Loss of Precious Faith: The Deep Rift between the State of Israel and American Jewry
Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder

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While heralding the flourishing political relations between the United States and Israel, American media channels over the last six months have also reported that recent measures taken by the Israeli government, such as the passage of the National Conversion Law and the freeze on the pluralistic Western Wall plan, have significantly exacerbated the crisis of faith in the State of Israel among extensive segments of the American Jewish population. It was further reported that this old-new crisis, which is reflected in unprecedented media rhetoric and protests, may jeopardize the continued economic support of Israel by American Jewry and upset their motivation to wield their influence and pressure the American administration to provide aid to Israel in many spheres.

This article reviews the causes of the steady dwindling of the support for Israel by the American Jewish community and assesses the main repercussions of the deepening rift between the communities at the long range strategic level. Finally, it proposes a number of constructive measures to improve the situation, such as effecting a fundamental change in the mindset of the Israeli population and its representatives so that they recognize the importance of the American Jewish community to the Jewish people and to the State of Israel; developing a mechanism whereby Jews from all over the world can voice their opinions to the Israeli establishment; and increasing Israel’s involvement in Jewish and Zionist education in the United States.