The public war for votes is in full swing. Supporters of the status-quo have taken to very public media interviews. Arms are being twisted, political trade-offs negotiated. A very thorough reading of the tea leaves here in Jerusalem confirms no-one is comfortable with their own vote counts.
Earlier this week, in extremely ill-thought out remarks, Rabbi Dick Hirsch, chair of WZO’s Zionist Council, indicated that the American funders’ desire to reform the leadership process may ‘de-Zionize’ the Jewish Agency.
Today, on the front page of The Jerusalem Post, Israel’s Minster for Diaspora Affairs – Yuli Edelstein – had this to say, “If the Jewish Agency wants to become just another NGO, cutting its connections with the Israeli government, that’s their right. The immediate result will be to find more efficient partners to advance our programs and interests in the Diaspora.”
This from the government who hasn’t been able to properly handle their Diaspora PR efforts for decades?
If the political hacks weren’t so busy doing nothing, perhaps they would realize just how tenuous JAFI’s current relationship is with the Diaspora fundraising community. They would be much better served by bending over backwards trying to find ways to improve it. Instead, they’re busy planning a pre-Shabbat toast for two weeks from tonight – to celebrate how smart they are in showing up the Americans. They have no realization this will ultimately seriously harm JAFI’s relationship with the Diaspora community.
p.s. Natan Sharansky’s candidacy for JAFI CEO is only a distraction to the real issues of governance and control.
So, to the members of The Conservative delegation who it is said would likely change their votes if Sharansky guarantees he would advocate for religious pluralism, as my grandmother (z”l) used to say, remember “that [guarantee] and a token gets you on the subway”.
And if you are naïve enough to believe Edelstein, [the reforms] “have to be phased in over three years” during which Sharansky would serve as joint chairman of the Jewish Agency and WZO (as the current system demands), and would then resign from one of the positions in keeping with the American-led reforms, well,
I have a bridge for sale.
Here’s more from today’s JPost, ‘Israel ready to detach itself from JA’.