if American Jews believe (and I am not sure they do) that Israel’s existence stems from “guilt over the Holocaust,” then Israel is partially to blame for this perception. Since 1948, Israel has been telling them (us) that it is the safe haven for Jews around the world with video montages for that claim beginning with Shoah refugees. Likewise, does any Jewish trip to Israel skip a visit to Yad Vashem? Does Israel ever host a visiting dignitary and not include Yad Vashem? And what about all the young Israelis who are visiting Poland prior to their army service? Isn’t Benn overstating his claim about which narrative Israelis are taught?
Israel is paying the price for this PR campaign. I have no doubts that the low rates of aliyah from the US results from the American Jew’s view of Israel as a place for Jews to live who don’t have a choice. Most US Jews think, “We have a good life here in America and besides Israel really isn’t that safe.”