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Who Are We Supporting in Israel?

Why is the US more supportive of Israel than any other nation in the world? I feel like I am going to be called anti-Semitic for my concerns about Jewish influence on American foreign policy, but it is a problem. The article by Mearsheimer and Walt shows that my concerns are not unique.

There are at least three main kinds of Jews with differing views on Israel and American foreign policy. First there are the religious Jews, most of whom are also ethnic or racial Jews. Of course, they fall into different categories, too, from orthodox to reform. The closer they are to Orthodox, probably the more strongly Jews support Israel. Then there are secular Jews, Jews by race or ethnicity who are not religious. I understand that many of the Jews in Israel are secular Jews, although many others, particularly in the occupied territories are very religious. Finally there are the Zionists, Jews of all backgrounds who strongly support Israel.

Israel confuses the whole Jewish issue and the anti-Semitism argument. If you don’t like Israel, many Jews take that as meaning that you don’t like Jews, when that is not the case. When we lived in Poland, I thought Poland did a good job in discriminating between the Nazis and the Germans. They may not have been totally successful, but they tried to direct their dislike at the Nazis, rather than at all Germans. It should be possible to dislike or disapprove of a state, in particular because of its government and rulers, without disliking or disapproving of all the people who live there.

So, Jews who take disapproval of Israel as disapproval of all Jews take that weight on themselves. If that were true, it would mean that all Jews are loyal to Israel first, and then to whatever country they happen to live in, e.g., the U.S. I don’t believe that all Jews are disloyal Americans, but rabid Zionists would have us believe that they are.

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