Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Antony Lerman on extreme Zionism

A disaster for Jews and Israel

An extreme Zionist like Natan Sharansky is the last thing the world's largest Jewish organisation needs
lermanAntony Lerman is the former director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, Wednesday 15 July 2009 10.30 BST

Israel's current disastrous policy direction and the responsibility for it shared by American Jewish leaders are exemplified in the recent appointment of Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident and western human rights icon, as chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel (Jafi), the quasi-governmental, $640m-a-year body that promotes Zionism and encourages Jewish migration to Israel. The pairing of Sharansky and Jafi, engineered at the behest of Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and, after a fight, supported by the American Jewish organisations that provide a very big proportion of Jafi's funds, shows a fatal degree of obliviousness to what's needed to bring peace to Israel-Palestine and secure recognition of the autonomy of diaspora Jewish life. The largest Jewish institution in the world, Jafi is an important vehicle through whic

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