American Jews Overwhelmingly Support Israel in a War Imposed upon It by Genocidal Forces Seeking Its Destruction

(Wall Street Journal) Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch - Liberal Jewish voters consider President Biden a longtime friend. At the same time, they are troubled by the growing influence of anti-Israel forces in the Democratic Party. They view Mr. Biden's freeze on sending some weapons to Israel as evidence of capitulation to a radical fringe. American Jews overwhelmingly support Israel. Most consider the Jewish state an important component of their identity. They distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and hatred of the Jewish state. Contrary to the impression the media often gives, anti-Zionist Jews are few, a marginal part of the American Jewish community. Judaism hates war and American Jews share the world's concern for Palestinian civilians. Revenge is for God, not human beings. We are prohibited even to rejoice in the deaths of enemy combatants, let alone civilians. Still, most American Jews understand that the West's nearly exclusive focus on Palestinian casualties - the result of a war that Gaza's own government launched - distorts reality. This war was imposed on Israel by genocidal forces seeking its destruction. Oct. 7 revealed what is in store for Israel if these forces win. If Hamas defeats Israel, its Islamist supporters will come for us in Europe and America. Most Americans understand this and support Israel over Hamas by huge margins. Since Oct. 7, American Jews understand much better the nexus between anti-Zionism and antisemitism. With the explosion of antisemitism in America, it is clearer to us than ever why there must be an Israel. We now realize that in most cases anti-Zionism constitutes, or leads inevitably to, antisemitism. The writer is senior rabbi of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York.

2024-05-21 00:00:00

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