Source: The Jerusalem Post
Ze'ev Bielski, a newly elected Knesset Member and the outgoing chairman of the Jewish Agency, calls for a revolutionary change in Israel – Diaspora relations in order to help meet the emergency situation facing Diaspora Jewry. The danger posed to ongoing Jewish existence in the Diaspora caused by assimilation, intermarriage, low Jewish birth rate, the increased distance from Holocaust memories, the weakening bond with the State of Israel and local Jewish institutions and other factors, require the State of Israel and the government of Israel to act to help guarantee the future of the Jewish people.
"It is necessary to institute a fundamental change in Israel-Diaspora relations. It's no longer the Jewish communities who are the contributors while Israel is the recipient of contributions. Today we must build a true partnership on behalf of the two major historic missions that await us - guaranteeing the future of the Jewish people in the Diaspora and the continued construction and prosperity of Israel.
To accomplish this, the sporadic enlistment by the government in response to an emergency case or the individual distress of any Jewish community will not suffice. What is needed is a joint program by the government and the Jewish people. We are talking of a long-range plan with copious resources. The Jewish Agency, which has always served as a bridge between the Jewish people in the Diaspora and the State of Israel is best suited to advance that plan. If in the past the Jewish Agency provided a platform for the Jewish people to establish and consolidate the State of Israel, it must today function as the platform of the government and the Jewish communities throughout the world in leading this critical initiative."