Turn to the Right

February 11, 2009

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No matter how you spin it, no matter how the mathematics of coalitions can be juggled, there is no doubt that Israel has taken a significant turn to the right in these elections. Even those who thought that a lead for Kadima party would bring about the automatic coronation of Tzipi Livni as Prime Minister, can’t ignore that the creation of a coalition (Yitzhak Rabin called it a ‘Go’alitzia’ – a delightful combination of the Hebrew for ‘coalition’ and ‘disgust’) will be easier the further right one pulls.

This rightward trend comes at a time when the Jewish world’s largest community outside of Israel – the United States – has shifted left. Obama’s support among Jews, and particularly among younger Jews, was more than statistically impressive: It was a phenomenon.

So a left-leaning Jewish community in the United States will now need to come to terms with a right-wing Israel. The standard stance of Jews organized and unaffiliated alike has been to remain neutral on Israeli politics. Will the current ideological disconnect be too much? An Israeli left-winger may mourn the election results but remain committed to the welfare of Israel. But a left-wing Jew in North America?

Will US Jews start turning their back on Israel?

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