What will be news for the Jews in 2019?

Religion News Service | 1/2/2019 | Staff
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Almost 2,000 years ago, the Jewish sages said: “Ever since the destruction of the Temple, prophecy has been taken from the wise and given to children and fools.”

Since I am neither a child nor a fool (OK, perhaps a fool), I know that prophecy and prediction is a very dicey game.

Trends - World

Nevertheless, I expect that these trends in the Jewish world will continue in 2019.

First: Jews and American politics. Many American Jews see elements of the Democratic Party moving further to the left on Israel. They are moving from criticizing Israeli policies, to flirtations with the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, to outright demonization of Israel itself.

Jews - Elements - Republican - Party - Right

Many American Jews also see elements of the Republican Party that are moving further to the right on the domestic policy — wandering into nativist, anti-immigrant and, frankly, anti-Semitic territory. Oddly, ironically and tellingly, some of those Republicans are still fervently pro-Israel. They see in the Netanyahu government a mirror of their own xenophobic, authoritarian and hyper-nationalist tendencies.

Therefore, the two major political parties are toying with issues and values that American Jews venerate: the state of Israel and liberalism. Can those two values continue to coexist? Must American Jews choose between their love of Israel and their commitment to liberalism?

Center-left - Allegiances - Israel - Minds - Standards

Those on the center-left are increasingly saying: no, those two allegiances can no longer coexist. Israel has failed, in their minds, to live up to the liberal standards that have nourished American Jewry. Therefore, it is time for a parting of the ways.

But most American Jews will not find that convincing. They will want to continue to hold onto both values. And they should.

Prediction - Jews - Jews - Allegiance - Party

Prediction: American Jews will increasingly find themselves to be politically homeless. I predict that most American Jews will continue their historic allegiance to the Democratic Party. They will say that Israel is...
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