TIME: Viewpoint Why Fewer Young American Jews Share Their Parents' View of IsraelSubmitted by Bob-45 on Fri, 09/30/2011 - 09:57
Dana Goldstein Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011
"I'm trembling," my mother says when I tell her I'm working on an article about how younger and older American Jews are reacting differently to the Palestinians' bid for statehood at the United Nations. I understand the frustrations of the Palestinians who are dealing with ongoing Israeli settlement construction and sympathize with their decision to approach the U.N., but my mom supports President Obama's promise to wield the U.S. veto, sharing his view that a two-state solution can be achieved only through negotiations with Israel.
"This is so emotional," she says as we cautiously discuss our difference of opinion. "It makes me feel absolutely terrible when you stridently voice criticisms of Israel." (See pictures of the West Bank settlements.)
A lump of guilt and sadness rises in my throat. I've written harshly of Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 2006 and assault on Gaza in 2009, and on civil rights issues in Israel. But speaking my mind on these topics — a very Jewish thing to do — has never been easy. During my childhood in the New York suburbs, support for Israel was as fundamental a family tradition as voting Democratic or lighting the Shabbos candles on Friday night.