July 26, 2004

by Reb Yudel
Conservative movement head gets flak for Powell meeting

From the Washington Jewish Week, a story of the pitfalls of denominational leaders being involved in Israeli political activism. The defense of "I was acting in my personal capacity" is disengenous.

On the other hand, for the liberal movements to not speak up for liberal positions on Israel puts the entire "organized" community -- including all the synagogues -- in the pocket of the right-wing, costing them credibility among the younger generation who have assimilated notions concerning democracy and voting rights. Here again, the Reform movement has been generally courageous enough to stake an unapologetic position (criticism from Fackenheim, et al not withstanding); while Ismar Schorsch seems to have positioning himself as a voice of Jewish moderation on Israeli/Palestinian/Iraqi/American issues, and while the folks in the pews by and large agree with him, it will be interesting to see what happens if the DC revolt becomes a full-fledged, ZOA-hyped campaign....