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I would buy the book that answers a question that I have been struggling with for a long time.In the coming elections, Israelis are presented with two distinct political/culture/religious camps to choose from. As Yair Lapid calls it, “the future vs the past.”

In broad terms, one represents uncompromising Jewish identity, the centrality of the land of Israel. and “traditional (Jewish) family values.”


The other camp is represented by mostly secular and anti-religious Jews and their anti-Israel Arab allies whose worldview is not affected by a Jewish past.I understand the anti Israel Arabs. I also understand Jews who have become estranged from their faith and People for lack of Jewish education .Their Jewish identity has weakened and has been replaced with the “progressive”, post – Zionist / Jewish narrative which surrounds them.

I am especially curious about those religious Western Jews who attend my synagogue who will vote Left. After all, they made the decision to leave the “progressive” assimilationist West for something far different: a particularistic Jewish state and specifically Jewish land.Having decided to immigrate to the (embattled) Jewish land, they still feel a need to “understand” the enemy who claims that very land These Western “Olim” disdain other Jews who unapologetically and uncompromisingly love and defend it

The latter are impatiently scorned as racists ; however the Arabs must be approached with patience and conciliation in the hope that they will change their attitude towards Jews and the Jewish state.This situation is not unique to Jews in Israel.The well known psychological malaise of Jews in the West was best witnessed in the tragic history of Jews in Germany; apologizing for their enemies and despising those who are “too Jewish” is not a new phenomenon.

It is natural spiritual damage incurred in a people who for too long w detached from their land and history and made to feel like unwanted guests.

The same torn souls brought the Exile psychosis to the “New World” as its elf-destructiveness descends towards the oblivion of the Jewish community before our eyes.The question is why would Jews who identify with “progressiveness”, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, etc., move to the most particularistic country in the world where by definition is not any of the above?I asked one of them, why do some Jews from the West identify with the Left in Israel? He said that he was “raised on Jefferson and Lincoln”.

I asked him to explain. He said something about “uniting and understanding”. And asked that we not discuss politics. That is about as far as I get when I dare ask.I don’t think they made “Aliyah” to consciously remake their adopted Jewish state and reproduce the “Progressive” Jewish ghetto from whence they came.Why did they make Aliyah?I think that these people remain confused Jews in the Jewish homeland as others were in Germany and the New World.

On one hand they are not able to relinquish their progressive identity and on the other, the “Jewish spark” within them draws them to the ancestral homeland and their people even as this spark is now gone in most of world Jewry.

Perhaps it can be compared to a an inner instinct directs migrating birds. The “pintele Yid” calls out.People, and more so Jews, are more complicated than birds and so I am still waiting for the book that will help me understand some of my fellow immigrants who attend my shul who will vote for the post Jewish and anti Israel coalition next week.Or perhaps I answered my own question and I should write the book?


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Shalom Pollack, a veteran Israeli tour guide, served in the Israeli Navy and lectures on the Mideast.