Jewish Organizations Are Failing the Jews
They think that, as per the traditional model of political give and take, maybe some of that global warming advocacy or union pandering is going to buy them something down the road, some karma chits for later cashing. Maybe that was enough in the past, but it's getting thinner and thinner ice to put all your weight on. It's a political Ponzi scheme that will eventually melt down. The other side is working bottom up; the big organizations are working top down. In a democracy, the other side's is the longer-term plan.
The big national groups are little better. ADL has been pretty good of late, but a few years ago Abe Foxman actually said our biggest threat was the Evangelical Christians! (They "want to save us!" Imagine.) At least he hasn't repeated that mistake. The AJC (American Jewish Committee) is normally pretty good, but the former local Boston rep is one of Boston's biggest dhimmis -- a complete shill for the people running the Boston mosque (the MAS).
The local orgs are never out in front on these things and have to be pushed by unpaid local activists, leaving those same activists wondering how it is that they're being left holding the bag by the people who supposedly collect some sizable salaries to do what others are doing for free in their spare time.
Let's face it, though: it's not all the orgs' fault. They reflect the malaise and cluelessness of us, the community, including the rabbinical community and the donors. Hating on George Bush excites them. Iran and just about anything else can be rationalized away -- and I mean anything else. I think all that has to happen is that someone says, "This is what good liberal Democrats think," and they'll sell Israel and their religion right down the river. That's one reason I do cut the orgs some slack -- they can only go as far as their donors will travel along with, even if some of the leadership "gets it."
I think a lot of people know the era of "Jewish power" has a limited shelf life. The community is fighting a demographic and money battle that it sure looks like they're destined to lose, and a lot of people are -- whether they realize it consciously or not (and I think many are conscious of it) -- preparing for the day when they are undermenschen/dhimmies/powerless again. "Please don't hurt us. We were good to you!"
The locals need to do a much better job of fighting back on the streets and in the meeting halls -- demonstrating, counter-demonstrating, asking questions at "enemy" events. You can't shut people up -- this is America -- but you can stop letting them have the floor unopposed. You can let people like yourself, Increasingly Concerned, feel better that, yes, there are others out there ready and willing to fight back -- for morale purposes if nothing else.
There's a systemic problem. The Jewish community is a victim of its own success. American Jews would rather write a check to one of the alphabet soup groups and "let George do it" than pick up a sign and stand out on a street corner. Let's face it: in our society, "regular people" just don't do that. We have jobs and families, while the other side has college kids, paid non-profit staff, and various lowlifes with nothing much else to do. If there's one thing the far left is good at, it's standing around on street corners with signs shouting slogans.
None of that is any excuse for the organized community and their full-time paid staffs to be asleep at the switch when it comes to the day-to-day street battle.
As Americans we are complacent in our freedoms. It's inconceivable that the day will ever come when individual Jews receive a knock on the door from the jackboots looking to prevent the free private practice of their religion. But the right to express oneself as a member of a public community -- whether at home or as a political polity in Israel -- is something that must be consistently fought for on a number of fronts, including with visible, street-level activism so that even those without big checkbooks can see there are others out there fighting on their behalf.
You wouldn't think that with all that organizational funding floating around you'd be feeling so all alone, and you're not. It just seems that way sometimes.