Thursday, February 09, 2023

09-Feb-23: Do America's Jewish communities have the leaders they deserve?

On February 3, 2023, Jordan's Royal Hashemite Court published
and disseminated this photo to illustrate its report under the headline
"King meets representatives of international,
US Jewish organisations"

A version of the post below originally appeared on Frimet Roth's blog "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly" under the title "Don't we deserve better than this lamentable leadership?"

Here's the full text of a February 2, 2023 Jewish Insider report about a Washington gathering of high-profile individuals day.
King Abdullah II of Jordan met with Jewish leaders in Washington, D.C., yesterday. Those in attendance included Rabbi Marc Schneier, Ted Deutch, Jeremy Ben-Ami, Jonathan Greenblatt, Susie Gelman, Hadar Susskind, Dana Gershon, Betty Ehrenberg, Jason Isaacson, John Hannah and Harriet Schleifer.
A prominent article in a Hashemite-Kingdom-controlled Jordanian newspaper covers the same event. As often happens in the Jordanian media, no Jews are named or quoted. Here's its full text:
AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday met with representatives of international and US Jewish organisations in Washington, DC, and stressed the importance of these organisations supporting efforts to achieve just and comprehensive peace.

King Abdullah stressed the need to step up efforts to push towards restoring calm and de-escalation in the Palestinian Territories, while ceasing all unilateral measures that would lead to instability and undermine peace prospects, according to a Royal Court statement.

His Majesty said Jordan will continue efforts to safeguard Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, under the Hashemite Custodianship.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Director of the Office of His Majesty Jafar Hassan, and Jordan’s Ambassador in Washington, DC, Dina Kawar attended the meeting.
It's become an annual tradition. Executives of major Jewish organizations in the US solemnly file into a meeting room in some fancy hotel or embassy hall and pay their utmost respects to the visiting ruler of Jordan. He speaks, and his words are faithfully reported in Jordan's media. 

I don't personally know most of the people in the list. And since this hasn't been reported anywhere, I don't know what they said. Or whether they spoke at all.

I do however know something about what previous groups of Jewish leaders said and didn't say when they met the Jordanian. And what they have and have not said publicly to America's top political leaders. 

My husband and I [see This Ongoing War] have been outspoken for years about the abject failures of America's Jewish leadership in the Tamimi/Jordan/justice affair.

From a quick check on the web, I see all the distinguished Jewish people meeting King Abdullah this past Thursday hold leading positions in significant organizations (listed alphabetically) that include:

I know I should have grown used to it. But the pain these encounters inflict only intensifies with time.

My Malki's photos speak to me every day when I am in their presence in our living room. Her gentle eyes, sweet smile, modesty and love radiate from them. Since she was murdered in the Sbarro terror bombing in the summer of 2001, it's the only way she communicates with me.

As I peruse them tonight, I am reminded afresh that Jewish leaders promoting themselves in the Jewish media and mailed solicitations as staunch advocates of rights of the Jews evidently care not one bit about her or us.

US Department of Justice "Most Wanted Terrorist" poster seeking the arrest of our child's killer

Malki's murderer, Ahlam Tamimi, indicted in Washington in 2013 (though this was kept secret until; 2017) is protected and shielded from justice by King Abdullah II of Jordan. And, whatever the leaders say, this clearly doesn't matter one iota to them.

The facts are so clear to me and, as far as I can tell, so irrelevant to them.

The fact that Jordan and the United States have had a valid and active extradition treaty since the days of the Clinton administration and the late King Hussein - the father of today's monarch. 

The fact that the U.S. Department of Justice has demanded that Jordan extradite her under it, and hand her over to the FBI's waiting arms so she can be brought to criminal trial in Washington.

The fact that King Abdullah has authorized the rejection of that demand since Tamimi's indictment. 

The fact that whenever he calls, they come running, as they did last week.

It is an incomprehensible exhibition of sycophancy toward a man who is brazenly using them to buttress his position as a close ally of the U.S. 

And, most important, as the world's largest recipient of U.S. financial aid - now running at some $1.5 billion a year.

Jordan's disdain for Israel is apparently not a factor for Jewish leaders when deciding whether to accept the vaunted invitation of His Majesty (as they usually refer to him).

In meetings, letters and phone calls with many of those leaders we have pleaded since 2017 for their assistance in pressuring the United States to get Jordan to comply with its treaty obligation. All produced nothing more than demeaning, dismissive responses.

What a pathetic show of spinelessness.

Remember this when these organizations next solicit your donation.

No comments: