Values, identity, and Israel advocacy
What do we care about-or pretend to care about-when we try to sway hearts and minds through political action? The question of values and value trade-offs in International Relations is understudied. By examining Diaspora-based Israel advocacy (the set of political and educational activities at the school, campus, community and formal political levels designed to increase support by Diaspora Jews, their co-citizens, and their governments for Israel), this paper interrogates the idea of "Jewish values," and theorizes about how actors negotiate among sentiment, aspiration, and values. The evidence suggests that Jews are more likely to invoke "Jewish values" when engaging in in-group critique, whereas Israel advocates are more likely to draw on universal values to defend Israeli goals and actions to others. The essay identifies five value clusters that appear to structure Israel advocacy activities: nationalism and sovereignty, democracy, science, history, and peace, identifies some potential value conflicts that may result, and raises questions about the strategic use of values in social mobilization.