American Jews are shifting. Still liberal to left-wing on the whole, the anomaly that has been Jewish political attitudes toward the Israeli occupation has long stood out. For a long time, Jewish Americans have had a wide spectrum of views on the occupation, but politically, only one view, reflective of the center-right to right-wing side of the Israeli spectrum, has had real impact on US policy.
More and more, Jews are moving away from that stance and more of all ages are realizing that, whatever their views on Zionism and Israel, the occupation is a practically and morally intolerable phenomenon. Someday, and not too far in the future, the young Jews in this video and many others like them will be at least part of the face of American Jewish leadership. For the first time, young American Jews are organizing and standing up as Jews and within the Jewish community to oppose the occupation. Too often, the response of young Jews has been silence or alienation from the community. That, too, is changing.
Check out this video, from Young, Jewish, and Proud, the young adult wing of Jewish Voice for Peace.
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We’ll see how far this confrontational, in your face style and attitude takes these young people. Obviously, they have already, and will continue to gain kudos from the most left-wing of circles. My expectation, however, is that they will only alienate the mainstream of American Jewry, including liberals.
Speaking only for myself, I found their video creepy. And although Obama’s speech could have said more about Palestinian needs, he ended with a plea for a negotiated two-state solution. I was warmed by his friendly words. It’s unfortunate that a basic acknowledgment of Israel’s vulnerability as a small country surrounded by enmity and violence is greeted with condescension and derision by most of the left.
It’s not that Israel couldn’t and shouldn’t embark upon different policies, especially regarding the Palestinian territories, but uncompromising attitudes and actions of Palestinians and their supporters often make the case for Israel’s most hard-line elements. All one has to do to understand the current weakness of Israel’s dovish left is two pronounce two words: Intifada and Hamas. I know that all the anti-Israel elements have to do is pronounce two words of their own– settlements and occupation– but my point is that there’s right & wrong on both sides.
These young people are correct in their analysis and their actions. Its the old guard who still believe anything and everything Zionists do is ok. Its not. Just today reported in Haartz, IDF officers found with heroin, and other drugs….they were selling these drugs on the Egypt and Israelie border? Hamas is a democratically elected government and are not a threat to Israel. Israel has nuclear weapons, Army, Navy, AirForce nuclear submaries and a military force that equals that of a huge country. Palestinans have nothing but misery, suffering, and humiliated to the point of utter madness. The crimes Israel inflicts on palestinans everyday is simply genocide. I am hopeful these young people can convince older generation that its time to make peace and deliver the Palestinans there state based on 1967 borders.
Right and wrong on both sides yes, but still, it isn’t balanced. The Arab states don’t really have the Palestinians’ backs like the previous writer suggests, and there have been nonviolent elements in Palestinian resistance for years, and it is growing. If only their leadership encouraged them instead of quite the opposite.
I found the Young, Jewish and Proud video very moving. I think it will speak to many and won’t backfire, quite the opposite (again).
Israel is the oppressor state in league with the largest military in world history. The blatantly racist policies aren’t justified by anything done by some Palestinians or others.
Two wrongs don’t make a right. At what point does that truth we’re taught change…or does it?
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