While we (and our organizations) were (a) asleep; (b) distracted by shiny objects; or (c) distracted by COVID-19, "right wing and rigidly Orthodox political parties" in Israel were preparing a "coup" pursuant to which they would usurp the critical positions at the "...key international Zionist institutions." And...we would have only ourselves to blame. If it happens, it will happen...today.
As Judy Maltz reported for Haaretz, Right-wing, ultra-Orthodox Parties Accused of Plotting "Hostile Takeover" of Key Zionist Institutions. How? By Resolution of the World Zionist Congress at its once every five year meetings starting today on-line. The "deal" appears to have been engineered by the inestimable WZO leader, Avraham Duvdevani, who engineered the WZO's walk from everything but its powers and large amounts of cash when it "separated" from the Jewish Agency almost a decade ago thanks to the inept "negotiations" of Diaspora JAFI leadership. (WZO gave up a title or two, but retained its power to control 70% of the JAFI votes, and was paid millions for doing so. JAFI leaders' version of the "Art of the Deal.")
If this "hostile takeover" proceeds, the American religious movements would face cutting a deal for representation and positions at the Agency, for example, with ultra-Orthodox religious leaders who reject the Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist and Modern Orthodox Movements both out of hand and in the most insulting ways. Another "winner," if that's what it is, would be the Likud Party. Bougie Herzog might be out as JAFI's Israeli leader. And, these are but two examples.
For an important analysis of just where this balagan is: https://www.jpost.com/israel-news/hadassah-president-denounces-wzo-coalition-agreement-calls-for-changes-646297?utm_source=ActiveCampaign&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Israel%2C+UAE%2C+US+launch+joint+fund+in+Jerusalem+during+first+state+visit&utm_campaign=Oct+20+day
JFNA, later this week, will reveal the Jewish Federations' allocations to the core budgets of JAFI, JDC and ORT -- allocations which will, no doubt, be at levels so low as to belie the term "partner" so often thrown out these days by the umbrella organization in lieu of cash. If the takeover of JAFI contemplated by this "deal" goes forward, one can foresee the ultimate abandonment of the Jewish Agency by its North American supporters in short order.
One must assume that Jewish Agency Jerusalem leaders were aware of these developments but chose to remain "behind the scenes." Given the consuming ignorance of critical matters such as these at JFNA-Israel, asleep at the switch, one can also assume that no one at 25 Broadway was aware of this coup -- and, if they were, then more shame on them. We have not heard leadership's voices on a matter of this importance to, if not to others, the religious movements to which most of us belong.
This is serious business taking place in the shadows.