Jewish Americans see relations with Israel 'at lowest point'

Relations between the two largest Jewish communities in the world is "at the lowest point since the state of Israel was established," due to how the Israeli side deals with the Arab-Israeli conflict.

December 18, 2018 09:15
1 minute read.
Israel US flags

Israel US flags. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Jewish-American leaders warned top officials from the delegation of 'Gesher' and Ministry of Diaspora Affairs that "relations between Israel and US Jewry are at their lowest point since the state of Israel was established."

The causes are the actions taken by the Israeli government when dealing with the Palestinian issue, the leadership of US President Donald Trump and Diaspora Jews.

Eric Goldstein, CEO of the UJA-Federation of New York, said that two main issues distance American-Jews from supporting Israel: the strong support shown to the Trump administration by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the actions taken by the Netanyahu administration in regard to the Palestinian issue.

"People who, up until three years ago, were the biggest supporters of Israel now say to us they want to throw up their hands, that all of their love and labor on behalf of Israel went down the drain," Goldstein said, adding his office gets daily phone calls  from donors who stipulate their donation money is not to be invested in Israel.

"When they see how Palestinians are treated, how asylum seekers are treated and how the Israeli Rabbinical Court has a monopoly [on Jewish practice in Israel] they say what we have here is a far reaching cultural gap which makes them feel very put-off so they choose to disengage," he said.

Naftali Bennett is wrong when he says Jewish Americans' 'coldness' to Israel is unrelated to what Israel does, he said, "actions taken by [the Israeli] government have a decisive role in shaping our attitude to Israel."

Goldstein added that he believes Bennett, the son of Jewish-American parents from San-Fransisco, "wants to improve the situation."

Goldstein was the only one among the Jewish-American leaders who agreed to speak on record, yet the others who took part in the meeting expressed similar views.

the sister publication of the Jerusalem Post, learned that official Israeli representatives avoid meeting J-Street officials, including Israeli ambassador to the U.S Ron Dermer who, a J-Street official claimed, "hasn't up our phone calls for the last two years."

This article was translated from Maariv.

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