The Author

Today, the Reform movement seems to be an unthinking, sycophantic arm of the Democratic Party, which doesn’t seem to include helping or caring about our fellow Jews.

Dear Union of Reform Judaism,

What are you thinking?

In the past 12 months:

We have seen a full court press by President Obama against the democratically elected prime minister of Israel. This was the result of Netanyahu’s disagreement with our president about the criminally stupid deal that he made with Iran.

We have seen a president who made borderline anti-Semitic statements on a conference call to liberal supporters. “Opponents of the deal are pushing for war with Iran as they did in Iraq.” This played on old anti-Semitic canard that Jews are warmongers. This was proven not to be true. Facts don’t seem to matter to an obsessed president.

Obama also spoke about the “well-funded lobbying campaign behind them.” He mentioned “the money” as well as the big check writers to political campaigns and billionaires who happily finance super PACs. All referencing once again the pro-Israel or Jewish community.

Obama complained about the $20 million spent on ads against the deal, a not-so-subtle reference to AIPAC. He didn’t mention the millions spent by J Street, his bought and paid for surrogate.

Most Americans, including Christians and Jews, did not support the Iran deal, which made no difference to loyal Democrats, including Jewish Democrats who supported it anyway.

We have seen our president fan the flames of divisiveness, class warfare and racism by supporting the Black Lives Matter organization. Yes, black lives matter, but so do Jews, policemen and everyone else. This was a phony, blown-out-of-proportion response to a killing by a white police officer of a black kid who was attacking him. The case went to a grand jury, where several black and white citizens decided that there was no cause for a trial. Our president, however, used it for political purposes causing riots, the lives of policeman, and the destruction of neighborhoods in places like Baltimore. The citizenry was agitated due not to reality, but to the inflammatory black lives movement’s rhetoric -“Pigs in a blanket fry like bacon.” These are the same people that our president praised and welcomed to the White House recently.

Black Lives Matter has also co-opted the Free Palestine movement. How can anyone with a straight face say that the two are even remotely related?

Our president invited Al Sharpton, a notoriously anti-Semitic, tax evader, to the White house over 70 times since he became president.

There has NOT been a surge in policemen killing black people statistically in this country. Where there is abuse, we have a system of justice that handles it.

This doesn’t mean that there are no problems in our criminal justice system or with rogue racist police officers.

We have seen in the last few months hundreds of Israelis stabbed in Israel just for being Jews.

We have seen the landmark Iran deal which has implications for not only Jews, but the entire world. Most experts agree that this deal will only delay, not permanently cripple, Iran’s nuclear weapons program. What everyone, even the president, agrees on is that Iran will be strengthened regionally with the inflow of the many billions of dollars.

Hezbollah, Iran’s surrogate in Lebanon, already has over 100,000 rockets aimed at all parts of Israel. Our children and perhaps their children will be dealing with the consequences of strengthening a religiously fanatic regional hegemony.

Our children are being harassed for being Jewish and pro-Israel on college campuses throughout the United States.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, and it is mostly from Radical Islamic movements.

Just last week, the President of the United States was quoted in an article saying that he doesn’t understand why Israel has to have the qualitative edge in weaponry in the Middle East. This has been the bedrock in U.S.-Israel relations for decades. It is the only way that Israel, with its tiny size and population, can survive in a sea of hate.

Just recently we have seen copies of emails from Hillary Clinton that show she is taking advice from Sidney Blumenthal. Blumenthal sent his son Max Blumenthal’s articles regarding Israel to her. Max Blumenthal is an anti-Israel fanatic who believes that there shouldn’t be an Israel. Hillary thought his article was “brilliant” as always.

The Reform movement? Barely a word, crickets, silence.

Jews being murdered almost daily in Israel by terrorist thugs doesn’t seem to be a big deal to the Reform movement.

An existential threat by Iran to our fellow Jews in Israel and to the world apparently doesn’t mean much to the Reform movement.

What does get their hackles up?

A presidential candidate who makes stupid remarks in a primary. He is the front-runner but is not assured of being chosen as the Republican nominee.

A Republican presidential candidate who says that he will bar Muslims from immigrating to our country for awhile until we can sort out what the problem is with them. This statement was indelicate, perhaps stupid and mostly unworkable. Nobody, however, can deny with a straight face that there is an actual problem in the Muslim faith with terrorism and radicalism, so this was not coming from left field.

A Knesset member who criticized the Reform movement by saying that Israel should not build a place to worship at the Kotel (Western Wall) because in a generation or two the Reform movement will die anyway.  According to him, this is due to assimilation and a general dropping off of numbers of Jews in the Reform movement. This was from a Knesset member, not the prime minister, and is not official policy. The policy was also adopted in Israel and is a fact, not an issue.

All of these brought long, quick and angry letters from Rick Jacobs,president of the Union of Reform Judaism.

‘I Belong to a Reform Synagogue’

So am I saying that I really hate the Reform movement?

I belong to a Reform synagogue. I grew up in a Reconstructionist synagogue on Long Island. My family has traditionally been very involved in synagogue life. I consider myself to be a “reformed conservadox.” I personally see beauty in all facets of Judaism, from Reform to ultra-Orthodox. We are all Jews, family and equal in my eyes.

This is not an attack on the Reform movement from a religious standpoint. The synagogue in which I grew up in Long Island was extremely progressive, however, they were pro-Zionist and pro-Israel. Not even a question of whether or not Israel should exist or be supported.

I am not saying that we should all be in lock step with all of Israel’s policies. Anyone reading the Israeli press would know that nobody is more critical of themselves than Israelis.

Israel, however, is being vilified in a world where the UN can accuse Israel of being the worst country for women’s rights.

Israel is being vilified in a world where Christians are slaughtered in a genocidal storm of hatred.

Syria has had hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens murdered some by weapons of mass destruction.

Innocent lives have been taken in Paris, Brussel’s, Turkey and Israel by Islamic fanatics.

Vilifying Israel is Not ‘Tikun Olam’

There needs to be some proportion here. The paternalistic attitude of many on the left towards Israel is ludicrous. Setting impossible standards for a country that is constantly being attacked from within and from without is not Tikun Olam; it is suicidal and stupid.

Today, the Reform movement seems to be an unthinking, sycophantic arm of the Democratic Party, which doesn’t seem to include helping or caring about our fellow Jews.

Until the world accepts Israel as a Jewish state, Israel will be in a perpetual war of independence. I know that social justice is central to the Reform movement, but charity begins at home.

The Reform movement must decide if it is a Jewish movement or just another division of the Democratic Party.

Article by Larry Levine

Originally from Long Island, New York, Larry Levine lives in Columbus Ohio. He is an award-winning businessman/pro-Israel activist, writer. Also a standup comedian and talk show host whose guests included Jay Leno, Alexander Haig and Paul Reiser.