Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Vic Rosenthal's weekly column



The Zionist Organization and its parliament, the Zionist Congress, were established by Theodor Herzl in 1897 (the “World” was added to their names later). Their function was to develop and implement a program of Jewish settlement in Eretz Yisrael. The Zionist Congress included delegates from a wide range of ideological streams; the bottom line was a Jewish home in our historic homeland (although other locations were considered in the early years), but the nature of that home – even whether it should be a sovereign state – was subject to dispute.

Today’s World Zionist Congress (WZC) appoints the heads of several organizations that control large amounts of property and funds that come from Jewish charities abroad and the Israeli taxpayer. These include the Jewish National Fund (JNF) which manages most of the land in Israel, the Jewish Agency which facilitates Jewish immigration to Israel, the United Israel Appeal which raises funds, and others.

These organizations are closely connected to the government of Israel, but they are independent bodies. This can be confusing. For example, someone applying to make aliyah to Israel must deal with both the Jewish Agency (the sochnut) and the Israeli consulate.

The most important fact about the WZC is that its sub-organizations spend about $1 billion annually. These organizations, whose utility ended on 14 May 1948, have hundreds of employees (many of whom are politically connected individuals), and hundreds of contractors and programs are supported by them. To the extent that they perform useful functions, they could and should be done by the government of Israel. The waste of funds that come from the high taxes paid by Israelis and the generous donations of diaspora Jews is colossal. Many highly-paid functionaries do essentially nothing, and are there because somebody important owed them a favor.

But in addition to being wasteful, these organizations are dangerous, because they represent an easily-opened door to infiltration by those who not only want to benefit from the fruits of the Jewish state, but to attack it in the process.

Recently many diaspora organizations, particularly in the US, which were originally established to benefit the Jewish people as a whole, the State of Israel, or individual Jews, have been pressured to include representatives of anti-Zionist groups like J Street. In 2012, “Open Hillel” was formed in order to try to change the guidelines of college Hillel houses for acceptable programs, in the words of one reporter, to “legitimize and include groups that advance anti-Israel (and sometimes anti-Semitic) agendas in mainstream Jewish campus life.”

In 2014, J Street applied to become a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, and was turned down after an acrimonious debate. Last week, a guy that previously worked for Bernie Sanders, and previously was the State Department’s liaison to Congress to promote Obama’s Iran deal, became Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress.

The WZC has also become a focus of conflict between right-wing and left-wing factions. Delegates from the Diaspora are chosen by elections, while Israelis are apportioned according to the parties in the Knesset. Although the Left was battering at the gates here as well, a new group of American delegates has recently been added, a slate called “Eretz Hakodesh” that appealed to non-Zionist Haredim. It’s platform did not include the words “State of Israel” or “Zionist.” A campaign in the Orthodox and Haredi communities gave the religious and right-wing bloc a slight edge over the Reform/Conservative/Left bloc among the total of 521 delegates (complete results by country are here, in Hebrew).

It’s possible to take comfort in the fact that the American Hatikvah slate, which included such “Zionists” as Peter Beinart, got only ten seats. It’s absurd that they or anti-Zionist Haredim should be represented at all.

The largest delegation from the US is the one representing the Reform movement, with 39 seats. Together with Reform delegates from other countries, they hold a total of 63 seats. Considering that “Reform Zionism” means misinformed American Jews telling Israelis how to run their country (because the US is doing such a good job at home), they too are not in the “helpful” category.

72 years after the founding of the state, Zionism as an ideology is still relevant. But the World Zionist Organization is not.

Indeed, it’s long past time to end this jobs program for shady politicians that didn’t make it into the Knesset, former mayors that were not re-elected, and so forth. The unnecessary bureaucracy only makes life harder for people who must interact with it, like prospective olim. And just like Israel’s bloated unity government with its 36 ministers – at least 18 of which are unnecessary – it is obscene to shovel cash into a black hole when Israelis and diaspora Jews are struggling in a wretched economic environment.



We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

Printfriendly

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

Support EoZ by shopping!

search eoz

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

translate

Share on Whatsapp


E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs

Categories

#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cart carto cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Community Standards conspiracy theories Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor huor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Only in Israel Opinion Opinon oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Best posts of the past 12 months


Nominated by EoZ readers

The EU's hypocritical use of "international law" that only applies to Israel

Blog Archive