I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.
Under the autocratic leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel is facing one of its worse crises ever: the deep divisions between Jews worldwide. As in a perfect mirror of our own Divisiveness, Jews are deeply split over Netanyahu’s concerted attempt to crush the independence of Judiciary thereby forcing it to bend to his will.
Writing in The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman put it starkly[i]. American Jews, if not Jews everywhere, have to choose between supporting Netanyahu’s extreme Right-Wing Government with its attacks on the Media, Academic Institutions, and inciting his supporters against Left-Wing Israeli Jews or standing up and opposing it with all their might. It means not supporting Israel financially, and certainly not politically.
In attempting to move forward, Netanyahu has explicitly courted the support of Republicans and its Evangelical base. In large part, he has done so because he believes that Liberal American Jews are a “dying breed”. Thus, there’s no need to take them into account. But in doing so, there’s no question whatsoever of his extremist views.
As a result, in Friedman’s words, Jews have no choice but to choose sides. In the same way, Americans have no choice but to choose sides between those on the Right and those on the Left.
It’s the same everywhere.
[i] Thomas L. Friedman, “American Jews, You Have to Choose Sides on Israel,” The New York Times, Wednesday, March 8, 2023, P. A21.
Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.