Seven years ago, shortly after 9/11, I met you on an OU tour of
Israel that visited many Jewish communities in Yehuda, the Shomron, and
East Jerusalem. Israel was then a somber place with hardly any
tourists in the hotels, and none but us visiting the Jews in hot spots
like Hebron. I thought you, as an executive officer of the OU, were
making a statement about your own and the organization's commitment to
the right of Jews in peacefully inhabit the heart of our homeland, and I
admired your leadership for it.
I listened to you being interviewed recently by Joe Orlow on his
Jewish Activist Network radio show. Respectfully, I feel compelled to
express my dismay at the feckless tone that, sadly, you struck in
responding to Mr. Orlow's challenging questions. It is legitimate for
the observant community to look to the OU for leadership, but for
several years now that leadership has been absent with respect to issues
vital to Israel's survival. I understand to importance of preserving
Jewish political unity and appreciate the awkwardness of the OU being
publicly at odds with Israeli government policies, but the increasingly
dangerous times we live in require more than the OU's passivity. It is
not good enough to rely on consensus positions, such as the need to
preserve the unity of Jerusalem, when the lack of courageous leadership
in the Jewish world generally (and in Israel particularly) has gotten us
to the point that the Jewish consensus on the extent of our right to our
patrimony, the land of Israel, is melting away faster than the Arctic
glaciers. It is not good enough to hope for the best, though hope be
necessary, or to pray, though prayer be necessary.
We have arrived at an "Eis Laasot LaShem," lest you preside over
For Heaven's sake, do something, say something, publicly, before
hundreds of thousands of Jews are expelled from their homes and all of
us are exposed to our enemies' ridicule of our foolish cowardice.
Very truly yours,
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