Federations should stay out of politics

Federations should stay out of politics

I am distressed at the continued, unnecessary, and inappropriate foray into Israeli politics by the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ. I strongly disapprove of the words and actions of the leaders of Greater MetroWest and other Jewish federations following last month’s Israeli cabinet decisions. 

These charitable, diaspora organizations should not try to inject themselves into Israeli politics. It shows great disrespect for the Israeli people, their elected government, and the democratic process.

Their role should be to provide unmitigated support for Israel, not to be a lobbying group. Jews in the diaspora should have no say in how another democratic country runs their affairs. 

We Jews, and our organizations, should have unconditional love for Israel and its people. We can and should discuss issues of importance. However, we should never even threaten to rethink our relationship with Israel. Perhaps it is such critical words from our leaders that have contributed to the reduced support for Israel among our youth, a decline about which federation is appropriately concerned.

Other Jewish groups’ actions, such as the Chicago federation’s refusal to meet with Knesset members, are ridiculous. When someone doesn’t agree with them, the federation decides to stop speaking with them? That is rarely a recipe for progress. 

Until any one of us makes aliyah, let’s leave Israeli politics to the people who live there. It is not for us, and visitors who pray there once in a while, to decide. 

Let’s maintain our unconditional love and support for the State of Israel and the Jewish people. 

Alexander Marcus
Basking Ridge

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