Monday, September 11, 2006

And now a word from the Elders of Zion...


The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (JPPPI) has released its 3rd annual "assessment of the situation and dynamics of the Jewish people," which can be downloaded as a .pdf file here. The report makes a number of policy recommendations, most of which are in-line with the primarily conservative agenda of the organization, such as:
"Once a democratic decision is taken by Israel; its choices should be supported by the vast majority of Jewish People organizations and leaders, whatever their views may have been before that decision."
However, the report also encourages investment in the use of cyberspace for learning and community building and, even more importantly, the support of grassroots initiatives "as a main recommended strategy." They specifically recommend giving financial priority to youth group initiatives, providing training and support to "would-be initiators," and to "take care to respect and encourage the autonomy of grass roots activities." Yippie!

Some of the key points in their 2006 report include:
  • Israel is now the largest Jewish community in the world, with a population of 5,309,000. The United States has a population of 5,275,000 (although with the caveat that this does not include "non-Jewish members of Jewish households"); the rest of the world, combined: 2,501,000 Jews (primarily in France, Canada, Russia, the United Kingdom, or Argentina). As Dennis Ross writes:
    "If nothing else, this means that the future of the Jewish people is more clearly linked to the fate of Israel, and Israel’s character, values and security will matter even more to those who live in the Diaspora."
  • "As opposed to a previous attitude of generic condemnation of genocide," 2006 saw the beginnings of the "acknowledgement of the Shoah as a major event in European and world history," as demonstrated by (for example) the declaration of an International Day of Holocaust Remembrance by the United Nations, the establishment by most European countries of a European Day of Memory on January 27, and the opening of several "highly visible Shoah Memorials, notably a large one in Berlin."
  • 39% of American Jews use the Internet for Jewish purposes (although its not clear how many of these are referring to J-Date).
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