Redacted from a more inclusive article by Caroline Glick
July 9, 2018
Since President Donald Trump entered the White House, hardly a day has gone by without Israel receiving a warning from a Democratic politician or a liberal American Jewish leader that it had better curb its enthusiasm and be reticent in its support for Trump and his policies.
The partisan split is clear. A Pew survey of American support for Israel in January noted a great and growing gap in partisan support for the Jewish state. 79 percent of Republicans support Israel against the Palestinians. Only 27 percent of Democrats do.
The latest warning came this week. Ambassador Dennis Ross, the former U.S. mediator for the peace talks between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), told the Jerusalem Post that Israel needs to watch out.
“Given the strong opposition by Democrats to Trump,” Ross warned, “Israel risks getting caught up in that conflict,” he told the Post.
“There will be a post-Trump U.S. … Israel risks a backlash because the Trump administration has caused such deep alienation among Democrats, so it’s very important that there is outreach by Israel to Democrats.”
Ross also had advice for what Israelis should talk about when they talk to Americans. Israelis, he said, should avoid talking about shared values and visions of the world. Instead, they should focus their discussions with Americans on both sides of the aisle on security issues and regional Middle East topics.
Ross’s warning that Israelis should avoid speaking to Americans about shared values points to the core of Israel’s problem with Democrats — and, increasingly, with the American Jewish community which splits two-to-one in support for Democrats over Republicans.
(Dennis Ross is for Dennis Ross and does not give a damn about Israel. He does and says only what will help his political career. He still has great ambitions to be back calling the shots in the American State Dept. Ross was an anti-Israel force in the Senior Bush and Bill Clinton’s State Department along with other self-hating Jews – Martin Indyk, Aaron Miller, Richard Haase and of course, Madeleine Albright. Their supposed “assistance” all but brought Israel to its knees with their various “peace plans” that continue to this very day.
Ross was described as a “Jewish Arabist” in an article in Moment magazine (April 1991) by former Near East Report editor Eric Rozenman. He wrote that Ross was responsible for shaping the Bush-Baker policy that was “indifferent to what Israel claimed as vital interests and undiplomatically hostile to Israel’s prime minister” and had made it “the least sympathetic American government toward Israel in that country’s 43 years.”
Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir has said in his dealings with Ross, that Ross was consistently more sympathetic to Arab positions than Israel’s positions. ) Jerome S. Kaufman
Why the concern for UNRWA?
On Monday, seven former US ambassadors to the UN sent a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisting that the administration restore full funding to UNRWA, the UN agency that funds so-called Palestinian refugees.
Since UNRWA was established in 1949, the US has given nearly $5 billion to the agency tasked with perpetuating refugee status among descendants of Arabs who left Israel in the 1948-1949 pan-Arab invasion.
In January, then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson informed the UN that the US was slashing its assistance to UNRWA by 50%, from $260 million to $130 million. At the time, citing UNRWA’s support for terrorism and economic corruption, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley recommended ending US financial assistance for the agency outright.
Both Israel and the U.S. are states based on ideals and ideas rooted in the Bible. Jewish identity and attachment to the land of Israel, like Jewish survival through two thousand years of exile and homelessness, owe entirely to the faithfulness of Jewish people scattered throughout the world to the laws of Moses and to their national identity as the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This enduring attachment to Jewish law and heritage, and to national identity, is what brought millions of Jews to settle in the land of Israel both before and after the State of Israel was founded 70 years ago.
The Jews who have come to Israel from the four corners of the globe were not entering a foreign land as economic migrants. They were exiles returning home. Israel is not a nation of immigrants so much as a state populated by ingathered Jewish exiles.
The civic religion that emerged in the U.S. was inclusive to those who accepted its basic values and principles. Given that the social compacts of both Israel and the U.S. were forged by settlers informed by the Bible, it is little wonder that the two nations have always had a natural affinity for one another.
Which brings us back to Ross’s warning.
The problem that Israel now faces with the Democrats is that whereas Israelis have by and large remained faithful to their identity — and consequently, their nationalism, or Zionism — Democrats are increasingly becoming post-nationalist.
Consider the situation along Israel’s border with Syria.
For the past two weeks, as the Russian-Syrian-Iranian advance against rebel-held southwestern Syria has proceeded, some 270,000 Syrians have fled their homes in Deraa and Quneitra provinces. While the bulk of the displaced have fled to the Syrian-Jordanian border, several thousand have situated themselves along Syria’s border with Israel.
In Israel, there is all but consensual support for the government’s position, stated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his weekly cabinet meeting Sunday. Netanyahu said, “Regarding southern Syria, we will continue to defend our borders. We will extend humanitarian assistance to the extent of our abilities. We will not allow entry into our territory.” That is, Israelis are committed to being good neighbors to the Syrians.
Meretz, the Israeli far Left newspaper, represents only some 4 percent of the electorate, opposes the very notion of Jewish nationalism, or Zionism. It believes that Israel should open its doors – as a Jewish state – to refugees and others, including illegal economic migrants from Africa.
Meretz’s leader, Tamar Zandberg, knows that her party has no significant support domestically. And so she has focused a great deal of effort on building strong ties to Democrats and to progressive, anti-nationalist American Jewish groups to increase her party’s power and leverage in Israel.
The problem is that over the past twenty years or so, the American left has undergone a profound shift in values, from liberal nationalism to radical post-nationalism. This process, facilitated and accelerated during Barack Obama’s presidency, and expressed most emblematically in Democratic support for open borders, has made post-nationalism the sine qua non of the Democrats since Trump’s electoral triumph in 2016.
But the fact is that the Democrats’ shift in values from nationalist to post-nationalist, rather than any action Israel has taken in its domestic or foreign policy, is what has caused the rupture in Israel’s ties to the American left.