The war in Israel-Gaza is likely to increase Jewish identification and commitment. In my battles with Nathan Cofnas he claims American Jews are not particularly ethnocentric based on intermarriage statistics. This is wrong for a number of reasons, but at times like this, Jewish consciousness and identity will surely rise. From the revision of CofC:
Jewish identity may emerge among Jews without a conscious Jewish identity as a result of a perceived threat to Jews, as during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war or the rise of National Socialism. Jewish identification is a complex area where surface declarations may be deceptive. Jews may not consciously know how strongly they identify with Judaism. Silberman (1985, 184), for example, notes that around the time of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, many Jews could identify with the statement of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel that “I had not known how Jewish I was” (in Silberman 1985, 184; italics in text). Silberman comments: “This was the response, not of some newcomer to Judaism or casual devotee but of the man whom many, myself included, consider the greatest Jewish spiritual leader of our time.” Many others made the same surprising discovery about themselves: Arthur Hertzberg (1979, 210) wrote, “The immediate reaction of American Jewry to the crisis was far more intense and widespread than anyone could have foreseen. Many Jews would never have believed that grave danger to Israel could dominate their thoughts and emotions to the exclusion of everything else.”
The point is that the Jewish identity of even a highly assimilated Jew, and even one who has subjectively rejected a Jewish identity, may surface at times of crisis to the group or when Jewish identification conflicts with any other identity that a Jew might have, including identification as a political radical.
As a result, assertions regarding Jewish identification that fail to take account of perceived threats to Judaism may seriously underestimate the extent of Jewish commitment. Surface declarations of a lack of Jewish identity may be highly misleading. Consider the following comment on Heinrich Heine, who was baptized but remained strongly identified as a Jew: “Whenever Jews were threatened—whether in Hamburg during the Hep-Hep riots [in 1819 in Germany] or in Damascus at the time of the ritual murder accusation  —Heine at once felt solidarity with his people” (Prawer 1983, 762).
So the ADL coffers will definitely benefit from this.
Depressing to see the talking heads on American media all in for Israel, no mention of the occupation or the draconian economic restrictions on Gaza imposed by Israel that basically make life unlivable for Gazans—presumably all the conservatives and plenty of liberals and liberal organizations. A rebellion had to happen, especially now when Israel was about to make peace with Saudi Arabia at the expense of the Palestinians–definitely off the table now. What I don’t understand is how could Hamas import so many weapons without Israel realizing it. Doesn’t seem plausible Israel would sacrifice so many of its people to have an excuse to obliterate Hamas but that’s what’s likely to happen.
Hertzberg, A. (1979). Being Jewish in America. New York: Schocken Books.
Prawer, S. S. (1983). Heine’s Jewish Comedy: A Study of His Portraits of Jews and Judaism. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Silberman, C. E. (1985). A Certain People: American Jews and Their Lives Today. New York: Summit Books.