Lori Lowenthal Marcus of Z Street writes in The Jewish Press of plans by the North American Jewish Federation to drop the term “Zionism” from its Global Planning Table, “Jewish Federations to Drop “Zionism” from their Global Plans”.
And we all thought that Jewish Federations were the focus of the American Jewish Community’s coimmitment of the Jewish State of Israel. However, we have seen over the past few years evidence of distancing of Federations’ from commitment to Israel.
That was reflected in underwriting Olive Tree Initiative trips for college students at UC Irvine in California to mistakenly meet Hamas Representatives on the West Bank in Israel by an affiliate of the Jewish Federation of Orange County California.
Or inclusion of left extremist Jewish fellow travelers of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions cause on Federation Israel Action Committees.
Or showing Palestinian propaganda films at Federation sponsored Film Festivals. When we launched a pledge to oppose such activities, we got only one response from the Saratoga Manatee Federation in Florida.
Marcus’ column in The Jewish Press comes on the eve of the Tish B’Av – the ninth of the month of Av in the Jewish calendar. It is a fast day that commemorates many of the calamities that have befallen the Jewish people ranging across the millenia from the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem in 586 BCE and 70 CE to the fall of the Jewish Republic in 135 CE to the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492 to the Holocaust. We read from the Book of Lamentations. In Psalm 137.5 we read: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.” Apparently, Federations have forgotten that Zionism was the underlying cause of their existence. Pity!