On the substance of the twin crises fomented by the Prime Minister -- the breach of the 2016 Agreement to create an egalitarian prayer soace at the Kotel and his support for an egregious piece of Knesset legislation on conversions -- the issues remain. Much has been written on these subjects; opinion pieces abound. Many have been insightful and informative -- especially Judy Maltz's reporting in Haaretz.
Then there was the incredible screed from the poison pen of one Caroline Glick who purports to understand American Jewry because she grew up here but, really, hates us. On September 24, she first predicted the demise of American Jewry, http://m.jpost.com/opinion/column-one-israel-and-the-american-jewish-crisis-505561, made wildly false and unsupported accusations -- "...both movements (Reform and Conservative), and a large swath of the Jewish institutional world, led in large part by Reform and Conservative Jews, have either turned a blind eye to...antisemitism or supported it" -- before turning her "focus" to the twin crises doing her best to diminish them to the point of irrelevance.
As to the egalitarian prayer space -- Glick calls it the "overturn" of "...an earlier decision to build a passageway." Oh, and she belittles and misrepresents the "rescission" of "...a previous decision to have representatives of the Conservative and Reform movements receive membership in the committee that manages the Western Wall Plaza." She sees those Movements' opposition to the Prime Minister's abrogation of his Government's agreement to be nothing more than than an effort to "...keep their dwindling bases engaged and attract members of the increasingly anti-Israel far Left."
Glick concluded that the entire brouhaha was fomented not by the Prime Minister's abrogation but by American Jewry and our failure to recognize how really unimportant this all is. I'd call this entire Glick piece irrational, unsupported and unsupportable...as usual.
Friends, Glick and her ilk are so wrong. The failure here is writ large -- it is a failure of American Jewish leadership to join with the Reform and Conservative Movements (and, were they capable of raising their voices, the failure of non-Haredi Rabbinic leadership to speak out against the Knesset legislation that would impact so directly on their legitimacy as well) and an apparent inability to join Natan Sharansky and the leadership of the Jewish Agency in vigorous, loud and continuous denunciation of the Prime Minister's actions.
And I'm not talking of periodic spasms of quotes like Jerry Silverman's on the cusp of the Israel Supreme Court's hearing on the breach of the Wall Agreement that this "...has become a defining moment over whether or not Israel is truly the nation-state of the Jewish people" and then waiting for the next interview opportunity or an invite from the PM for a stop and chat.
You haven't heard much, if anything actually, from JFNA since the debacle created by the Prime Minister's political decisions in June when, in a bizarre claim of "victory" where there was none, JFNA claimed that a 6 month delay on consideration of the Conversion Bill announced by the PM, was a result of its pressure. What I guess is going on is that JFNA is waiting in the weeds hoping against hope that Natan Sharansky can snatch real victory from the jaws of defeat and, right then, JFNA can ride Natan's coattails claiming it had something to do with it.
But Jerry Silverman had a lot to say in an interview with The Jerusalem Post after that meeting with the Prime Minister in the aftermath of the abrogation of the 2016 Agreement and the PM's announced support of the Conversion legislation:
"'I believe he did listen and I am hopeful we can stop the conversion bill as it is right now,' Silverman told The Jerusalem Post at the time. A temporary solution has since been reached on the conversion issue, under which the state, together with the Reform and Masorti movements will request that the High Court of Justice delay by at least six months a ruling on a petition to grant non-Orthodox converts recognition by the state. In return, the haredi parties agreed to suspend their legislation. Silverman told the Federation’s executive directors that their activity, along with other Jewish groups, had been effective after they pressed the issue to local Israeli consuls general, wrote letters and emails to those of influence and spoke out to the media.In recent comments to the Post, however, Silverman --who usually takes an optimistic approach to Israel and the Jewish people--raised doubts that the the country is acting as the nation state of all the Jewish people. He noted that the sudden suspension of the Western Wall agreement after three and a half years of negotiations and the conversion legislation, which would permanently prevent non-Orthodox converts in Israel obtaining citizenship, 'devalued 85% of Diaspora Jewry' and created doubts as to the country’s commitment to its brethren abroad."
(Earlier), in June, Silverman told the Post that he is '...the eternal optimist when it comes to the Jewish people, because I believe in the people of Israel...I believe that over time we will be able to bring this back together and focus on what is really key, which is the Jewish people.'"Uh huh. Jerry.
The Jerusalem Post concluded: "It seems, however, as though his faith -- and that of the Jewish communities he presides over -- has been severely shaken." OK then.
There is no JFNA action plan; there is no action and no plan. There is talk.
That's us -- no action and no plan.