After Mitt Romney’s fundraiser at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem on July 30, I met Marc Zell, an American-born settler living in Tekoa in the occupied territories who had attended the event and was “high,” he said, from meeting the candidate for the first time. Zell is most famous in the U.S. for formerly being the law partner of neoconservative Doug Feith, who served in the Bush administration.
Zell told me that American Jews must alert other Jews to the threat Barack Obama poses by failing to counteract the global “delegitimization” of Israel. I challenged him on this point and he agreed to discuss Jewish identity with me.
In the conversation above, he says that he moved to the occupied territories because of concerns about American Jewish identity. “We need to be separate,” he said. Rather than allow our identities to become “diluted” in America, we need to maintain a “separate stream.” The world is “hostile” to Jewish values, Zell went on, Iran intends to destroy Jews; and Israel’s Palestinian and Arab neighbors “don’t want us here” and will seize the opportunity to “drive us out.”
All this in spite of the fact that the “miracle” of Israel has fostered Palestinian growth, he said. Why then the hue and cry about Palestinian conditions? Because, he said, Arabs only want to live with Jews if Jews are second-class citizens…