Michael Colhaze’s recent Wikileaks Leaks article highlighted a growing rift within the global Jewish community, with the “Heebies” and “Izzies” increasingly at odds over strategies, tactics, and even goals. Shortly after that post was published, the Egyptian protests have blown that rift wide open, making it more apparent than ever. This dichotomy between Diaspora Jews and Israeli Jews is the single greatest fault line in the Jewish world. Given their out-sized leverage and influence, it’s perhaps the most consequential political fault line in the contemporary world.
This rift within Jewry is as old as the Group Evolutionary Strategy itself. In traditional Eastern Europe, there was an insular core of ultra-religious Jews in shtetls who spent most of their time studying the Torah, as well as a subset that interfaced with the non-Jewish population. From the moneylenders of yesteryear through the Madoffs of today, this small core of wealthy and worldly Jews have played a pivotal role in supporting the reproductive core of inward-looking Jews, resulting in a two-pronged reproductive strategy where one component is highly fertile and the other has low fertility and high-investment.
The same basic pattern has replicated itself on a global scale — with Israel emerging as a sort of sovereign globo-ghetto. and the Jewish communities of Western Europe and America becoming vast reservoirs of wealthy and worldly Jews who are a substantial component of the financial, academic and media elite throughout the West. Both sub-communities have been more successful than ever in the wake of WWII, but they’ve been growing increasingly alienated from one another.