Prime Minister Netanyahu and PA President Abbas 311 (R).
(photo credit: Jason Reed / Reuters)
If one reviews the events of the past year and monitors opinion polls, it
becomes abundantly clear that despite the mantras chanted by the far Left
insisting that most Israelis and Jews are opposed to the policies of the current
Israeli government, the evidence on the ground suggests the
There is neither a groundswell of resentment against the
foreign policy and security policies of the Israeli government nor are there
indications suggesting that committed Diaspora Jews are becoming alienated from
the Jewish state.
In fact, it is undeniable that a far stronger consensus
prevails among Israelis in relation to the government’s approach toward the
Palestinians than at any time since the national schism was created in the wake
of the adoption of the Oslo Accords.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
has effectively charted a centrist course which is endorsed by most of the
nation. This amounts to an end of further radical concessions to the
Palestinians in the absence of genuine reciprocity and no additional unilateral
territorial withdrawals that could lead to a repetition of Sharon’s Gaza
disengagement, which merely emboldened the jihadists and provided them with
additional staging grounds from which to launch rockets and intensify
At the same time Netanyahu has repeatedly reiterated that in
the event of a Palestinian leadership committing to peaceful coexistence,
willing to compromise and recognize Israel’s security requirements, he would
make every endeavor to achieve an accommodation which would provide the
Palestinians with an independent state.
Israelis recognize that this will
necessitate a change in the current duplicitous Palestinian leadership which is
more committed to terminating Jewish sovereignty than achieving
Despite the appalling Israeli electoral system with its
multiple parties and the excessive leverage by small one-dimensional parties,
setting aside the extreme Left and Right and radical Arab parties, there are no
basic ideological differences on issues of foreign policy or security between
the leading political parties.
The histrionic media opposition from the
far Left is neither reflected in voting patterns nor in opinion polls. The
circulation and standing of its flagship newspaper, Haaretz, has plunged to an
all-time low. The reality is that although the trendy “progressive” politicians
and far-left academicians continue making headlines, in reality they have been
Nothing illustrates this more than the
humiliating defeat in the Kadima primaries of former leader Tzipi Livni, which
was unquestionably linked to her mindless and destructive opposition to every
aspect of the government’s foreign policy and her vitriolic personal attacks on
the prime minister. In contrast, her successor Shaul Mofaz is somewhat more
circumspect in his criticism on foreign affairs and announced that he intends to
primarily direct his efforts toward opposing the government on economic issues.
Unlike Livni, he made it clear that after the next elections he would be open to
joining a broader coalition.
The same applies to the Labor Party, which
to some extent had been hijacked by extremists from the far Left. Today, leader
Shelly Yacimovich is more selective than her predecessors in criticizing
security policies, and while opposed to settlements has deliberately distanced
the party from its former leaders who engaged in demonizing settlers.
can point to similar trends among Diaspora Jewry. As was always the case,
assimilated Jews are less likely to display strong emotional ties with Jewish
affairs and are inclined to be more aloof from Israel. But the repeated
assertions that committed Jews and especially younger people are distancing and
even divorcing themselves from Israel have no basis in reality.
generation which witnessed the Holocaust and the struggle for the creation of a
Jewish state is being replaced by Jews who take Israel for granted. They cannot
identify with the pre-state Jewish powerlessness and do not experience the fears
for the security of Israel endured by their antecedents. But today’s committed
Diaspora Jews have certainly not turned against of Israel.
When J Street
appeared on the scene two years ago, the left-liberal media hailed it as the
wave of the future, claiming that its “progressive,” “liberal” and “pro-peace”
approach was far more representative of American Jews than the established
leadership. Yet it made little headway and to this day continues to represent
the hard-core far-left and only attracts naïve, even well-intentioned, fellow
J Street’s boastful predictions about supplanting AIPAC turned
out to be pathetic.
Indeed the most recent AIPAC conference confirmed the
strengthening support for Israel throughout the Jewish
Moreover the desperate efforts by the US administration –
initially seen to be supportive of J Street – to ultimately distance themselves
and curry favor with AIPAC, speaks for itself.
Peter Beinart, hailed as
the darling of the left-liberal establishment, whose frenzied attacks on Israel
received extraordinary coverage in the media, also disappointed supporters of
the anti-Israeli Left by obtaining only miniscule support from the Jewish
Indeed his much heralded book was panned by virtually every
Jewish reviewer and his call for a boycott of settlements was condemned by all,
other than the extreme Left. Even J Street was obliged to distance itself from
him in relation to this issue.
Indeed if one observes developments in the
Diaspora and monitors Jewish public opinion polls, especially in the US, it is
clear that there is a solid sense of loyalty for Israel among Jews who
understand the realities on the ground. They display support for the current
Israeli efforts to achieve security in a region in which it is the intransigent
Palestinians who undermine prospects for peace and make a short-term realization
of a two-state policy virtually impossible.
This was reaffirmed in the
results of a recent poll conducted by supporters of President Barack Obama
designed to understate the role of Israel as a factor determining how American
Jews vote. But even this poll recognized that 73 percent of all Jews – not
merely the committed ones – considered that Netanyahu, the bête noir of
left-liberals, represented “true Jewish values.”
We should not fall prey
to propaganda repeating false assertions that today Jews are less supportive of
the Jewish state. The reality is the opposite and that the overwhelming majority
of committed Jews continue to fervently support Israel. The only major change is
that they are no longer deluded by visions of a non-existent Arab peace partner.