Article Library / Structured Jewish World Dialogue

Jewish Values and Israel’s Use of Force in Armed Conflict: Perspectives from World Jewry

It is difficult to decipher the effect of Israel’s wars on Diaspora Jews’ Israel attachment. On one hand, data reveals that World Jewry has traditionally supported Israel in wartime; but on the other, many Jews warn that Israel is losing the support of young Jews as a result of the continuing clashes.

In this year’s Dialogue process, which dealt with a subject that clearly touches upon questions of security, many participants argued that Israel must also take their positions into account. In the participant survey, however, a substantial group maintained that, “Israel needs to wage its wars without considering the positions of Jews who live outside of Israel.”162 But a more complex position was voiced in the discussions, supported by the rationale that Israel should consider the positions of Jews around the world because its actions affects Diaspora Jews. Participants were more conscious of this effect this year than in the past, due to rising European anti-Semitism, and the harsh atmosphere regarding Israel on several American campuses.

During the discussions this effect was divided into two main fields:

1. The manner in which Israel’s actions influence the attachment of Diaspora Jews to Israel.
2. The manner in which Israel’s actions impact Diaspora Jews within their surroundings.