A future without Israel?

A new documentary on PBS suggests that many young Americans Jews are turning away from Israel and obsessing over the Holocaust. Jonathan D. Sarna, Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University, explains:

Whatever the future portends, it seems clear that two of the grand themes that defined American Jewish identity in the late twentieth century — the Holocaust and the State of Israel – will play a smaller role in shaping that identity in the twenty-first century. As American Jews cast about for new themes and new missions, an older era of American Jewish identity is passing. “The Jewish Americans” chronicles that older era, even as it points to a new era struggling to take form.

This is highly encouraging news, if true, though dominant, militaristic Zionism still retains great political power. Challenging this doctrine has never been more important and will continue. Dissent is having an effect. We must show Jews that anti-Zionism, or at least ambivalence or anger towards Israel’s aggressive stance, is both moral and necessary.

Of course, the American political reality ensures that compete devotion to the state of Israel is essential. Republican front-runner Mike Huckabee believes in a Palestinian state – in Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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