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Assimilation Is the Failure of American Jewry, Not Israel

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Unlike many Israelis, I believe that Jews in exile are entitled to intervene in Israel’s domestic affairs. Israel is the state of all Jews worldwide, and even if their criticism is sometimes absurd, it’s a testimony to the fact that they care. Caring, even if it’s expressed negatively, is better than alienation, withdrawal and assimilation. After all, withdrawal and assimilation are exilic Jewry’s chief existential problems, and therefore ours as well.

I intentionally used the loaded term “exile” instead of the more common term “diaspora.” The term “diaspora” gives an ideological seal of approval for Jews to live outside their homeland, even though the result has been mass assimilation. In the early 1960s, there were about six million Jews in the United States. Today, even with the “reinforcement” of hundreds of thousands of Jews who emigrated from Israel (as well as Jewish refugees from Russia and eastern Europe who preferred America to their homeland), the main U.S. Jewish organizations can........

© Haaretz