A few months ago a Los Angeles organization called the Israeli American Council with the initial collaboration of the Israeli Embassy in Washington asked a question “which country American Jews would side with in case of a serious confrontation between Israel and the United States”. That’s a wrong question which cannot lead to a right answer. This question is a wrong one since it is based on the assumption that something wrong with the double loyalty. Contrary to this assumption, the double loyalty is a positive human trait which creates a moral dilemma the resolution of which moves all of us to a better world.
Let’s see how it works in real life.
- The most famous biblical example of the dual loyalty was the Torah story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham had dual loyalty-love – to God and to his son Isaak. Abraham first decided to sacrifice his only son Isaak to demonstrate his unquestionable loyalty to God. However God prevented this and helped Abraham find a right answer, and this answer was to cherish the human life above all: the pagan era of human sacrifices ended and a better world of the value of human life above everything else began.
- In the USA, the most recent example of dual loyalty was the case of NSA employee/contractor Edward Snowden – the loyalty to the Constitution and the loyalty to his work secrecy rules. The Constitution is based on Torah-based moral principles while the work secrecy rules reflect a government desire to strengthen its power by spying on everybody. Snowden chose the loyalty to the Constitution over the loyalty to work secrecy rules, moving our country to a better world with less government intervention and more individual creative freedoms.
- One more example of dual loyalty in the USA – the loyalty to moral principles of our Judeo-Christian morality and the loyalty-respect to government laws frequently violating Judeo-Christian moral principles (for example, abortion regulations). How to manage this dual loyalty? The government has to stop legislating morality – the government should legislate protection of everybody’s right to practice his/her own morality, assuming of course the morality is practiced in a peaceful way, thus moving all of us to a better world with more spiritual freedoms.
- In the actions of US President Barak Obama we see dual loyalty consequences for the USA and the entire world – the loyalty to his inherited moral principles and the loyalty to different moral principles of the US Constitution. Barak Obama inherited moral principles of Islam from his Muslim father and Muslim education, and these moral principles are based on hostile relations with the infidels, and most of us in the USA and Israel are infidels in Islamic definition. In addition, Obama inherited moral principles of his anti-American church which he was a member for twenty years. As US president, Obama is supposed to be loyal to the US Constitution which requires him to be on the side of the “infidels” and be pro-American thus strengthening American influence in the world. However, in the view of many in the USA and Israel, Obama is doing something opposite that may harm both the USA and Israel. But that is not his fault – that is the fault of us the people who put him in a position of dual loyalty. We have to elect to positions of political responsibilities the people with proven Judeo-Christian moral principles thus moving our country to a better world.
- Dual loyalty to your sectarian Jewish institution and to the entire Jewish people is common in various Jewish communities. Many traditional orthodox communities are very loyal to their members and feel forced to be loyal to non-orthodox and even heretic Jewish non-believers – because all of them “were born to Jewish families”. The way to avoid the dual-loyalty discomfort in this case is to define a Torah-based Jewish identity based not on a set of uniformed rituals and prayers but rather on individual actions in the entire Judeo-Christian world aimed at making this world a Torah-defined better place for everybody.
- And now, about the dual loyalty of American Jews to the USA and Israel. At the core of the dual loyalty is a possible conflict between strategic interests of both countries. Strategic interests of any country are described in terms of GOOD and EVIL/BAD – the USA is trying to befriend countries which are considered GOOD for us and contest the countries which are considered EVIL/BAD. A dual-loyalty conflict may arise when GOOD and EVIL/BAD are defined by ambitious politicians in terms of their political inspiration and not by Judeo-Christian moral principles. Therefore, in order to avoid the confusion of dual loyalty the Jewish leaders in both countries have to work on defining the strategic interest of both countries based on Judeo-Christian fundamentals – not on political-party ideologies. The most important feature of the Judeo-Christian fundamentals is that we the humans are made in the image and likeness of God. The image of God is clearly defined in the Torah – God is the Creator, God is the unique individual and God is Eternal. Therefore the common strategic interests of the USA and Israel should be developed around joint creative actions (for example, in the area of energy and human-health developments), around strengthening unique individual exceptional characteristics of both countries and around creating eternal unity of the world – based on Judeo-Christian moral principles (that doesn’t mean religious conversion since many other religions cherish moral principles close to the Judeo-Christian ones). And that’s a truly effective way of making our world a better place.