Swift change in attitudes on same-sex marriage portends swift change on… marriage to Israel

Israel/Palestine
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Do the attitudes we express on this site reflect a general American trend? Absolutely. Chemi Shalev in Haaretz writes that Israel’s image is swiftly changing among young cultural leaders, so fast it may not be possible to convince Americans to like Israel anymore. Note his analysis of the new generation of Americans who know Israel as the butcher of Gaza. And he calls American support for Israel that country’s number one asset. Oh the entitlement issues of the bully with a rich uncle.

Shalev begins by citing polling, then moves on to the inevitable disaffection with Israel among young liberal Democrats.

older, conservative and Republican Americans tend to prefer Israel over the Palestinians by overwhelming numbers, while younger, liberal and Democratic Americans are more ambivalent…. Thus, while Israel’s continues to enjoy substantial overall support in the American public, its weakest links are to be found among the groups that are now on the ascendant on most domestic and social issues of the day…

It is tempting, for example, to comfort oneself with the assumption that support for Israel comes with age, that young liberals who are now equivocating about the Jewish state will evolve over the years and become strong Israel-supporters, just like their elders. But that intuitive theory is rebuffed in a paper published earlier this year by Israel’s Institute of National Strategic Studies (INSS)…

“Generations seem to develop views toward Israel that guide their opinions throughout their lifetime,” the authors note. If that is true, then the so-called Millenials born after 1980, will maintain their tepid support for Israel throughout the coming decades as the Israel-backing Silent Generation and Baby Boomers slowly leave the stage…

…one cannot ignore the general global trend of liberal-leftist criticism of Israel – which, at its extreme, translates into a negation of its very right to exist. This is a trend that started after the Six Day War, was exacerbated during times of wars and intifadas, and is becoming permanently entrenched the longer that occupation and political stalemate continue. American Democrats, in fact, are far more supportive of Israel than most leftist or social democratic parties throughout the world, with the exception, perhaps, of Australia’s Labor Party. 

…Nonetheless, most current Israeli decision makers tend to view America’s intellectual and liberal elites – which include many American Jews – with same kind of distrust and disdain that they show toward Israelis of the same ilk. They increasingly respond to liberal criticisms with outright hostility that far-too-often and far-too-quickly degenerates into accusations of anti-Semitism. This dialogue of the deaf drives an ever-deepening wedge between Israel and the driving forces behind the liberal wave that seems to sweeping America in ever increasing intensity on issues ranging from gay marriage to legalization of marijuana. Ultimately, it may lead to a realignment of American attitudes toward Israel as well…

No one should be under any illusion, however, that the distance between Israel and the increasingly gay-backing, gun-hating, grass-smoking American population is anything less than a dangerous threat to its number one strategic asset, relations with the U.S. Given the speed in which American attitudes are changing on other issues, this danger may be lurking just around the corner.

I find Shalev’s bumptious tone in this piece amusing. Like, Oh those fickle Americans. Annie Robbins points out, in sending this piece along, “What’s driving this change is… the ideology of apartheid. Israel’s descent is in direct proportion to the rise of the internet; the more people know, the worse it gets.”

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