Haviv Rettig Gur

Young Jews aren’t abandoning Israel

In case you missed it, Shmuel Rosner explains why we know young Jews aren’t “distancing” from Israel. Pass it on to Peter Beinart.

Steven Cohen, the father of “distancing” – a much talked about theory according to which young American Jews of the current generation are moving away from Israel – appeared two weeks ago before the Knesset Committee for Diaspora and Absorption, headed by MK Einat Wilf (you can watch him here. Note to readers: I’m speaking right after Cohen).


Cohen was measured. After much debate with colleagues, and among other scholars, he still believes that “distancing” is real. And the cause: Interfaith marriage. Cohen made sure to be very clear as to the reason, knowing full well that a new distancing battle is fast approaching with the upcoming publication of Peter Beinart’s book, The Crisis of Zionism. If Cohen is the father of “distancing”, Beinart is the father of making “distancing” a tool of political discourse. His widely read article on The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment was ideologically manipulative and factually dubious, but the core argument stuck. Evidence to the contrary aside, people around the Jewish world started talking about the growing alienation of young American Jews from Israel. of Peter Beinart’s book, The Crisis of Zionism.

Worth a read. It’s one of the more important arguments happening today in the Jewish world.

About the Author
Haviv Rettig Gur is The Times of Israel's senior analyst.