Maayan Jaffe cites discouraging figures from the recent Pew Research Center survey [on American Jews] to show there is a “stark disconnect” between the youngest generation of U.S. Jews and the Jewish state (“Somewhere In The Middle,” Jan. 3). How ironic, considering that her lengthy article is filled with the anti-Zionist views of people such as Tali Ruskin, Jacob Bogage and J Street speaker Akiva Eldar, who seem to believe that Israel is largely to blame for the Arab-Israeli conflict and for the lack of peace.
The proliferation of these misguided views is precisely what is turning off many young American Jews to the Jewish State of Israel, which was founded on the principles of Zionism. Many of these young, naive individuals apparently have an appalling lack
of knowledge and understanding of what Zionism is all about and of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. They fail to grasp that the “Jewish/ Zionist narrative” has always been grounded in hard facts and historical truths, whereas the so-called “Palestinian narrative” is primarily based on falsehood, deception and denial of historical truths. They fail to appreciate that Zionism is the epitome of social justice — a civil rights movement for the Jewish people that also affirms the fundamental civil rights of others.
Misguided antipathy toward Zionism bespeaks an urgent need for better Jewish education to foster an appreciation for Zionism as a fundamental and inseparable part of Judaism and Jewish values.
The vaccine we Jews need to inoculate ourselves against the virus of lies propagated by our avowed enemies and their fellow travelers is a better understanding of our own collective history and our own legitimate aspirations as a people rather than succumb to the lies as many young and naive Jews seem to be doing today in increasing numbers.
Marc L. Caroff
President, Louis D. Brandeis Chapte
Zionist Organization of America
Silver Spring, Md.