Tuesday, September 22, 2009
David Newman writes an interesting column in today's Jerusalem Post in which he criticizes the American Jewish left for not supporting Obama's call for negotiations more loudly. The article brings up an interesting dynamic, that between American progressive Jews and Israeli progressive Jews. At present the Israeli left has very little if any political clout in Israel, and the rise of the American progressive left has not been paralleled in Israel. However, it should go without saying that it will take broad agreement between the two groups in order to create lasting and meaningful change inside Israel. As the left regains traction in Israel, it will be interesting to see how the two groups relate to each other. Traditionally the left in Israel has pandered to its base ideological constituency, as is the trend in Israeli parliamentary politics. In contrast, liberal Jewish powerhouses like the RAC and J Street tend to take the more American-style progressive centerist approach. However, accusations of both elitism and being out of touch have been thrown at both communities. This is an interesting story to keep an eye on.