Best Of The Web
“Benjamin Netanyahu’s main opponents have tried to use an unusual weapon against the longtime prime minister ahead of a defining Israeli election set for Tuesday: They’ve argued that he has damaged the relationship between Israel and diaspora Jews.
For some American Jews, the strong alliance between Netanyahu and Donald Trump of the past few years has added stress to their relationship with Israel, which has become especially fraught in the years since the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the early 2000s. While some Jews in the U.S. appreciate Trump’s positions on Israel, many detest the American president’s domestic politics and believe that he has enabled anti-Semitism and xenophobia. And while segments of the self-identified pro-Israel community in the U.S. resolutely support anything that the Israeli prime minister does, some have been wary of Netanyahu’s alliance with right-wing forces, and disappointed by what they see as his failure to facilitate religious pluralism. Tuesday’s major election in Israel marks a high point of strain in the relationship between at least some American Jews and Israel, which has changed radically in the past generation.
To understand the American Jewish relationship with Israel, it’s helpful to divide American Jews into three rough categories. On the right lies the self-described pro-Israel crowd, many of whom are Republicans, and many of whom are deeply religious. For the most part, this group would cheer another round of Netanyahu. Among modern-Orthodox Jews, for example, “the relationship is incredibly strong—it’s as strong as ever,” Nathan Diament, the executive director of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, told me. Part of this connection is sociological; these Jews often travel to Israel, have family there, and send their children there to study. Some in this group don’t believe it’s their place to criticize Israeli policy. “We should be deferential to the decisions that the democratically elected leaders in Israel make about Israel’s security,” Diament said. “They’re the ones whose lives are on the line, and they’re the ones whose kids are serving in the [Israel Defense Forces].””
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The results were surprising. The center-right coalition, led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, remained in power against the opposition Labor party, which had led in every poll for years."
"Anger seldom works against Trump; he owns the currency and can always issue more of it. In addressing the rogue President directly, or speaking about him in the third person, Pelosi usually adopts a tone that is more sorrowful than angry..."
"I am Mizrahi, as are the majority of Jews in Israel today. We are of Middle Eastern and North African descent. Only about 30% of Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi, or the descendants of European Jews."
"Kids are exposed to plenty of controversial social issues on a daily basis. And if parents don’t want their kids to watch “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” they can turn off the TV."
"Are public-school teachers really underpaid? It’s a claim often made during teacher pay disputes, but the same data and statistical methods that produce the “teacher salary gap” lead to some ridiculous conclusions..."
"Tech companies are getting into the business of making cities. We need to stop Silicon Valley social engineering before things get even worse."
"Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life: Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government."
"“What name . . . shall we give to the darkness of hell...?” The question of how we can name a place such as this is at the center of scholar Scott G. Bruce’s new anthology The Penguin Book of Hell."
"She had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van. To get the kids a quick snack, Curry parked in front of the Cobbler’s Café."
"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said they grew up typically eating dinner at a kitchen table, but a little less than half said they do so now when eating at home."
"If you tied a rope tight around the Earth’s equator and then added a single yard of slack, would the extra material make any noticeable difference to someone standing on the ground?"
"While American Jewish women face attacks on our freedom and rising anti-Semitism, abortion opponents are appropriating Jewish history in order to push an agenda that hurts women."