As American Jews speak out on Israel, some see rifts in their communities : Code Switch In the wake of October 7, and the bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli government, many American Jews have found themselves questioning something that had long felt like a given: that if you were Jewish, you would support Israel, and that was that. But as more Jews speak out against Israel's actions in Gaza, it's exposing deep rifts within Jewish communities – including ones that are threatening to break apart friendships, families, and institutions.

As American Jews speak out on Israel, some see rifts in their communities

As American Jews speak out on Israel, some see rifts in their communities

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IfNotNow LA
A woman stands in the rain at a Jewish mourning ceremony for the Palestinians and Israelis killed since October 7 and to protest Israeli government actions in Gaza.
IfNotNow LA

In the wake of October 7, and the bombardment of Gaza by the Israeli government, many American Jews have found themselves questioning something that had long felt like a consensus: that Jewish safety requires unconditionally supporting the Israeli government and military. But in recent months it's become clear that that consensus does not exist — and probably hasn't for a long time. And as more and more Jews speak out against the actions of the Israeli government and military, it's exposing deep rifts within Jewish communities – including ones that are threatening to break friendships, families, and institutions apart.

In this episode, hear from some people experiencing that division first hand, and we dive deep into the long history of Jewish criticism of Israel with Marjorie Feld, professor of history at Babson College, and author of Threshold of Dissent, A History of American Jewish Critics of Zionism.

Editor's note: In a previous audio version of this story, we incorrectly stated the age of one of our guests.

This episode was reported and hosted by Leah Donnella and co-hosted by Gene Demby. It was produced by Xavier Lopez and edited by Dalia Mortada.

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