As Houston begins recovering from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey, Naftali Bennett, Israel’s minister of Diaspora affairs, has announced that his office will provide $1 million in aid to the city’s Jewish community. This, writes Elliott Abrams, heralds a new phase in the Jewish state’s relations with American Jewry:
It was bound to happen, sooner or later. With the rapid increase over the years in Israel’s GDP and in its population, Israel is no longer a poor country that needs the philanthropy of American Jews to survive. And the balance between the American Jewish population and the Israeli Jewish population has shifted as well. Depending on exactly how you count, there are more Jews in Israel today than in the United States—or if not, there will be soon. . . .
The Jerusalem Post calls [Bennett’s decision] a “rare move,” but I’d bet this sort of thing will become less rare over time. It is logical to expect Israel to show, in ways such as this, that it is steadily becoming the largest and most important Jewish community in the world. Once upon a time, the center of world Jewish life was in Israel; then it moved to Europe, then to the United States, and now it is moving back to where it all began.