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Why Many American Jews Are Becoming Indifferent or Even Hostile to Israel

It’s not about what Israel does. It’s about what, to their minds, Israel is.

A protester at a rally in front of the White House during the annual AIPAC conference in Washington on March 26, 2017. Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
A protester at a rally in front of the White House during the annual AIPAC conference in Washington on March 26, 2017. Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
Essay
May 8 2017
About the author

Daniel Gordis is Koret Distinguished Fellow and chair of the core curriculum at Shalem College in Jerusalem. His new book, Israel: A Concise History of a People Reborn, won the Jewish Book Council’s “Book of the Year” award for 2016.


All told, the two Jewish communities of the United States and Israel constitute some 85 percent of the world’s Jews. Although other communities around the globe remain significant for their size or other qualities, the future of world Jewry will likely be shaped by the two largest populations—and by the relationship between them. For that reason alone, the waning of attachment to Israel among American Jews, especially but not exclusively younger American Jews, has rightly become a central focus of concern for religious and communal leaders, thinkers, and planners in both countries.

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More about: American Jewry, American-Israeli Affairs, Israel & Zionism