|Israel's friends in the Seattle, Washington, branch of the|
Jewish Voice for Peace [Image Source]
Beyond the news coverage, many Israelis as well as friends of Israel are aghast at the reports of anti-Israel and pro-Hamas events on the streets of cities throughout the Western world, frequently characterized by overt Jew-hating messages.
Shmuel Rosner, an astute observer whose writing we have long admired, is a Contributing Op-Ed writer at the New York Times, as well as being the political editor at The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles and a fellow at The Jewish People Policy Institute. The op ed below is carried in Friday's paper edition of the International New York Times where we first saw it, as well as on page A23 of the August 8, 2014 edition of the New York edition of the NY Times.
Israel’s Fair-Weather Fans
By SHMUEL ROSNER
August 7, 2014 | New York Times
TEL AVIV — The Israeli song “Ein Li Eretz Acheret” is a curious tune. “I have no other country,” go the lyrics, “even if my land is on fire.” It’s hard to find a Jewish Israeli who doesn’t identify with it. Lefty Israelis interpret it as a protest song. It was sung at demonstrations against the 1982 Lebanon War and vigils following the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Israelis on the right interpret it as a patriotic song about attachment to the land; they sang it after terrorist attacks and during the 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
I was reminded of the song in recent days as I read a string of articles by smart, savvy, knowledgeable, non-Israeli Jews, who say that the brutal war in Gaza has made them question their Zionism. What unites these writers, of course, is that all of them do have another country. And that’s why, when push comes to shove, the Israeli government doesn’t - and shouldn’t - listen to them. These writers aren’t all cut from the same cloth, but their arguments are similar. There’s a heart-warming side to their articles; they are all clearly concerned about Israel. “I care about Israel personally, rather than abstractly,” the American journalist Ezra Klein wrote in Vox. On the other hand, they are disappointed, sometimes horrified, by an Israel for which they still care, but not as much as they used to. Roger Cohen, writing in these pages, argued that current Israeli policies are a “betrayal of the Zionism in which I still believe.” Their conclusions are also similar: They are “less sympathetic” to Israel than before, as Jonathan Chait put it in New York magazine.