I. Current Israeli Attitudes Towards American Jews

The relations between Israeli and American Jews are based on the premise of a common peoplehood and the realities of profoundly distinct social, political and cultural configurations. The sources of common peoplehood include shared religion and common cultural and historical memories. While the two communities consist of Jews with roots in Europe and in non-European countries, including the Arab Middle East and North Africa, both the American Jewish experience and the Israeli Zionist enterprise were originally shared by European Jewish and non-Jewish ideas and traditions. With the passage of time, this European legacy has been losing much of its earlier grip as the respective local historical, social and political circumstances of Israel and America have been reinforcing discontinuities and eclipsing the shared past. These discontinuities between the two forms of contemporary Jewish life have increased over time, thus constantly altering the contexts and terms of their interactions.

The following discussion aims at discerning and clarifying some of these new developments and their implications.