Are Prominent Israelis Dragging American Jews into Civil War?

Events in Israel often gives rise to passionate debates that echo beyond its borders. Central to this discourse are figures like Daniel Gordis, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Matti Friedman—Israelis who have gained significant recognition among American Jews. Their recent advocacy for an intervention in Israeli judicial reform by American Jews, in the form of open letters to American Jews, however, mark a noteworthy departure from the traditional notion that domestic issues in Israel should be decided by people living there.

As Prime Minister Netanyahu is set to speak at the UN in New York during an unprecedented political crisis in Israel, here are some questions for Gordis, Halevi, Friedman and the anti-Judicial reform protesters in Israel and America:

  • Do you think engaging in a negative public campaign against Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at the UN–the most antisemitic institution, perhaps, in the world– in New York is wise? Is it smart to publicly trash your government in this context, when it will already be libeled by the worst dictators and Jew haters in the world? Aren’t you fanning the flames of Israel hatred on the world stage? Are you comfortable leveraging Israel’s already disproportionate negative image around the world to settle a domestic political squabble? Aren’t you just airing your dirty laundry?

  • How are your actions different from anti-Israel economic boycotts, such as BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) — movements that seek to undermine the legitimacy of Israel? You are urging people not to meet with–or boycott– Prime Minister Netanyahu. Your allies are threatening to pull investments from Israel–or divest money. Please explain.

  • You claim to lionize “democracy.” But have you accepted the Israeli election that put Netanyahu and his government in power? Do they have the right to govern? Instead of condemning the government around the world, undermining and delegitimizing the elected government, why don’t you organize and rally for the next election and try to win at the ballot box. Wouldn’t that be democracy?

  • Are you comfortable with IDF soldiers deserting their posts to support your cause? If the roles were reversed, and the Israeli left was in power, would you be OK with right wing soldiers deserting their posts to protest your policies?

In an era where international perceptions play a vital role in the politics and prosperity of nations, the role of influential voices like Gordis, Halevi, and Friedman cannot be underestimated. Their call for American Jews to intervene in Israel’s domestic politics raises profound questions about the intersection of international advocacy and internal democratic processes. While they and their supporters may see their actions as a principled stand on a crucial issue, critics argue that it is an inappropriate meddling in internal affairs and risks casting Israel in a negative light on the global stage.


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