The new Jew-hatred of the Trump era, and reactions to it, seem hopelessly snarled with feelings for or against Israel. The tight association of Jewishness with Zionism is not an automatic or “natural” consequence of ineluctable historical facts, but rather a product of historical acts by many Americans, prominently including American Jews. Throughout the decades following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, American Jewish supporters of Israel worked consciously to establish the very conflation between Zionism and Jewish identity in the United States that now sometimes appears toxic. After the 1967 war, American Jewish forces across most of the ideological spectrum supported Israel’s retention of the Occupied Territories, particularly East Jerusalem, and the Democratic and Republican Parties ultimately embraced that stance by calling for the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Therefore, the Trump administration’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem, far from a sharp break with mainstream American and Jewish politics, followed a long political process that made it seem, to many Americans, that supporting Israel without stint equaled pro-Jewishness.

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