Rising Anti-Semitism Is Leading to a Renewal of American Zionism

In Toronto on Saturday, demonstrators responded to the Houthis’ recent successes by chanting “Yemen, Yemen, make us proud, turn another ship around,” dropping any pretense of being anti-war. But at least these protesters weren’t violent. This could not be said about the mob that surrounded a Los Angeles synagogue on Sunday and attacked a number of Jews, leaving a dozen injured. Although the police intervened, they were slow to do so, despite the fact that the protest was publicly advertised, and there were clues as to the intentions of its organizers.

In Russia in the 1880s, a series of violent attacks on Jews—followed by a feeble response by the police and sympathy for the pogromists, or simple indifference, from leftists—gave rise to the pre-Herzlian Zionist movement led by Leon Pinsker. Mijal Bitton observes something similar happening to young Jews today:

Multiple Jewish university students have told me they have endured a sort of social “canceling” for expressing empathy for Israelis. One was ousted from her sorority for being a Zionist, another was told that being a Zionist made others have to self-censor so they stopped including him in events.

But they are finding that in their loneliness, they are not alone. They are rediscovering that they belong to a rich history of Jews who experienced [persecution] but whose greatest strength was in each other. They are rediscovering the millennia-old Jewish rituals and community structures that nourish belonging. And they are rediscovering Zionism. This is not surprising. The Zionist dreamers of the 1800s and 1900s were motivated to build a Jewish state by the realization that their neighbors in an “enlightened” Europe were incubating a hatred so dangerous it could lead to their genocide. Young American Jews today are realizing that they, too, can be made to feel unwanted in their own homes.

I see this vision resonating with young Jews who never would have thought of themselves as Zionists before. . . . Indeed, too many protesters have only reinforced American Jews’ fear that anti-Semitism is spreading here.

Read more at CNN

More about: American Jewry, American Zionism, Anti-Semitism, Gaza War 2023

Despite the Toll of War at Home and Rising Hostility Abroad, Investors Are Still Choosing Israel

When I first saw news that Google wasn’t going through with its acquisition of the tech startup Wiz, I was afraid hesitancy over its Israeli founders and close ties with the Jewish state might have something to do with it. I couldn’t have been more wrong: the deal is off not because of Google’s hesitancy, but because Wiz feared the FTC would slow down the process with uncertain results. The company is instead planning an initial public offering. In the wake of the CrowdStrike debacle, companies like Wiz have every reason to be optimistic, as Sophie Shulman explains:

For the Israeli cyber sector, CrowdStrike’s troubles are an opportunity. CrowdStrike is a major competitor to Palo Alto Networks, and both companies aim to provide comprehensive cyber defense platforms. The specific issue that caused the global Windows computer shutdown is related to their endpoint protection product, an area where they compete with Palo Alto’s Cortex products developed in Israel and the SentinelOne platform.

Friday’s drop in CrowdStrike shares reflects investor frustration and the expectation that potential customers will now turn to competitors, strengthening the position of Israeli companies. This situation may renew interest in smaller startups and local procurement in Israel, given how many institutions were affected by the CrowdStrike debacle.

Indeed, it seems that votes of confidence in Israeli technology are coming from many directions, despite the drop in the Tel Aviv stock exchange following the attack from Yemen, and despite the fact that some 46,000 Israeli businesses have closed their doors since October 7. Tel Aviv-based Cyabra, which creates software that identifies fake news, plans a $70 million IPO on Nasdaq. The American firm Applied Systems announced that it will be buying a different Israeli tech startup and opening a research-and-development center in Israel. And yet another cybersecurity startup, founded by veterans of the IDF’s elite 8200 unit, came on the scene with $33 million in funding. And those are the stories from this week alone.

But it’s not only the high-tech sector that’s attracting foreign investment. The UK-based firm Energean plans to put approximately $1.2 billion into developing a so-far untapped natural-gas field in Israel’s coastal waters. Money speaks much louder than words, and it seems Western businesses don’t expect Israel to become a global pariah, or to collapse in the face of its enemies, anytime soon.

Read more at Calcalist

More about: cybersecurity, Israeli economy, Israeli gas, Israeli technology, Start-up nation