World Zionist Congress Elections, ARZA and J Street – Sending the Wrong Message

First, for the sake of transparency, I was honored to be a delegate from the ZIONIST SPRING, which won seven seats.

I believe that the results of the WZC election send a very bad message, not because my slate did not win more seats, but because ARZA (which represents American Reform Jewry) won more than 1/3 of the seats (56 out of 145). While I agree with some of the ARZA platform, it is the election of so many members from the Reform movement (from which J Street gets much of its support) that sends the wrong message.

The message that should be sent is one of unified and full support for the State of Israel. J Street does not send that message. The Reform movement does not send that message.

J Street can not be considered pro-Israel by any standards. The connection to J Street by so many members of the Reform Movement clearly sends the wrong message.

To understand how divisive J Street is all you have to do is to watch liberal Democrat Alan Dershowitz’ presentation:

AIPAC (whose leadership and membership include left and right, traditional and non-traditional Jews) represents the full spectrum of the real pro-Israel American Jewish Community. On the other hand, J Street has done nothing but divide our community at this most crucial time – it does NOT represent the American Jewish Community.

The current head of the Reform Movement, Rabbi Rick Jacobs was an active leader of J Street and only relinquished that role reportedly in order to be elected to his current position. At times he is still way too critical of Israel. The former head, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, continues to be overly critical of Israel.

Reform Rabbi John Rosove, from LA, a current co-chair of the J Street Rabbinical Council, compared Israel to a drunken addict. Is this the right message?

One way to show support for Israel is to make Aliyah a priority. The Reform movement certainly does not support or encourage Aliyah to any level of significance.

So, as much as some of the ARZA platform may make sense, their message is not one of strong solidarity and support for Israel. The election of many its members to the WZC – especially those connected to J Street – sends a very bad message.

About the Author
Paul Jeser born in the Bronx in 1945 has been a member of the Jewish Communal Service and a Jewish fundraising professional since 1972. Although not an ordained Rabbi, he organized and ran a Jewish Chaplaincy program in the United States Army in Augsburg, Germany (1969-71). Jeser was an officer with a drug rehabilitation center in Vietnam (1971-72) during which time he was awarded a Bronze Star. In May, 2006, the Hebrew Union College, Institute of Jewish Religion, presented Mr. Jeser the Sherut L’Am award in recognition of his decades of service to the Jewish People. He returned this award to HUC in protest to what he believed to be anti-Israel activities.
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