In 2009, Jay Michaelson, writing at the Forward, penned a controversial piece entitled “How I’m Losing My Love For Israel” in which he noted that it was exhausting to defend Israel among his social circle. Whatever we might think of the validity of that reason, I remember appreciating Mr. Michaelson’s honesty and self-awareness. Getting to root causes can be painful and even embarrassing, but it reflects intellectual honesty that’s often difficult to come by.
In the aftermath of the Israeli Left’s cataclysmic loss in last week’s Israeli parliamentary election, it seems a little more introspection and self-awareness would be useful – especially for our liberal co-religionists.
Following that tough political campaign, the Union for Reform Judaism expressed “concern” about some of the campaign tactics and positions taken – notably their “concern” about a “non-democratic future in which a Jewish minority rules over a Palestinian majority” or “a non-Jewish future in which democracy is preserved, but, inevitably, the Jewish character of the state will disappear.”
The Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly was harsher. They “condemned” the Prime Minister for his “statement, which indefensibly singled out the Arab citizens of Israel,” saying it was “unacceptable and undermines the principles upon which the State of Israel was founded.”
But it wasn’t just the religious movements. And, at least, the religious movements didn’t suggest that the U.S.-Israel relationship be taken out back and shot.