Michelle Goldberg of The Nation, the self-described flagship of the left, wrote a piece this week entitled, “Pro-Israel Freakout,” claiming that “The Israel lobby appears to be panicking.” Goldberg details how New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage cancelled a talk by New Republic senior editor John Judis about his new book, “Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli conflict” and then also cancelled a speech by BDS supporter Judith Butler. Rather than using these points to show the strength of the traditional American Jewish community, the author claims “Supporters of the Israeli right are right to worry.” She couldn’t be more wrong.
The reality, despite a hostile Obama Administration, is that the “Israel Lobby” is stronger than ever. The “crisis” which Goldberg describes is that these liberal Jews are no longer interested in remaining Jewish – and of course if they aren’t concerned about Judaism, they are less likely to care about the Jewish state. The continued self-hating narcissism of the Jewish left has them attach tremendous importance to their campaigns.
The reality is that the only panic and crisis amongst the Pro-Israel community has nothing to do with the Israel lobby. It has to do with the fact that traditional Jews are concerned about the results of the recent groundbreaking nationwide survey of Jews conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project which found that 71 percent of non-Orthodox Jews intermarry, 66% of American Jews don’t belong to a synagogue, 25% don’t believe in God – this is a crisis.
This crisis is that so many Jews are not concerned about Judaism, and the natural conclusion of abandoning Judaism is abandoning Israel. Traditional Jews who are concerned about the Jewish people of course do outreach to the liberal Jews because we hope they will recognize the greatness of Judaism and our people. Norman Podhoretz was a prophet when he wrote some years ago that “liberalism has become much more than a set of political opinions for political Jews: It has become a religion in its own right, with its own Torah of liberalism and its own set of commandments.” For them, “The new Torah will always trump the old.” These people are subscribers to a religion called liberalism.
And now, I, Ronn Torossian and many others, recognize that the chickens have come home to roost. The sad reality is that that liberal Jews are abandoning many aspects of Judaism, including support for Israel. (And those amongst them in the BDS camp should remember Martin Luther King, who said: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism.”)
The political reality is that the Pro-Israel lobby is very strong, as the partnership with the Evangelical Christian community continues to blossom. From organizations like Christians United for Israel to Jay Sekulow & the American Center for Law & Justice, there’s so many organizations standing up and speaking truth to power. The same Pew study found that Christians are more supportive of, and potentially more important for the needs of the State of Israel. (And there are many more Evangelicals than liberal Jews, anyway.)
Israel’s American Jewish supporters largely realize that there are many common values between Judaism and Christianity. The Evangelical audience’s religious faith is predicated upon supporting Israel and they stand with the State of Israel. Evangelicals are more hawkish and strident about Israel’s defense than American Jews – with the exception of traditional, religious Jews.
There are many more Evangelicals than Jews anyway – so who is panicking?
Israel has survived much worse than J Street and BDS and will continue to build closer partnerships with the Evangelical community which will encourage more pro-family values. This partnership will strengthen American Judaism, Israel and the United States of America.
Haters and critics should realize that Israel is doing just fine – there’s great continued economic growth, and the future is bright for Israel and the Jewish People.
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