Monday, April 11, 2011

Israel, right or wrong?

A major reason I became involved in discussing the relationship of the United States and Israel is it is not simply a matter for Jews.

The national security of the U.S. is directly related to its unconditional support of Israel - inversely proportional to it. The blind, resolute way that Congress toes the line for Israel should be a concern of every American. There is no other issue before our nation that is so little subject to debate by our politicians and that is extremely dangerous.

It's undeniable, however, that the matter of Israel is a particular problem for American Jews. To gain some perspective on this and to draw some hope from the fact that dissent over Israel within American Jewry is growing, I can't recommend too highly an article published in Haaretz, Our Brothers, Ourselves

American Jews are on the spot because Israel claims to represent them, going to the point of denying that there is anything that can be defined as an Israeli distinct from a Jew. If you are a Jew and you do not express an opinion about Israel, Israel will express one in your name. To anyone who values their right to self-expression, to individuality, this should be infuriating because it is an attempt by a collective to claim power by default. Americans, resolute individualists that we are, should have nothing to do with that. The Jewish group Not In My Name chose their name wisely.

It is because of the special place in recent history of Jews that Israel exists and can act the way it does in a manner that pays little heed to world opinion. Israel has a unique license, though one that appears to be nearing expiration.

Whether you are Jewish our not, you should read the Haaretz article to deepen your understanding of the difficult path that American Jews must walk and the positions that various American Jewish organizations have taken regarding Israel.

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