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Israel and American Jewry: Oslo and Beyond

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Publication Date: January 2008

Publisher(s): Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Author(s): Steven Bayme

Series: In Changing Jewish Communities, no.28 (15 January 2008)

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Diaspora Relations; Israel Advocacy; Israel Attachment; Assimilation

Type: Report


The author argues that the Oslo years and the promise of Arab-Israeli peace led to a recalibrating of relations between Israel and world Jewry. The collapse of the Oslo process "resecuritized" the agenda of Israeli-Diaspora relations. Israeli spokespersons argued that a strong Jewish community in North America was vital to preserving Israeli security; however, Diaspora assimilation threatened to undermine Israel's position within American society and public opinion. He concludes that without a critical mass of Jews ideologically committed to make the case for Israel, U.S. Middle Eastern policy could become like the policies of European democracies.