November 17, 2018

Israel and the Diaspora Need to Get Honest

“We need to talk” is the title of the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly taking place in Tel Aviv this week.

So, here is some real talk: The JFNA GA may say they want to talk, but there are some parts of Israel which have the feeling that this American Jewish organization is not really interested in hearing what they have to say. Instead, it seems to some, the GA wants to talk to the Israelis who already think like them.

‘We need to talk” is the title of the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly taking place in Tel Aviv this week.

So, here is some real talk: The JFNA GA may say they want to talk, but there are some parts of Israel which have the feeling that this American Jewish organization is not really interested in hearing what they have to say. Instead, it seems to some, the GA wants to talk to the Israelis who already think like them.

One message that came across loud and clear was the organization’s decision to hold the GA in Tel Aviv.

Any other year that may not be such a big deal. But this year, Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s eternal capital was reaffirmed on the world stage through official American recognition. The choice to hold the GA elsewhere comes off as political and as a snub to the Trump administration, the current Israeli government and the city of Jerusalem.

On their website and in other materials promoting the conference, the JFNA emphasizes the differences between Israeli and American Jews. It notes that 43% of Israeli Jews and 61% of American Jews think Israel and an independent Palestinian state can coexist.”

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