Friday, September 16, 2016

The Twilight of American Jewry

From Caroline Glick:
This week marked the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on America. Most of us didn’t realize it at the time, but those attacks also marked the beginning of the end of the golden age of American Jewry – on both sides of the ideological divide.

Most American Jews make their home on the political Left, and together with black Americans they comprise the most loyal Democratic voting bloc. American Jews have clung to the Democratic Party despite the fact that over the past decade and a half, their position in the party has become increasingly precarious.

After the September 11 attacks, the American anti-war movement rose as a force in the party. The movement was quick to conflate its anti-Americanism with hostility for Israel. Jewish anti-war activists were forced to choose between Zionism and pacifism.

And the situation has only grown worse over time.

As Gary Gambill of the Middle East Forum wrote this week in The National Interest, since the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel was founded in 2005, its members have gone from one leftist group to another and demanded that their members embrace the cause of Israel’s destruction.

Group after group – from the feminists, to the gay rights activists, to Occupy Wall Street, to Black Lives Matter – bowed to the BDS demand. Members who refused to condemn Israel and join the call for its destruction have been booted out.

As Prof. Alan Dershowitz wrote last month, this state of affairs has brought about a situation where progressive American Jews who support Israel – that is, the majority of American Jews – are increasingly finding themselves isolated, rejected by their fellow leftists.

In his words, “Over the past several years, progressive Jews and supporters of Israel have had to come to terms with the reality that those who do not reject Israel and accept the… BDS movement’s unique brand of bigotry are no longer welcome in some progressive circles. And while both the Democratic and Republican parties have embraced the importance of the US alliance with Israel, that dynamic is under threat more so than at any point in my lifetime.”

The radicalization of the American Left has caused a radicalization of the Democratic Party. This was made clear throughout this year’s Democratic primary season and during the party’s national convention. Today, the anti-Israel Left makes up not just the Democratic grassroots but also the major donors to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The significance of this development for American Jews cannot be overstated. Even if Clinton herself doesn’t share the positions of the Bernie Sanders wing of her party, she cannot govern in defiance of its will.

And if she is elected in November, she won’t...
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