. The Yahoo from Netanja is essentially playing the same game.

Promptly the captcha contained a 666 ;-)

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