Shalom Pollack
Shalom PollackINN: S.P.

I would like someone to write a book that answers a question that I have been struggling with for a long time.

In today's elections Israelis are presented with two distinct political/cultural/religious camps to choose from. Yair Lapid calls it "the future vs the past."

In broad terms, one camp represents uncompromising and proud Jewish identity, the centrality of the land of Israel. and "traditional (Jewish) family values.''

The other camp is represented by mostly secular and anti-religious Jews and their anti-Israel Arab allies whose worldview is not affected by a Jewish past.

I understand the anti-Israel Arabs. I also understand Jews who have become estranged from their faith and people for lack of Jewish education. Their Jewish identity has weakened and has been replaced with the "progressive" post-Zionist /Jewish narrative which surrounds them.

What I would like to understand is how there are Western Jews who made Israel their home and plan to vote for the post-Jewish camp.

I am especially curious about those liberal religious, educated Western Jews who will vote Left. After all, they made the decision to leave the "progressive," assimilationist West for something far different - a particularist Jewish state and a specifically Jewish land.

Having decided to immigrate to the (embattled) Jewish land, they still feel a need to "understand" the enemy who claims that very land. These Western "Olim" feel disdain for other Jews who unapologetically and uncompromisingly love and defend the land.

The latter are impatiently and snobbishly scorned as racists. Arabs, however, in their view, must be approached with patience and conciliation in the hope that they change their attitude towards Jews and the Jewish state.

This situation is not unique to Jews in Israel.

The well known psychological malaise of Jews in the West was best witnessed in the tragic history of Jews in Germany; apologizing for their enemies and despising those who are "too Jewish." Until it was too late.

It is not a new phenomenon. It is natural spiritual damage incurred in a people who for too long were detached from their land and history and made to feel like unwanted guests.

The same torn souls brought the Exile psychosis to the "New World" and its self-destructiveness descends towards the oblivion of the Jewish community before our eyes.

The question is, why would Jews who identify with "progressiveness," multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism et al, move to the most particularist country in the world?

I asked one of them why some Jews from the West identify with the Left in Israel. He said that he was "raised on Jefferson and Lincoln."

I asked him to explain. He said something about "uniting and understanding".and asked that we not discuss politics. That is about as far as I get when I dare ask.

I don't think they made "Aliyah" to consciously remake their adopted Jewish state and reproduce the "Progressive" Jewish ghetto from whence they came.

Why did they make Aliyah?

I think that these people remain confused Jews in the Jewish homeland as others were in Germany and the New World.

On the one hand they are not able to relinquish their progressive identity and on the other, the "Jewish spark" within them draws them to the ancestral homeland and their people even as this spark is now gone in most of world Jewry.

Perhaps it can be compared to the inner instinct directing migrating birds. The "pintele Yid" calls out from within their souls.

People, and the more so Jews, are more complicated than birds and so I am still waiting for the book that will help me understand my fellow immigrants, some of whom attend my shul and who may vote for the post-Jewish and anti-Israel coalition on Election Day.

Perhaps I should write the book?

Shalom Pollack is a veteran, popular Israel tour guide and author [email protected]