The failure of US Jewish leadership – opinion

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October 7th will go down in history as the greatest failure and most shocking event in the history of the State of Israel.

Recognizing the enormity of the threat, the IDF Commander-in-Chief and Southern Command officials, military intelligence and the Shin Bet security service drafted a resignation letter that they intended to submit shortly after the end of the war in Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu It has been criticized. By not doing the same.

But has anyone called for the resignation of the leaders of top Jewish organizations in the United States?

And I will not call them to leave. But serious questions must be raised.

Columbia University student Jessie Brenner speaks at a press conference in New York on October 30 asking the university administration to support students who oppose anti-Semitism.

The anti-Semitism crisis did not come out of nowhere.

Aren’t America’s Jewish leaders equally caught up in the dangerous conditions bubbling beneath the surface that they have long ignored, and their dire consequences?

Could nothing have been done to prevent it? The surprising rise of anti-Semitism? Is the horror on America’s college campuses going away?


Netanyahu has been criticized for facilitating the transfer of bags of money to Hamas. Have American Jewish leaders similarly provided funds for causes that threatened the well-being of American Jews?

Perhaps before October 7, such demands would have been dismissed as exaggeration or fear-mongering. If I were to ask them in a public meeting, they would probably roll their eyes and not give an honest answer.

But here we are, as Brett Stephens rightly wrote in the New York Times that October 8 should be seen as eternal. After the worst day in Israel’s history, every day must be taken to right its wrongs. We cannot afford to continue until the policies of American Jewish groups, which have been proven to be dangerously wrong, are dramatically changed.

Jewish federations, Hillel groups and the Anti-Defamation League in particular need to rethink their priorities, programs and alliances.

Are Americans too far away from helping Jews who have difficulty accepting global causes? Do they go too far in criticizing Israel with internal policies and proposals that only demonstrate the effectiveness of Israel’s democracy?

Not only organizations but also individuals should reconsider their choices

Such questions can also be asked of American Jews, many of whom have given money to Black Lives Matter, colleges and universities and now regret it. Some even give money to charities that once helped Jewish immigrants and now facilitate the assimilation of immigrants who over time turn American policies pro-Israel and sow the seeds of anti-Semitism.

Tikkun Olam (the Jewish concept of fixing the world) sounds good on paper. But now, what needs immediate fixing is fixing.

It is becoming increasingly clear that disruption is not in the best interests of the Jewish people.

Polls show support for Hamas and opposition to Israel among Americans; Especially among young people, confirm that we are losing an important battle and that the situation is out of control. Before October 7th, it is impossible to imagine that there will be much support for Hamas in America and that Jewish power in America will be greatly reduced.

Just as the Jewish state has failed in its vital mission of assuring its people that there will never be another day comparable to the Holocaust, American Jewish organizations have failed the very people they purported to serve.

We must use this moment before the window of opportunity closes

Every Jewish organization in the United States needs to refocus and rethink what it is trying to accomplish.

People came to the “March for Israel” in Washington on November 14 with different motives. Some of them came because of Israel and its just war. Some of it came from the unbearable anti-Semitism that had been going on since October 7th. Some came because of university administrations’ shameful dealings with Hamas sympathizers and their failure to protect Jewish students on campus.

No one could have predicted the full extent of anti-Semitism in the United States. Organizations fighting anti-Semitism and organizations that are part of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations must admit that they have made a mistake if unmasked anti-Semitism gets this bad.

We knew the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia were pouring tons of money into American universities, but we thought the problem would go away like the missiles fired from Gaza and Lebanon. Meanwhile, millions of young people are brainwashed and held hostage.

We must now wage war on anti-Semitism. Following the horrors of October 7, the window of opportunity is fast closing.

Just as Israel must destroy Hamas — and ideally, other Iranian proxies — that have enough support in the United States, American Jewish organizations must act before the tide turns completely against us.

And just as, in Israel, warring factions have abandoned their platforms and joined forces with a common enemy, we American Jews must unite in an unprecedented effort to move toward the success we so desperately seek in our future.

The writer is chairman of the Religious Zionists of America, chairman of the Center for Justice and Integrity, president of the Culture for Peace Institute, and a committee member of the Jewish Agency. He was appointed by former US President Donald Trump and served as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. The views expressed are his own.

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