Religious freedoms were guaranteed and protected (still are). As a community, by and large, a degree of economic security had been obtained. Socially, there were no repercussions to being Jewish within urban upper middle class or upper class demographic groups.
In short, Jews who had come of age in the 80s and 90s were living in a true Golden Era of safety and security.
That was then....
Fast forward 16 years and the picture is very different.
While much of those characteristics remain, it's pretty clear that a strong wind of anti-Semitism (disguised as anti-Zionism) is gathering force across America.
It's beginning on college campuses where the demonization and delegitimization of Israel as the Jewish state is becoming part of acceptable discourse. What's more, those who disagree, are intimidated and threatened. (See ADL report on SJP, for one).
That's not a good sign for the future of Jews or the future of the Republic, I might add.
It's becoming acceptable, if not cool/desirable, to hate on Israel and the Jews who support her right to existence.
Some of the challenges, for many of us who grew up in the Golden Era, are:
- do we have the strength and wherewithal to ensure that the ideals that the US and Israel share are protected and cherished?
- can we help the "masses in the middle" understand that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism and that it's very existence is the hatred against which most of us stand?
I believe we do...though it may take some growing pains.
While the anti-Israel movement is trying to coopt the language of America, freedom, and liberty... I think it has many flaws.
The flaws need to be exposed and I hope, for my kids and for America's sake, tha we can.
Want more? Watch this video. Riveting.