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US Jews losing faith in Israel

Many American Jews feel that the Netanyahu government favors Orthodox Jews over those belonging to progressive Judaism streams and, as a result, are questioning their ties to Israel.
An employee arranges an Israeli national flag next to a U.S. one at the residence of Israel's President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit, March 18, 2013. Obama is due to make his first official visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories this week, looking to improve ties with both camps after a sometimes rocky first term in office. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - GM1E93I1IMJ01

While formal relations between the US administration and the Israeli government are at their best, disturbing voices sound on both sides of the ocean concerning the all-important relationship between Israel and American Jewry.

Al-Monitor spoke with officials of the two main Washington lobbies on Israel — the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and J Street — on the actual state of these relations. A senior AIPAC member told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that many in their Jewish constituencies — especially in more liberal communities such as New York and California — are expressing misgivings with the Israeli attitude to the largest Jewish community outside of Israel. The criticism expressed by Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely against American Jews, arguing that they do not understand Israel and its policies as they do not serve in the army, is only a symptom of what has become a deep schism between Israel and American Jewry.

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