The costs of being a Jew have increased, especially outside of Israel. 

Americans report increased discomfort from what they hear and read, some of it from individuals who don't seem to realize the people they are speaking to are Jews. Emotional costs may be greater than elsewhere on campuses, but anyone attuned to the media may be sensing the pressure. Israel has become the "shitty little country" that is causing more problems than it is worth.

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It may only be the current version of what is politically correct, with Palestinians having captured the image of the little kid suffering from the neighborhood bully.

We can deride the nonsense of the superficial, or recognize that it resonates at the heights of the US Government and the EU.

The sentiments heard do not seem to affect the environment of Israeli Jews as much as they affect American Jews, or at least those American Jews of indeterminate number for whom being Jews is important.

It may be part of the drifting in separate directions of Israeli and Diaspora communities. 

We were closest in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust, the birth of Israel, and the large migrations from the Middle East and from what was left of European Jewry.

Now Israel has become at least a mini powerhouse in economics and military capacity. It embarrasses overseas Jews with its heavy handed self defense and refusal to accept demands of western governments and the UN. We hear of increasing numbers of Jews for whom being a Jew is not important, who are not supporting us, or actively joining the Palestinians in their efforts to sanction and boycott.

There are Israelis who say that we must accommodate western expectations, for our own sake and for the sake of overseas Jews. Others say that what happens in the Diaspora is not our problem. Almost all Jews now live in democratic societies, most of them with substantial resources and at least their share of political weight. They can take care of themselves or choose to move.

French Jews are coming to Israel in significant numbers, due to the physical threats they feel. American Jews are complaining of the pressures, which have not turned physical in any significant degree. The lesser American migration to Israel is largely of Orthodox Jews. They feel closer to Israel politically than do other Jews, and find it more comfortable to live here.

Anti-Israel statements and occasional violence are nothing new to Israelis. We may have gotten used to them. Moreover, Israelis are more likely to know individual Muslims. They are not terrifying others who are easy to caricature. Contacts at university, work, casual encounters, friendships, and extensive coverage in the media lead us to know the differences among them.

There is no shortage of Israeli leftists who object to what the IDF and other security services do in our defense. However, many others do not lose sleep over the Gazans killed in response to the thousands of missiles fired toward Israeli civilians, or the  Palestinians  who died in the wave of violence that came in response to Gaza..

Research into the impact of Palestinian-organized boycotts do not point conclusively to their impact. The data is problematic, due to the influence of international economic conditions. However, they do not show a drop in Israeli exports.

The Palestinians' approach to the International Criminal Court may cost our military personnel their freedom to travel without fear of arrest. 

It may be necessary to preserve the anonymity of IDF personnel. That is within our capacity, insofar as  Israelis are already familiar with the anonymity of military pilots, non-military security personnel, and the employees of various firms who sign confidentiality agreements and travel hush hush to work who knows where.

Both Israeli and Diaspora Jews are living better and more secure than a generation ago, when I entered college under a Jewish quota and my Jewish friends knew that they could not aspire to positions in major financial or industrial concerns. However, Israel and the Diaspora have grown apart, and each relies more on itself than in the past.

The attack on the French satirist magazine Charlie Hebdo may prove to be important, or only another event. It came against an increase in anti-Muslim/anti-immigrant actions in Germany, Sweden, Britain, and France, and provoked widespread sentiments in behalf of freedom. 

Spokesmen of Islamic organizations were quick to claim that the attackers were not true Muslims.

Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his own condemnation of the attack, which had at least an element of boosting his campaign claims to being Israel's most reliable defense against Islamic extremism.

There were mutual expressions of opposition to terror and in behalf of international cooperation from the French Ambassador, Shimon Peres, Tsipi Livni, and Yitzhak (Boji) Herzog.

It won't be easy for France or any other European country to protect themselves against Muslim extremists, not so extreme Muslims, or work to limit immigration from Muslim countries. Freedom of movement is well entrenched in the European Union, and France is one of the EU's central pillars.

There is a Zionist solution for Jews of the Diaspora who cannot tolerate the slights perceived from their media and acquaintances.

One should be wary. Don't jump on a plane. It's already crowded here.Those too old to learn Hebrew or take care of themselves should be especially cautious. The medical system is good, but takes getting used to. We don't see current magazines in physicians' waiting rooms, and the typical insurance does not provide for private, or even semi-private rooms in a hospital.

You can stay where you are and complain. That, too, is a Jewish solution.


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