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A Book Review on American Jews and Israel



Dear Friends:

The following article from the Economist magazine touches on a point that many of us have pondered. When will Jews born in America, most from American parents and most with high moral values and strong patriotism, begin to realize that their blind support for the brutal Israeli occupation of Palestine is incongrous at best?

A new book by Steven Rosenthal suggests that the majority of American Jews like their counterparts in Israel are privately appalled at the Israeli government's actions but do not feel as strongly as the radical religious minority who shame them into silent support for the brutal policies of Israel.

As always, all it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing!

I hope you will do some small thing to change American policy, like forwarding this and similar messages to your elected representatives asking for their help.

Kelly Harrison, Ph. D.

American Jews and Israel
Push and Pull

By Steven T. Rosenthal
Brandeis University Press of New England, 248 pages, $24.95
Available in Britain in June from Plymbridge

AMERICANS have an understandable inclination to prefer friendly democratic Israel to its moody undemocratic Arab neighbours. But for a span of time, roughly from the late 1960s until the mid-1980s, most of America's Jews believed it their duty to enhance that preference by all means at their disposal. And they thought that they should do so regardless of any private criticism of Israeli policy. Such reservations, they were told by their spearhead lobbies, were irrelevant. It was not up to American Jews to criticise Israel. Their job was to assure the American government's continuous and generous support of the Jewish state by making certain that legislators well-disposed towards Israel were duly elected. (more ...)

Go to the address above to read the full story, or to www.economist.com for more global news, views and analysis from the Economist Group.