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2018 Annual Assessment

The following chart summarizes developments in 2017-2018 that either strengthened or weakened relations between Jewish communities around the world – with an emphasis on Israel-Diaspora relations. It goes without saying that troubled relations between Israel and Jews elsewhere, especially the United States, have negative implications in other spheres, including geopolitics and material resources.

The Jewish-relations dynamic of 2017-2018 was not much different from that of the preceding year.

Long-term trends identified in earlier years still prevail in the Jewish world and in Israel. Last year witnessed several important developments, the two most notable of which were: 1. Stronger ties to the Trump administration, epitomized by the embassy move to Jerusalem and its withdrawal from the JCPOA; 2. The harsh criticism directed at Israel by Jews due to Israel’s policy on African asylum seekers and, to a lesser degree, its policy on Gaza, and lately the Nation State Law.

These developments had a certain impact on the Israel-Diaspora relationship dynamic, especially between Israel and American Jewry, putting the relationship under increasing strain. For this reason we place the needle between “Stable” and “Problematic.”

Developments that strengthen relations Developments that weaken relations
1 The growing political power enjoyed by the U.S. Orthodox community, whose relations with Israel (and with the Trump administration) are robust. American political polarization is forcing Jews to choose a side – at a time when Democratic Party supporters seem to be distancing themselves
from Israel.
2 Developments in the security sphere (Iran, Gaza) motivate and encourage Jewish support for Israel. Aggressive Israeli security policy (especially in Gaza) makes liberal Jews uncomfortable.
3 The 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding constitutes an educational and emotional opportunity for forging and strengthening ties. Israeli political developments are a source of worry formany Jews. The main concerns this year are: policy toward asylum-seekers, legislation relating to the High Court of Justice and the Nation State Law.
4 Israel’s continued achievement and innovation in a variety of fields (especially high-tech) foster a positive image among Jews. Demographic trends in Israel and the Diaspora remain unchanged, also deepening the differences between the two communities, especially due to mixed marriages.
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