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How a Changing American Liberalism Is Pulling American Jews away From Israel » Mosaic
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How a Changing American Liberalism Is Pulling American Jews away From Israel

American Jews, following American liberalism, have abandoned belief in the nation-state, non-voluntary communities, and religion in the public square.


Jews for Racial & Economic Justice in January 2017. Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images.
Jews for Racial & Economic Justice in January 2017. Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images.
Response
May 18 2017
About the author

Evelyn Gordon is a commentator and former legal-affairs reporter who immigrated to Israel in 1987. In addition to Mosaic, she has published in the Jerusalem Post, Azure, Commentary, and elsewhere. She blogs at Evelyn Gordon.


In his essay “Why Many American Jews are Becoming Indifferent or Even Hostile to Israel,” Daniel Gordis lists, as key sources of tension, four major differences between the American and the Israeli political projects. His analysis strikes me as largely accurate, yet I think he misses something important by treating the differences as longstanding and perhaps even inherent. In fact, most are of recent vintage, and there is nothing inevitable or intractable about them. They are the product, first, of dramatic changes in the tenets of political liberalism, and second, of a collective decision by many American Jews to follow the new liberalism wherever it leads—even when it contradicts longstanding axioms of both American politics and traditional Judaism.

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More about: American-Israeli Affairs, Israel & Zionism, Liberalism, Nationalism