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American Jews and Israeli Jews

General Mike Sullivan has sent me a long missive, the first half of which deals with the various military colleges. I may post it, although it might arouse service rivalries. The latter part describes an experience at such a college: "I was paired up with a Israeli Navy Captain. A straight forward fellow who spoke excellent English and seemed very intelligent as he grasped new ideas easily and could put them to use. He was proud but not boastful and a great gent to go to the bar with and let our hair down after a tedious session in the classroom. He made a comment to me one day that I'll never forget and he said, "You know, Mike, I think the American Jew is a Jew first and an American second. In Israel we're Israelis first and Jews second." I asked him why he felt that way and he said it was because of the American Jew's unwavering support, regardless of costs (personnel and $$$), for Israel. In Israel he said there were all types of Jews with different views about the religion but there most common bond was to ensure their survival surrounded by 13 million Arabs that want to destroy Israel.

To illustrate his point about the American Jews I remember a friend of mine attended a dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 1971,a formal banquet his Jewish pal had invited him to and bought the tickets. Little did he know that after a fantastic dinner the MC would tell the wait staff to close all the exits to the dining room that had hosted the 200 or so guests. Georgie Jessel was the MC, and they had a few other Hollywood notables present. My friend didn't have a check book with him and little cash. He said he'd probably have given $25-$50 just for the meal but really felt he had been set up for a fleecing. While he was getting very upset, worrying and sweating it out, to his great relief, 10 minutes later they had already the $2 million pledged! I support Israel because I respect the Israelis as a nation and not because they're Jewish".

My comment: This is a tricky business How true is that an American Jew is a Jew first and an American second? Israel wanted the all to join the homecoming and settle in Israel, but very few did. Instead they provided money, encouraged the new settlements, and lobbied the American government to support Israel in every way, so that now Israel is the largest recipient of American aid. The attitude of the Palestinians was "The Jews hada problem in Germany, and the West dumped the problem on us". This view is supported by Muslims generally. As for Sharon, whom many Jews dislike, his heavy hand is not new. John Heelan asks: "Is it not un-surprising that two key witnesses to Sharon's involvement in the Sabra and Chatila massacre (now apparently being repeated in Jenin) were murdered in Lebanon a month or so ago?"

Ronald Hilton - 4/17/02