The Chasm In Israeli-American Jewry
2017.11 Remedy Ignored
Still crescendoing at an ever-worsening rate nearly a year after my last article was ignored – in which I responded to the ToI blog “Jewish Diaspora Leaders Don’t Understand Secular Israelis” with the following.
“ American Jews would find it most illuminating to list the main characteristics of Israeli secular Jews and see where that would place them within American Jewry if they were in the U.S. instead of being Israeli citizens in Israel. This would enable American Jews to properly understand and relate to Israeli “secular” Jews.
“It’s impossible to describe every individual secular Israeli Jew in a few words. But it is realistic to capture the broad spectrum of the unique, oxymoronic Israeli definition of a “secular Jew”. Typically, true Israeli seculars are atheists or agnostics who never set foot in synagogue, who reject kashrut, reject Torah, and actively oppose Shabat as unacceptable mythology fettering their personal liberty. They don’t belong to “Jewish” organizations or attend “Jewish” functions. They exhibit the purest, Hitlerian racist definition of who is a Jew (maternal genetics & DNA – converts aren’t really Jewish or have “Jewish souls”). For true Israeli seculars who move abroad, intermarriage is fine and they bellicosely insist that the Jewish religion is silly mythology – but only Orthodox “mythology” is Jewish. rolleyes
“Importantly, most Israeli Jews who routinely self-identify as secular are, rather, more accurately defined as “traditional” – lighting candles on Shabat, commemorating the Pesakh Seider, fasting on Yom ha-Kippurim, celebrating Khanukah, etc. These are not properly, by dictionary definition, “secular”. But, unfortunately, the English term “traditional” is popularly equate in Hebrew with מָסָרְתִּי – which mistranslates back into English as “Conservative”, which Israelis equate to the Tephutzah Conservative “Judaism” – and that’s as much an anathema to Israeli seculars and Israeli Orthodox as American Reform “Judaism”.)
How would Israeli “secular” Jews be defined in America?
“If these were Americans, and not Israelis, in the U.S., where would this combination of traits place them in the American Jewish spectrum? The answer is: somewhere wa-a-a-y below Reform–which is probably why Israeli Jews so belligerently fear the threat of this being recognized. If Reform and Conservative Jews outnumbered secular Jews here in Israel they would distinguish themselves from the “seculars”! It would also expose the hidden implication of far greater condemnation of Israeli secular Jews when Orthodox Israelis rail against the more-Jewish Diaspora non-Orthodox “goyim.” But, of course, Orthodox politically need the Israeli seculars in their coalition in order to continue wagging the sheep! Orthodox fear this clarification because it would end their secular-Kheireidim political rule via king-making coalitions and wagging the sheep.
How are Israeli “secular Jews” different from Israeli Arabs?
“Yishmaeil and Eisau (=Edom =Amaleiq) demonstrate that, from the first, Jews were distinguished from other Semites only by Torah. Jews who reject Torah are Semites, no longer Jews. And Semites is Semites. The mother of Esau, Yaaqov’s twin, was Rivqah. DNA-wise, the DNA-proven near-100% intermarriage rate among the early European Jewish males (who fled the 70 CE and 135 CE exiles into the Roman Empire) magnified by the earlier diffusion of the 10 Lost Tribes here in the Middle East, likely combine to make DNA distinctions dubious, at best. Beyond that, intelligent folk don’t accept racist – Hitlerian – definitions.”
Headlined: “Israel and the Diaspora: We Need to Talk”
Israeli Jews and American Jews routinely talk past each other, neither understanding the other. The radical (Khareidim + Nationalist) Israeli Orthodox news site, Arutz Sheva (Israel National News), asserts that the American Orthodox POV is represented by “1,000 Orthodox American rabbis” of the Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV). However, as an American-Israeli Orthodox Jew myself, I notice that the CJV website never clearly admits whether they are Khareidim-only, what percentage Khareidim, inclusive of Modern Orthodox or inclusive of Conservative Jews. Until they properly identify themselves, the only thing that is certain is that they are a remote loudspeaker of the Israeli Rabbinate located in the U.S. and should be ignored.
Israeli Jews & American Jews Routinely Assume Wrongly Re Each Other
Americans assume a peace process here when, in fact, the Israeli consensus is that it died some time ago and no longer exists. This is in addition to the issues I mentioned (above) last year.
American Jews: A GOP/Trump Conservative v Dem/Never-Trump Socialist Intractable Oxymoron
In America, a few fringe Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox (Khareidim) American Jews aside, American Jews are Democrats-to-the-death, socialist-leaning, never-Trump Jews from the 1930s living in the 20-teens.
In Israel, a few fringe miso-Judaic Israeli liberal-Jew laughers aside, Israeli Jews are firmly pro-Trump as a result of his policies toward Israel.
These two diametrically-opposed polarized groups are intractably non-homogeneous. No one can “hang on” to both. Nor can the two ever be pulled back together. The only solution is for one side to persuade and win members from the other side. This doesn’t happen either by burying the intractable polarization nor by talking past each other.
Israel Depends On American Jews’ Support?
Since 1948, modern Israel has depended on American Jews’ to ensure America’s backing as an ally in the face of incessant Arab/Muslim attempts, up to the present Iranian efforts, to exterminate Israel. Now, however, not only are American Jews hopelessly self-conflicted, Israel has reached the fission point where – like the UK, France or Germany – we’re strong enough in our part of the world, the particularly critical Middle-East, to leverage our own support as an important and militarily strong ally of the U.S. In fact, in many respects, the self-destructive efforts of liberal American Jews are increasingly a liability in the sense that many miso-Judaics see it as “the exercise of Jews ruling America and the world”.
The bottom line here is that, unless some of the most basic dynamics are fundamentally changed, Israeli Khareidim and their Rabbinate are going to finish disenfranchising first all non-Orthodox, then all non-UltraOrthodox Jews, globally.
Citation: how to properly cite this article; note academic Chicago Style standard italics, parentheses, commas, periods and quotation marks.
Yirmeyahu Ben-David. “The Chasm In Israeli-American Jewry.” Israel Jews News. Editor: Yirmeyahu Ben-David. (2018.08.24, The Netzarim, http://www.netzarim.co.il). (Date you accessed the Israel Jews News article).