Israel going against the trend?

In general, I find that the next generation to be more tolerant, more accepting of diversity, less religious, and less warlike than the earlier ones, which gives me some hope for the future. But on a recent visit to Israel, Philip Weiss finds (admittedly based on personal experiences and not as part of a scientific survey) that the younger generation there was more warlike about Syria than the old-timers.

The only Israelis who want the U.S. to attack Syria are young Jews. They are militant. But their parents say Obama missed his chance and nothing will be gained by attacking Syria. They are angry with Obama for confusing the matter of red lines when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program, but they are also upset with the Israel lobby for pushing a war when they are the ones who have to get gasmasks.

I observed these attitudes in interviews with a dozen Jewish Israelis in Jerusalem the day before Yom Kippur.

The young people are frightening. They are far more rightwing and militant than their elders.

I hope that what he experienced was an aberration. A more rightwing and militant Israel than what we have now is indeed disturbing to contemplate.


  1. colnago80 says

    Apparently, this occurred in Jerusalem where many of the militants live. This is not representative of the rest of the country. Of course, Weiss is a first class Israel basher and JINO and it was not surprising that he would seek out the dregs of the society in order to bash Israel.

  2. wtfwhateverd00d says

    Philip Weiss is an unreliable source. His agenda is known and it’s not painting Israel in a fair light.

    When he writes this “The young people are frightening. They are far more rightwing and militant than their elders.”

    You might read it as this:

    “The young people are frightened. Having lived for two years next to an unstable Syria committing atrocities on her people, they are far more rightwing and militant than their elders.”

  3. says

    Yeah, I can’t imagine why a progressive Jewiish person might have issues with Israel enough to consistently paint them in a negative light. *eyeroll*


  4. barry21 says

    I am an American living in Israel. I work at a high tech company in Herzliya and I live in a busy neighborhood in Tel Aviv.

    My experience with young adults has been the opposite of that described above. I have heard much overt, unabashed racism against Arabs and Africans from people 40 and older. I have heard militant talk from people in that age group.

    I have heard older people wishing that Obama had dropped the hammer on Assad for the year that I’ve lived here.

    From the young, I have not heard anything like that.

  5. barry21 says

    And to be clear – I do NOT pretend that my experience on the left-leaning Mediterranean coast of Israel is in any way representative of ANYTHING other than my own experience. I certainly wouldn’t allow conversations with a dozen people support a blanket statement about an entire generation.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    The Rethuglican press only quote the far-right and jingoistic part of the Israeli political spectrum. It would be easy to get the idea that Israel is populated by Sharon clones.

    I know little about age groups in israel, but the older ones have been in far more serious wars. Makes sense for them to be sceptic of warmongers, especially considering the zero probability of a smooth military “solution” in a country as divided along ethnic and sectarian lines as Syria.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    Kathreya @ 3,
    It reminds me of how rabbi Lerner at Tikkun constantly gets criticized as being anti-Israeli just for expressing viewpoints already existing among more liberal Israeli groups.

  8. colnago80 says

    Lerner is a JINO who regularly bashes Israel.

    One of things I will be looking forward to will be the reaction of the Israel bashers if and when the Egyptian Army decides to invade the Gaza Strip to suppress the Hamas terrorists who are busily assisting militants in the Sinai Desert in assassinating Egyptian soldiers and policemen. Unlike the IDF, they will not be at all constrained about avoiding collateral damage. They won’t fool around playing patty-cake like the IDF does.

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