Jewish Journal

On waning support for Israel, blame Jon Stewart

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 13, 2010 | 2:15 pm

American Jewish support for Israel is waning. Like all relationships, especially one that can be so tense, American Jews and Israel are often hot and cold. It is also prone to take on different appearances from time to time. So what is the latest explanation?

The Answer is Jon Stewart,” dove MJ Rosenberg writes at MediaMatters:

They are the “Jon Stewart” generation.  Whether they watch Stewart’s “Daily Show” when it’s broadcast or just on YouTube, he typifies their world view. Not surprisingly, he is a late Baby Boomer, about the age of the parents of the youngest of the Millenials.

And what is the worldview Stewart conveys? It is skepticism about any and all ideology, a belief that racial and ethnic boundaries between people are just plain dumb, and, above all, that true believers in anything are downright funny. 

Not surprisingly, Jon Stewart is Jewish and assertively so.  Being a Jew is part of his shtick.  But he’s clearly neither religious nor an ethnic chauvinist.  As for his politics on Israel, I’d classify him as J Street. And that makes him typical of both the late boomers and their kids.

That is why all the free Birthright trips to Israel aren’t changing anything.  And it’s why those cheering young AIPAC-ers do not represent anything.

The generation coming up now tries to think for themselves.  And, although no smart kid would ever turn down a free trip to Washington, DC or to any foreign country with a beach, they take the propaganda with a grain of salt.  It does not matter that they are told that the Palestinians are responsible for their own problems, these kids don’t buy it.  And neither do their parents (although their grandparents might).

Read the rest here.

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