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American Jews Need Strong Leadership 

American Jews Need Strong Leadership 

Ma’ariv, Israel, June 8

In recent months, the American media has been waging a war against the state of Israel. This war reached unprecedented levels during the recent Gaza crisis. Hardly a day has gone by without a critical article published against Israel – questioning not its military actions, but its entire existence. Many of these columns and op-eds are written by Palestinian writers; others by the newspapers’ staff or editorial board. The highlight was the New York Time’s decision to dedicate its front page to a visual depiction of the dozens of children killed in Gaza (one of the “children” was later discovered to be a terrorist operative), alongside a detailed story about each child. The deaths of innocent children in every war are a horrible thing. This was true even for tens of thousands of German children who died in World War II. But only neo-Nazis would blame the Allies for the death of these children, instead of pointing fingers at the Nazi regime. This is exactly the situation with Hamas and the children killed in Gaza. However, the series of op-eds and negative articles about Israel, sometimes under the pretext of so-called objectivity, have deeper foundations stemming from the extreme American left’s tendency to undermine Israel’s right to exist – among the general American population and Democrats in particular. It’s still a minority in the Democratic Party, but the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric is spreading more and more, even among those who are generally considered center-right. What’s more, the limited majority of Democrats in both houses of Congress gives the far-left group known as “Progressives” disproportionate power over government considerations, similar to the leverage that the Arab parties will have over the considerations of the new Israeli government. It is inconceivable that in a city with the largest Jewish community in the world, New York, threats and attacks against Jews take place in broad daylight. Now more than ever before, American Jews need strong leadership. But where is it? The state of Israel also has to take a more active role in supporting American Jewry. According to the latest Pew report, 80% of American Jews, including young people, do support Israel, but this is not always expressed in political awareness. Now is the time for the 70% of US Jews who support and identify themselves as Democrats to speak up. Many of them have been quietly sitting on the sidelines, hoping that things in their party will resolve themselves. But things are only getting worse. Will they act before it’s too late? – Zalman Shoval (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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