Since the attacks of October 7 and since the Gaza war began, a small but vocal segment of American Jews have joined in with the anti-Israel protests convulsing American cities and campuses. What are their ideas and where do they come from?

Elliott Abrams is the author of If You Will It, a book coming this fall on Jewish peoplehood. Also the chairman of Tikvah and a regular Mosaic writer, he’s been an observer of American Jewish life for a long time. In his view, the Jewish turn against Israel in America today is vastly different than the usual critiques one hears every Shabbat in every synagogue across the country. In other words, it’s not that these Jews don’t like the Israeli prime minister or other members of his governing coalition, or certain policies of the government or trends in Israeli culture. It’s that they see Israel as a moral encumbrance on the Jewish conscience, and imagine that the Jews would be better off without statehood altogether. He recently developed this argument in an essay in Fathom called “American Jewish Anti-Zionist Diasporism: A Critique,” and here elaborates on it with host Jonathan Silver.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.