The relations between Israel and the the world’s Jews, especially those in the United States, have always been fraught with hypocrisy. While everyone has been careful to pay lip service to Israeli democracy and its citizens’ exclusive right to determine their fate, Jewish tycoons have known how to translate the millions they donate into influence and esteem.
The state, which managed to absorb millions of Jews and build a flourishing economy, continued its small-town mentality of kowtowing to the masters from overseas. The national institutions set up to prepare the future state’s infrastructure – the Jewish Agency, Jewish National Fund, United Israel Appeal and World Zionist Organization – continued to be run as a hub of Israeli political interests combined with trips abroad to flatter philanthropists.
All Zionist parties are to blame for the present situation. They ceded control of national institutions to political interests and second or third-rate politicians who couldn’t get elected to parliament.
A serious and open debate on the necessity and role of these bodies is long overdue. Why do we need an inflated, discriminatory organization like the JNF while forestry, environmental development and managing state lands should be the government’s responsibility?