Goldberg stresses that ultimately Jews should leave Europe because we are not “in control” over what happens here. But are we so certain America’s Jews will continue to exert the kind of influence in Washington they’ve been able to achieve over the postwar period? America is now far more divided, including its own Jews, over Netanyahu’s Israel and the overall Middle Eastern context. And are we so sure the Israeli Jews controlling Israel’s destiny are really in charge of its long-term future? Only time will tell. Furthermore, Western democracies, including those of Europe, have allowed Jews to splinter off into myriad opinions and positions; ghetto-like unanimity no longer exists. As for Muslim-Jewish relations, granted we in Europe are not lucky enough to possess the Muslim middle class America boasts, but such a class is growing.
My final point concerns Israel and the impression that it’s safer for Jews. How can one fail to mention the angry and alienated Arabs, Muslim and Christian, who make up 20 percent of Israel’s population and, even more problematically, the Palestinians, who will amount to roughly half of those who reside between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River if Netanyahu goes through with his pledge that there will be no Palestinian state under his watch. Meanwhile in Europe there are at most 15 million Muslims out of a population of more than 500 million; even in France, only 10 percent of the population is Muslim. The comparison, imperfect as it may be, should warrant greater circumspection in the lashing out against Europe, or at least raise eyebrows, for the numbers speak for themselves.