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date: 16 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Israel-Diaspora relationship is characterized by mutual identity construction. Israel depends on the Diaspora for material and ideational support; some corners of the Diaspora draw on Israel to underwrite its ongoing project of identity construction and maintenance, while others see the State of Israel as a safe haven in the face of anti-Semitism. Twenty-first-century Diaspora Jewish politics is animated by increasingly intense debates over Zionism, the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians, the question of evolving attachment to Israel (and the meaning of the concept of attachment itself), and the place of Israel in collective Jewish consciousness through donor-supported programs such as Birthright. The Israel lobby, particularly in the United States, provides a stark institutional manifestation of many of these dynamics, with respective foreign policies toward Israel serving as flashpoints for various Jewish electoral and identity debates.

Keywords: Diaspora, attachment, Jewish identity, anti-Semitism, Zionism, Israel lobby, Birthright

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