Given AIPAC’s recent announcement of its commitment to reach out to progressives to support Israel and given JStreet’s growing influence among legislators and given the rising influence of the Israeli American Council within the American Jewish community, this is a call for these three important groups and (others should they decide to) to be the adults in the room to form a unity coalition when it comes to the very important and strategic American-Israel relationship.
While there can be differing voices within our community, we need to start speaking with one voice to our ever-increasingly chaotic federal government on existential issues facing Jews in America and Israel. Jewish life in America and Israel are suffering as our many, so-called representative Jewish voices in Washington become more divided. It is time for groups must come together on common ground and stop trying to sustain themselves by citing differences rather than similarities and agreement. With respect to policy making and action, our leaders are getting terribly mixed and confusing messages on important issues affecting Jewish life.
When moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem, President Trump indicated that, there will be a price Israel has to pay down the road. When Nikki Haley gave her final speech at the UN, she indicated the Trump “peace plan” before Israel and the Palestinians and the UN will have difficult concessions for all parties. And when General Mattis resigned from the President’s cabinet, he expressed his disagreement with the abrupt pullout of American troops in Syria leaving the Israelis and Kurds to fend for themselves and handing over the area areas hostile to Israel.
These events coupled with the facts that there are divisive internal debates within the Diasporan community and within Israel as to who’s at fault and what’s to be done is leading Jews to an unproductive array of polar, if not bipolar positions and recommendations with respect to issues of existential threats to Israel and existential threats to the continuance of the Jewish people in the future.
Further confounding and placing Jews in a vulnerable position is the fact that there are more and more organizations claiming to represent the Jewish people, almost as there are Jewish people all claiming to fight for Israel, fight BDS and fight antisemitism. Countless organizations competing for finite resources from a demographically aging and shrinking population is not a sustainable situation leading to the eradication or containment of any of the problems facing Jews. Duplication of agendas and efforts and within-group competition for resource only dilute effectiveness and fictionalize our people.
Never since the Holocaust, has the existential threat to Jews and a Jewish state been so great. BDS is a cancer that is spreading, Antisemitism is growing in the Diaspora at an alarming rate. Arms sales to bad actors against Israel in the Middle East is alarming. Jews giving aid and comfort to enemies of Israel by supporting BDS, anti-Israel elected officials and rejecting or confusing Jewish identity, values and teachings is staggeringly high and leading our decreasing numbers in a disarray and disunity which makes us as vulnerable worldwide as we have ever been. The more divided we become, the more divided, weaker and ineffective we are.
It is time the Jewish people of America and perhaps the rest of the Diaspora consider a unity coalition of the varying organizations to find common ground and speak with one voice on increasing real and sometimes dangerous existential issues facing Clal Israel….