Israeli Anger Over American Interference

Israelis seem to get very angry at the influence of American Jews in Israeli politics.

I have a few thoughts on this, none of which reflect well on Israelis.

One. You don’t get mad at something that is insignificant.

If American Jews did not have a significant influence on Israeli politics, Israelis would not be so angry.

Two. Without the influence of American Jews, there never would’ve been an Israel.

The tiny democracy would not last six months without the money and influence of American Jews.

Israelis resent this. They depend on American Jewish influence and money for survival yet want this aid without strings attached.

No aid comes without conditions.

Israelis, in this respect, are like teenagers. They depend on mom and dad for survival yet simultaneously wish to ignore them.

If you want world Jewry to feel a stake in the Jewish state, then you can’t expect them to completely butt out when it comes to Israeli politics.

If you want mom and dad to fund your life, you can’t expect them not to try to influence it.

At the same time Israelis protest foreign influence, they loudly proclaim that no non-Israeli can have any influence on Israeli politics. "Unless you’re a citizen, you don’t count" they say.

Well, if we don’t count, why are they getting so angry?

Obviously we do count.

How can non-Israelis influence Israeli politics?

There are principally two ways — through money and good ideas. If an idea is good, it doesn’t matter where it comes from.

I hope the influence of money does not need to be explained. Both of Israel’s major political parties (Likud and Labor) depend heavily on the election expertise of foreigners, principally Americans. Money funds thinktanks which often produce powerful ideas. Money funds media which influences people. Money funds yeshivas which shape minds.

In principal, I believe that Israeli security questions should be settled by Israelis, but you can’t wield a flaming sword to keep out the ideas and influence of non-Israelis. Truth is truth irrespective of the source. For instance, regarding the Oslo peace accords, the majority of Israelis were wrong in embracing them and American skeptics such as former Commentary magazine editor Norman Podhoretz were right.

Perhaps this insularity that Israelis say they seek is an example of why all those who can best explain Judaism to the world come from the diaspora and why the Babylonian Talmud is the one that most Jews study, not the Jerusalem Talmud.

Judaism stinks in Israel (it also shines in places). It’s a corrupt rotting thing. Because it is funded and powered by the state, it doesn’t worry much about winning hearts and minds.

Gadi Pickholz writes:

Luke:

No wonder the Rabbanut revoked your conversion. I am constantly amazed at the ignorance about basic aspects of history and halacha in some of your comments, and would have expected them covered in much more detail during a conversion process, even by the RCC.

Israel is a sovereign nation. This is not the local shtetl, or a bunch of Jews living together in some American suburb under the umbrella of a sovereign state. It is now a sixty year old sovereign nation. To paraphrase the Hebrew verse "Toda al HaKol, v’Shalom", thanks for all your efforts, and goodbye. What is occurring here is not American Jews throwing around their money on another Mission to Spend Bucks, this is absolute election fraud and violation of money laundering law. Repeatedly, and exclusively, committed by "frum" American leadership to further its influence in a sovereign state to which they have elected not to pledge their citizenship and allegiance, much less send a son to man a military post. There are very strict election and money laundering laws in the US, particularly as they apply to foreign nationals attempting to influence American presidential elections. Your refusal to recognize the balance in that equation is most perplexing, and indicative of denial on both your part and that of your readership. The American frum community has become an absolute plague of money laundering to phoney yeshivot, envelopes to major candidates on the right and center, and a real embarrassment to any shomrei mitzvot citizens of Israel. The refusal of the American community to even recognize and concede the problem is but another in the long line of denial of behaviors within the American frum community, from sexual abuse to rabbinic malpractice — but here they are not occurring within the confines of the frum bubble community in America, but directly effecting a sovereign state.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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