A Jew By Any Other Name Is A Jew

Avirana Golan, writing in Haaretz, notes a growing distance between the reality that exists for Jews outside of Israel as contrasted with those living inside. She is particularly incensed by the Knesset which is termed, “the people who have done the greatest damage to Israel society since the founding of the state.” Beside the racist ranting of people like Avigdor Lieberman whose comments about Palestinians hardly resonate with American Jews, the latest attempt to place control over conversion into the hands of the Chief Rabbinate will infuriate the vast majority of American Jews as well as those in European nations. Right wing religious parties in Israel apparently have no understanding about marriage rates among Jews in America and Europe which reveal at least 40% marry a Christian. Inside Israel, conservative forces such as the Chief Rabbinate make it difficult for people to convert and are hostile to marriages between Jews and non-Jews. Statistically, if Israel seeks to make difficult conversions or marriage with non-Jews difficult, it will doom its relations with American Jewry. The number of children whose parents are Jewish and Christian will not feel connected to a society which regards them as not being Jewish.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to ally himself with the religious right in order to maintain power. His allies may assist him in the quest for power, but they hinder any effort to secure peace with Palestinians. How do these right wing fanatics think American Jews react to pictures and stories of Palestinian homes being destroyed in order to make way for Jewish homes? Netanyahu may win a few battles, but he is losing the war to secure support from American, French, English and other Jews in the world.