A Call to GA Participants
Readers of this site, and MJAC followers in general are probably already aware of our November 17 program featuring Jonathan Neumann. Things are happening in the Jewish community to make that presentation: "The Jewish Right - Left Divide: Can We Bridge the Gap" even more relevant.
From Isi Leibler:
First, permit me to open this column by expressing my distress that for the first time, the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) are holding their General Assembly (GA) in Tel Aviv rather than Jerusalem. I doubt this was a coincidence. Israelis are delighted with the US government’s relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I hope JFNA’s diversion of the GA from Jerusalem does not reflect an anti-Trump paranoia.
One should assume that the representatives of the Federations are more conscious of their Jewish identity and better informed than the average American Jew. They are surely concerned with the loss of Jewish identity among increasing numbers of young Americans of Jewish ethnic origin who were not even provided with an elementary Jewish education. Lacking any foundation of Jewish identity, many are alienated from Israel and seek to distance themselves from Zionism and the Jewish state.
Let's face it. There is a split among Jews. Or should we say "another split." It's not enough for Jews to have religious differences with other Jews. Now there must also be political divisions. And members of one side of that difference (we won't say which side) are showing their displeasure by displaying their petulance. They're going to get back at Donald Trump and show their political opponents who's boss, but siding with the Israel haters who don't accept Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
We don't have to explain the absurdity of that stance, do we?
More from Leibler:
In the past, mainstream Jewish organizations strove to be nonpartisan. But alas, no longer, with the majority of the non-Orthodox strongly opposed to their president. This would not be so bad if they did so as Americans, but to do so as an expression of their supposed Jewish identity, or in their capacity as Jewish leaders, is incomprehensible.
What is utterly outrageous is the attitude displayed by Jews toward Trump’s Israel policies. Trump is your president and as Americans you can hate him or love him. But as Jews you should appreciate what he has done for us by being the first American president to openly ally himself with Israel and avoid moral equivalency by telling the truth about Palestinian duplicity and terror.
There was quite a gap already. It seems that JFNA is out to widen that gap.
Can it be bridged? A positive first step would be for our community to come together to discuss our differences in the dialogue between Jonathan Neumann and Howard Lupovich on November 17.