Ronn Torossian
Ronn TorossianINN:RT
Some years ago, a book made the rounds which was called “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” – which basically said that each gender is accustomed to its own set of values and rules – and metaphorically speaking live on different planets.

The same can be said for American Jews vis a vis Israel. American Jews live in another universe where they think that the Palestinian Arabs, "settlements" and Iran are the things dominating Israeli discussions. In fact, after having spent the summer in Israel, I can say that I heard very few discussions on these issues.

In Israel, people (naturally) think about family, work and life. Common complaints these days? Traffic. Real Estate pricing. Schools. And other issues of day-to-day life.

If one listened to American Jews on Israel, one would think that the so-called “occupation”, Iranian nukes or the ongoing election cycle are the biggest issues facing Israel – but if you listened to Israelis, not at all. The reality is vis-à-vis foreign and military issues, there is very little difference between the major political parties in the upcoming elections. There’s no one on the Palestinian Arab side to speak with and Israelis uniformly believe Iran cannot or will not be allowed to obtain nukes.

In 2022 Israel was ranked the 9th happiest country in the world in the annual UN-sponsored World Happiness index. It came in 12th last year, up from 14th in 2020. Having spent time in Israel my entire life, I can say that it’s the first time I can remember that people simply don’t want to leave Israel.

I recently met with an American Jewish leader who hasn’t spent time in Tel Aviv, Haifa or the North of Israel in 20 years. He explained to me that he visits Israel 4-5 times a year, for meetings (in Jerusalem), for missions (where he travels from Point a To Point B), and for holidays (where he prays and spends time with other American tourists). What a shame. How can one understand Israel without speaking with the people? Without spending time with them?

Do American Jews realize that Hebrew is spoken in Israel, and the news they hear – and day to day life – isn’t in English?.

When spending time with Israelis and doing business in Israel, there are many things which American Jews could do to help Israel rather than their disloyal and useless noise regarding “occupation” or “East Jerusalem.” Those who speak of these things simply have no idea about the reality of Israel.

The issues facing Israel which American Jews could help with would be looking at many issues which are real issues facing this nearly 75-year-old country. Given the fact that population growth and rapidly increasing real estate pricing are major factors, why doesn’t someone do a study on how to make building permits go faster in Israel? Road safety and road overcrowding – why don’t one of these valiant American Jewish organizations do studies on these issues rather than the continued noise about settlers, or some other nonsense?

Maybe American Jewish organizations should urge American Jews to learn Hebrew, to invest in the stock market in Israel, to just go hang out on the beaches?

While I won’t hold my breath, the day may come very soon where Israel realizes they don’t need American Jews as much as they once thought they did.

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur, author and philanthropist.