Home  Principles & Statements  Positions of the ACJ  Articles  DonationsAbout Us  Contact Us  Links                                         


Stephen L. Naman
December 2022

Dear Friends of the Council: December 13, 2022  
The recent Israeli election and the movement of its government even farther  
right than many of us could have imagined is now the subject for broad review.  
This is an important development because it brings to the forefront the warning  
of the founders of Reform Judaism in the Pittsburgh Platform of 1885, “5. … We  
consider ourselves no longer a nation, but a religious community, and therefore  
expect neither a return to Palestine, … nor the restoration of any of the laws  
concerning the Jewish state.” And the Digest of Principles of the American  
Council for Judaism as published in 1943, “We Believe That: 1. The basis of  
unity among Jews is religion. 2. Jews consider themselves nationals of those  
countries in which they live and those lands their homelands. We Oppose: 7. The  
effort to establish a Jewish National State in Palestine…as a project that has  
been and will be deleterious to the welfare of Jews … throughout the world.”  
Some years back Jonathan D. Sarna, the noted Brandeis University historian and  
author of the seminal book American Judaism, said in an interview about the ACJ  
“Everything they prophesied dual loyalty, nationalism being evil has come to  
Some excerpts from a November 20, 2022 article in the NY Times by Liam Stack,  
Netanyahu’s Comeback Widens Divide Over Israel Among American Jews are of  
interest and potential significance: Rabbi Rachel Timoner of Congregation Beth  
Elohim, one of the largest Reform synagogues in Brooklyn, “The Israeli elections  
have brought in the most racist and farthest-right leadership Israel has ever  
seen,”. Rabbi Rolando Matalon at B’nai Jeshurun on the Upper West Side told  
worshipers “My most dominant emotion is fear, I’m afraid about the erosion of  
what was a liberal democracy, democratic values, of the judicial system.” The  
Union for Reform Judaism said in a statement that including Mr. Ben-Gvir and Mr.  
Smotrich in the government would “be painful for Jews worldwide who will not see  
the Israel they love and believe in reflected in these leaders, nor in the  
policies they pursue.” The Anti-Defamation League said it was “greatly  
concerned” about the results and warned that Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition partners  
“have a long history of engaging in racist, anti-Arab, homophobic and other  
hateful behavior.”  
Abe Foxman, the former leader of the Anti-Defamation League said in an interview  
in The Jerusalem Post, “I never thought that I would reach that point where I  
would say that my support of Israel is conditional, but it’s conditional.” …“If  
Israel ceases to be an open democracy, I won’t be able to support it,” he said.  
These developments and the actions, if any, of mainstream Jewish organizations  
and their pulpit rabbis, as well as U.S. and world leaders, bear watching. Will  
the toxicity of this far right Zionist, ultra-nationalist movement prevail over  
the moral and ethical values of the Jewish religion, or will faith overcome  
If you have already made a 2022 contribution to the Council, thank you, we are  
grateful for your support. If you have not yet contributed this year and choose  
to do so, contributions can be made by using the enclosed envelope or by credit  
card using the secure PayPal link on the Donations page of our website,  
www.ACJNA.org. You do not have to have a PayPal account to use this link, all  
major credit cards are accepted. Whatever your decision we thank each of you for  
your continued interest in the Council.  
The Board and Allan Brownfeld join me in sending our best wishes for a Healthy  
New Year.  
Stephen L. (Steve) Naman, President  
American Council for Judaism, Inc.  

< return to article list
© 2010 The American Council For Judaism.