(June 21, 2021 / JNS) After calling on the Palestinian Authority to end its incitement to violence, North American Jewish Federations Board Chairman Mark Wilf celebrated long-awaited Jewish unity, exclaiming on May 10 : “The entire Jewish community in North America stands tall. in solidarity with all Israelis at this very difficult time.
Twenty-four hours later, on May 11, the situation had dramatically worsened. Moments before 2 p.m. came the report: Tel Aviv had been hit, and perhaps 60 rockets had been fired in the last hour.
Then reports started pouring in about violence against Jews on the streets of New York and Los Angeles.
It didn’t even occur to me that our local federation would go ahead with its scheduled event “Honest Conversations” featuring Koach Baruch Frazier, a “trans Jew who works for the day everyone knows. the Liberation “. Frazier sits on the board of the pro-BDS organization, the anti-Zionist Jewish Liberation Fund and the Tzedek Laboratory, alongside the trainers IfNotNow and the “priestesses” of Bend the Arc. He is also a member of the board of directors of GSA, a organization which trains young trans teens. This “honest conversation” was an exercise in what could only honestly be called “normalizing anti-Zionism”. Yet even as the rockets rained down on the Israelis, my Federation felt the need to put on this anti-Israel spectacle.
Then again, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. The Rochester Federation has spent the past two decades ignoring the cancer-growing Corbynism within the American left. Even when activating it:
- he had brought Eric K. Ward to lecture us on “racism”. room JLF sponsors as a “publicly funded project”. And he funds CAIR linked to Hamas through his function as chairman of the Proteus Fund.
- Our federation sent their local JCRC manager to a Bend the Arc Selah training without knowledge of the community. Bend the Arc is virulent against the police, and poses a clear and present danger to a Jewish community in need of police protection.
- In Rochester, anti-Zionist and pro-BDS activists from outside the state are invited to speak to the community while local black Zionist Jews are not. In addition to their anti-Zionism, guest speakers promoted notions such as sexuality is a political statement and that the nuclear family is a bourgeois institution preventing oppressed minorities from liberating themselves. My Federation is so passionate about the new Progressive religion that it has helped spread these anti-Jewish ideas.
Radical anti-Zionist activists and their allies are building a new religion within Judaism, and it has infiltrated the dominant organizations of the Jewish community. A fusion of anti-Zionism and paganism, some versions promote the belief that African-American Jews are the “real Jews.” All versions impose neutrality towards the Nation of Islam which hates the Jews.
My Federation’s accommodation, if not the adoption of this new dispensation, especially its negative treatment of Israel, was noticed: In 2014, I had coffee with a lovely white Christian pastor active in the BDS movement. She spends much of her time organizing a pro-BDS tour of churches in New York State. I explained to her how misguided she is, especially given the history of the Christian church. She looked surprised. She told me that she assumed that every Jew was pro-BDS. Why? She is part of an invitation-only interfaith New Testament Bible study held at the local Federation. The head of the Federation had never mentioned BDS, she explained to me. Surely, if he had had an objection to BDS, he would have brought it into the room full of Christian ministers.
Rochester’s community leadership has become so attached to the new “progressive” ideology that it prohibits community discussions, inquiries, or protests. Topics such as BDS, J Street, Critical Race Theory, Nation of Islam, Durban, Bend the Arc, progressive churches, black conservatism and the Iran nuclear deal were banned from discussion.
It is becoming clear to more and more Jews that we have enemies not just on the right, who are easy to see and do not require any courage to call them out. Every week we scan videos of Jews being beaten in the streets, not by Nazis, but by blacks who hate Jews and Muslim Palestinians. More and more of us are seeing that Jewish organizations have allowed and even promoted left-wing groups, as well as the black community and the Muslim community, which are now so visibly our enemies. In the past, even to evoke these painful subjects was to run the risk of being accused of “racism” and “Islamophobia”. This should no longer be the case.
So I asked the leaders of our Federation to explain the policies that led to such a wave of anti-Israel speakers and the refusal to have open community discussions. I asked for a general statement on the aggressions against Israel from the Jewish left and from the Jewish left. So far, management has refused to do so, although I told them I would write this article.
It is a new and dangerous time for the Jews. Community activists must take it upon themselves to challenge local Jewish settlements. They led us down a dark and dangerous path. Their game plan for clinging to left-wing coalitions backfired. We Jews are in trouble. It’s time to act. I started to organize my community to take back our voice. You should too.
Patti Munter is the co-founder of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Rochester for Israel. Before that, she worked for the magazine “Rolling Stone”. She has appeared on “The Larry King Show” and “The Today Show”.