Israeli journalist highlights growing rift between American Jews and Netanyahu regime
The senior editor of Haaretz.com, Bradley Burston, has written a provocative blog post asking: "Will 2013 be the year American Jews secede from Israel?"
Burston is a veteran Israeli journalist, former combat medic in the Israel Defence Forces, and native of Los Angeles.
He writes that the Benjamin Netanyahu government's relationship with U.S. Jews has been strained by the Likud-Beiteinu party's support for settlements and its "backhanded insensitivity to the rights and ritual of non-Orthodox Jews".
Burston notes that there have been "continuing arrests for violating Orthodox-ordered prohibitions on women praying aloud and wearing prayer shawls by the Western Wall".
He also points out that one of Likud-Beiteinu's candidates, Yair Shamir—son of former prime minister Yitzakh Shamir—condemned the appointment of John Kerry as secretary of state. Shamir cited his hostility to Israel building "thousands of apartments" in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Burston concludes by writing that U.S. Jews are have had enough with the notion that opposing Israeli policies necessarily puts people in danger.
"Blackmail is not persuasion," he states. "If the hard right is so certain that it can get along without American Jewish support, it may all too soon get the chance to find out."