Thursday, July 06, 2006

The silence of major Jewish groups

The activism of the Reform and Conservative Jewish syanagogue movements in defense of traditional American freedoms is in sharp contrast to the silence of secular Jewish rights watchdogs whose main focus these days is defense of the state of Israel, writes Marc Perelman in the Forward, a Jewish newspaper.>

While Reform and Conservative activists have publicly questioned the Bush administration's policy of warrantless NSA wiretapping, the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League have all avoided taking a stance on the matter, Perelman says.
The feeling is that these lobbies, which have traditionally sought to defend Jewish interests and rights, are out of touch with grassroots American Judaism, their boards being dominated by wealthy hawks, Perelman says. Congress tends to take the opinion of the secular groups as representative of Jewish opinion, the writer says.
Perelman said nothing about Orthodox groups, which apparently have also taken no position on the Bush White House's major expansion of presidential powers in the name of fighting terrorism.


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