A full-house of young professionals attended a Judaism 3.0 discussion hosted by Tel Aviv International Salon.
Michael Oren framed the conversation by asking Kalev why it is even important to stay Jewish: “I read this book several times. It is very engaging, but I am left with several questions. The first is: why”. Kalev argued that the question of why is not as important, since it is the outside world that defines the Jews – historically and today, and that outside world relates to Jews in a national context. Jews are associated with Israel whether they like it or not.
Oren agreed, pointing that 60-80% of attacks against American Jews are Israel-related. There is peculiar syllogism, he argued: American Jewish leaders don’t view delegitimization attacks on the Jewish state such as accusations that Israel assassinates journalists as antisemites. But than that type of delegitimization comes back and leads to anti-Semitism attacks against American Jews.
Kalev said that such American Jewish leaders are obsessed with the threat of yesterday. He explained how Israel-bashing is our era’s vehicle for the destruction of Judaism. Therefore, it is indeed blindness when such American Jewish leaders say they have zero tolerance to traditional anti-Semitism, but ample tolerance to Israel-bashing.
Kalev said that given the magnitude and social-acceptability of the Israel-bashing movement, a radical approach is needed – a shift in global consciousness of what is Judaism. Israel-bashers must stay in Judaism 2.0. A broad global recognition that Judaism has transformed and Zionism is now its anchor will dramatically alter the nature of the existential threat.