As I mentioned in "Cognitive Dissonance", Israel's non-Orthodox / secular Jewish majority allows the Orthodox minority to dominate that country political system. Recently the latter have attempted to intensify this grip by seeking to impose a tighter interpretation in determining
Throughout this ideological tug of war, even though they have the greatest stake in the outcome, the Russian immigrants, have remained largely silent due mainly to indifference. One reason is that many members of this group consider themselves as Jews anyway, whether or not the Orthodox rabbis agree. But whatever the cause for this apathy, the immigrants on the whole just do not find the issue worth fighting for.
So as Lydia sagely pointed out, if the Russians don't feel like joining the struggle that others are fighting in their behalf and if the non-Orthodox majority of Israeli Jews can't get their own act together and take back political control from the religious minority, why should non-Orthodox Jews in the diaspora, myself included, get worked up about this state of affairs? We may as well just stay neutral about Israel's internal and international dealings and —importantly —stop feeling personal embarrassment or responsibility when Israel makes mistakes resulting from reckless domestic and external policy decisions.
Carrying this idea further Greg (who is a Filipino and an ardent Reform Jew) recommends—and I'm becoming more inclined to agree—that Jews throughout the world should just tend to their own knitting and focus on building and strengthening their respective communities, especially here in Asia, where according to "Jewish Times Asia", a magazine which features articles about life in such these enclaves located in this part of the world, there are at present 34 such societies spread throughout Southeast Asia, China and Japan.
To quote Greg: "Jewish communities in the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, etc. are all small but can be nurtured into bigger and happier communities. Imagine visiting SE Jews in Burma one day! And being accepted without reservations as friends.The goal is to view each other as friends instead of family members. All this Orthodox hardheadedness in Israel, if made to occupy so much space in our consciousness, will just ruin the chances of these Jewish communities prospering. Imagine visiting a Vietnamese synagogue and being asked, "Are you sure you're Jewish? Can you prove it?"
This "hands off" approach does not mean that we renounce Israel. It just means that Israel and Zionism would no longer have a primacy in the diaspora Jewish mindset. Besides, Israel has a strong economic presence in this part of the world, as various articles in the July / August, 2010 "Jewish Times Asia" issue aptly demonstrate. Further, many members of the Jewish communities in Asia are native Israelis who are visiting or working here and who travel and transfer back and forth between the two locales. So in light of these ties, I'm certainly not suggesting abandonment. It's just that political, moral (and not to mention financial) support for Israel by religiously liberal diaspora Jews for Israel has been pretty much a one way street for way too long, Isn't it pointless for us to continue our role as enablers to the religious right and receive nothing but their contempt and ingratitude in return?
There is a slim chance that once the Orthodox establishment realizes that it can no longer take this advocacy for granted, it will be more inclined to recognize or at least respect its erstwhile benefactors, but ultimately, why should it matter? By refocusing our attention on strengthening and improving our own communities and the ties between them, and by extension the larger societies of which we are members as well,