What American Jews just don’t get about Israel, by Daniel Gordis
Is it what they, the liberal, progressive Jews who put their politics above their Judaism, don't get about Israel or what they don't want to get about Israel?
The United States and Israel are very different projects. America’s Declaration of Independence begins “When in the course of human events,” while Israel’s begins “The land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people.” America was created to be a haven to “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” as Emma Lazarus’ poem at the foot of the Statue of Liberty declares, while Israel was intended to be, as the British Balfour Declaration of 1917 notes, “a national home for the Jewish people.”
That is an important difference and one that all Jews should get. American Jews have gotten so comfortable that maybe many of us have forgotten the real need for a Jewish safe haven.
And don't forget:
American Jews look at Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians as a civil-rights issue. Israelis see it as a survival issue.
Most of us haven't absorbed enough Jewish history to know how good we have it and how easily it can slip away. When politics overshadow religion, we don't even notice it slipping away.