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Am Echad weekly update for the week of July 25


Am Echad’s weekly brief takes a look at the latest developments in Israel, the Diaspora, and in the relationship between the two communities. Comments and requests for additional information can be directed to office@amechadunited.org.


Israel News

· Am Echad is opposed to the attempt to take matters of Jewish observance, such as kashrut, from under the purview of the Chief Rabbis and hand them over to politically-appointed bureaucrats as per the details of the kashrut reform law presented by Minister of Religious Affairs Matan Kahana. The Chief Rabbinate is the professional body responsible for matters of public Jewish affairs and should remain so going forward.


· 40% of secular Israelis say they hate the charedim. This and other troubling data on the relationship between various demographic groups in Israel require immediate attention on the part of Israeli policy-makers.


Diaspora Developments

· One in three American Jews perceives Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as racist, while a quarter accuse Israel of genocide and apartheid. The numbers are even higher in the under-40 segment. The anti-Israel sentiment sweeping the American Jewish community is well reflected in the Jewish Electorate Institute’s survey. As in the Pew study, the Orthodox community is consistently more supportive of Israel than any other demographic across all parameters.


Anti-Semitism

· 90% of American Jews are concerned about anti-Semitism, as per same Jewish Electorate Institute survey. This data matches the results of previous research studies, such as the Pew Study, in which 75% of responders felt the levels of anti-Semitism rise in the last 5 years.


BDS

· Am Echad expressed its strongly opposition to any expressions of boycott and sanctions against Israel in a letter to Unilever over the Ben and Jerry’s boycott of customers in Judea and Samaria.


· We support the decisions of five states (Florida, Texas, New York, New Jersey and Illinois to review whether the move would require them to divest from the parent company Unilever in accordance with the states’ anti-BDS laws and have called on the other 30 US states which had passed anti-BDS laws to date to do the same.


· We at Am Echad are disappointed to see progressive American Jewish organizations including Ameinu, Americans for Peace Now, Habonim Dror North America, J Street, New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel, and T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, once again side with Israel’s adversaries. The groups petitioned US state officials not to take legal action against Unilever, citing their opposition to anti-BDS legislation as a danger to free speech.


Anti-Israel Media Bias

· AP’s photo-essay on the effect of war on Gazan children is an emotionally riveting, yet one-sided and biased report, blaming Israel for traumatizing Gazan children yet failing to hold Hamas responsible or reflect the trauma to Israeli civilians.


Am Echad in the News

· Am Echad Israel Director Leah Aharoni in a TV interview of charedi-secular relations in Israel on ILTV.