During the recent Operation Guardian of the Walls, some American Jews participated in Palestinian-sponsored demonstrations condemning Israel for defending her cities against Hamas’ unprovoked rocket attacks. A subsequent poll found that 25% of American Jews consider Israel an apartheid state, 22% believe Israel is committing genocide, and 20% of those under 40 accept the blatantly anti-Semitic idea that Israel does not have the right to exist. These findings engendered a slew of articles about what this portends for Israel and what she might do about it. In actuality, most Israelis are either unaware of or unconcerned with the opinions of American Jews. The truth is that this is not an Israeli problem, but rather a tragedy for American Jews, because a culture that identifies with enemies seeking its destruction has no future.
This American Jewish tragedy comes within the context of the wider social decline of America. This is not a process that can be reversed through political or economic policy; historically, social decay has never been reversed. There were emperors who attempted to reverse Rome’s decline by instituting reforms, but none were able to arrest the social decay and degeneration of the populace. No policy could turn decadent citizens into soldiers or productive citizens; they could only be occupied with bread and circuses. No policy today will pull American popular culture out of the sewer, cure the millions of addicts of their addictions, or heal the psychotics of their psychoses. The percentage of children born out of wedlock, to teenagers, or in broken homes continues to rise. No policy will restore America’s once world-beating work ethic or now-abandoned standards of decency, honesty, and personal integrity. Social decay is like a terminal disease: it only goes from bad to worse.
American Jews can set themselves apart from this decline by reconnecting with, and taking pride in, their own great history and culture. They could participate in the miracle that is modern Israel and make it their mission to defend her just cause. Most American Jews today will not even bother to vote in the Israeli and Jewish interest. Instead, they latch on to causes of the moment, even anti-Semitic ones like BLM or BDS which are not their own and in which they are not welcome. They meekly go along with the woke mob’s demonization of Israel rather than stand up for Israel’s just cause.
Above all, those American Jews who turn their backs on Israel do not understand that they are depriving themselves of being part of her incredible success story. American Jewish identification with the cause of our enemies is no substitute for the self-respect and sense of wonder and achievement shared by every Israeli.
As the United States goes, so goes the world. Due to American decline, the globe today is an increasingly dangerous and unstable place. As the United States withdraws into itself, the power vacuum is inevitably being filled by less benevolent countries, including Russia, China, Turkey, and Iran. In such circumstances, Israel is a safer place than almost any other. Surrounded by enemies from her creation, Israel has always been on her guard and knows well how to protect herself. Young Israelis give up the best years of their youth – sometimes even their lives – to defend their country, and by extension, all Jews everywhere. The constant pressure from the outside keeps Israelis grounded and sharp. They don’t have time for bad hair days, contemplating their navels, or existential crises over nothing. They take responsibility for themselves and each other, live in the present, and enjoy their lives.
Unlike the United States, where children are now taught to judge their country and each other primarily through the lens of race and victimization, Israeli children from every country and background are brought together through love of their country and their land. They are justifiably proud and know the importance of their role. This strong sense of community and feeling of being part of something greater than oneself contrasts sharply with the tribalism being preached today in the United States; it is one of the primary reasons that polls invariably show Israelis among the happiest people in the world.
Young Israelis know who they are and where they come from. They are raised to think for themselves, and they are problem-solvers and extremely capable. Through a century and a half of tremendous sacrifice and labor, Israelis have built a $400 billion economy, and today enjoy a higher per capita GDP than Japan, France, or England. Taking full advantage of the warm Mediterranean climate and natural beauty of their land, Israelis have built a wonderful country and a great life for themselves.
An increasing number of Jews from around the world are opting to join them. Some are coming out of the traditional desire to live in a Jewish State. Others are also motivated by the greater public safety and economic opportunity offered by Israel today than their home countries. North American immigration to Israel is expected to increase 42% in 2021 over the previous year.
As someone who lived in Israel years ago and now does so part time again, I can barely describe the progress in every aspect of life in Israel. No longer the bureaucratic socialist mess I remember from the early 1970s, Israel today is modern, efficient, and self-sufficient. High-speed trains, well-maintained highways, and ultra-modern high rises are found all along the beautiful Mediterranean coast. The food is fantastic, the climate and beaches are wonderful, and the people are healthy, happy, and beautiful. Considering the forces arrayed against them, their achievement is a miracle of Biblical proportions.
Israel is not their problem, as some American Jews imagine. Israel is the solution, their only hope, and their salvation. Their lives will be immeasurably enriched if they make Israel’s cause their own. Should their fellow Americans continue on their current self-destructive path, American Jews need not follow them over the cliff. They can take comfort in knowing that we have a beautiful country of our own, one that wants them and will welcome them with open arms. Israel embraces even those Jews who had not appreciated the tremendous sacrifice and achievements of their Israeli brothers and sisters, even those who disparaged and unjustly condemned them.