Our Sep­a­rate Ways

Dana H. Allin and Steven N. Simon
  • From the Publisher
May 3, 2016

Pow­er­ful demo­graph­ic, cul­tur­al, and strate­gic cur­rents in Israel and the Unit­ed States are dri­ving the two coun­tries apart. In Amer­i­ca, the once-sol­id pro-Israel con­sen­sus is being cor­rod­ed by par­ti­san ran­cor: a deep­en­ing divide between con­ser­v­a­tive Jews who fer­vent­ly sup­port the Jew­ish state and the more lib­er­al, more ambiva­lent, Jew­ish major­i­ty. In Israel, sur­veys of young Jew­ish cit­i­zens reveal a pref­er­ence for right-of-cen­ter par­ties, a dis­dain for democ­ra­cy, and, in some cas­es, a readi­ness to curb the civ­il lib­er­ties of non-Jews. Prospects for pre­serv­ing a lib­er­al Zion­ism against the pres­sures for Greater Israel” are dim­ming as hopes for a two-state solu­tion fade.

The ten­sions between Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma and Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Netanyahu have been symp­toms, not caus­es, of the deep­er cri­sis. In the com­ing years, the alliance risks devolv­ing into noth­ing more than a trans­ac­tion­al part­ner­ship — a far cry from the moral, emo­tion­al, and large­ly intan­gi­ble bonds that have long tied the two coun­tries togeth­er. Now, unless this part­ner­ship can restore the shared vision that cre­at­ed it, it will become a ves­sel adrift.

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