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Are the Clouds Thickening?

“I went down Virginia, Seeking shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow.
Five year plans and new deals, Wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder, Still I wonder Who’ll stop the rain.”
“Who’ll Stop the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Daniel Gordis weighs in on Israel-Diaspora relations here.

So instead of circling our wagons, seeking to convince ourselves that it’s not really raining and that there are only a few clouds in the sky, I propose that we ask ourselves a few basic questions: (1) Do we believe that the future of the Jewish people depends on what happens to Israel? (2) Do we believe that Israel can survive without strong and consistent support from the American Jewish community? (3) Given today’s younger generation, does a serious problem loom? (4) If we are facing a challenge, how did it arise? (5) And perhaps most importantly, what should be done?

This will be no simple battle. But as Joshua said to the angel (Joshua 5:13), you are either with us or against us. Left versus Right, or Orthodox versus Reform are now secondary issues. What matters now is whether or not each individual, organization, movement, etc. sees defense of Israel’s absolute right to exist as a Jewish state as its foremost responsibility. Let all our differences abide. But let both leftists and hard-liners understand that today, they are not opponents, but rather partners, assuming that both are committed to Israel’s survival and to making the case for that survival day in and day out. The rest we can deal with down the road. For the moment, especially when any substantive chance for a peace deal seems remote, changing the Jewish conversation about Israel, and then the international conversation, is what matters most.

One Response to “Are the Clouds Thickening?”

  1. 1

    I guess the question is how is disagreement between Jews about policy, say on Gaza, classified. Does disagreeing with Israel entering Gaza or expanding settlements threaten Israel’s right to exist? Does making some American support contingent on those policies then become a greater threat? We have to agree what the bounds of supporting right to exist are.

    J Street believes its support for Israel’s existence is unconditional, but its opponents would disagree. Personally I think we have to settle this definitional issue first, because if we don’t we will continue to shout past each other.




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