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The growing division among Jews of different religious streams, among observant and secular Jews, between Israeli and Diaspora Jews, are among most worrying trends threatening the Jewish people today. Throughout his more than two decades at the helm of world Jewry, WJC President Ronald S. Lauder has emphasized the importance of Jewish unity.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, WJC President Lauder has maintained his staunch advocacy for strengthening the bonds of unity between Jews in Israel and the Diaspora. He has also remained vocal in his warnings that the Israeli government’s policies vis-à-vis non-Orthodox religious practice, coupled with the ongoing political conflict, is driving away support from Diaspora Jewry, particularly in the United States.
In August 2021, President Lauder published an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post calling on Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to “embrace world Jewry and renew its alliance with the Jewish people” and to “recognize the fact that what is happening today at American universities, on American social networks and in Jewish communities around the world is threatening the Zionist enterprise. It is no longer simply a PR problem. It is a danger to Israel’s national security. It is a new and grave existential threat.”
“By its own hand, Israel eroded its longstanding alliance with America — and its cherished covenant with the Jewish Diaspora,” President Lauder wrote. “If Israel does not find its way into the hearts and minds of millennials, Americans and Jews, the crucial American-Israeli alliance will be severely damaged. And if this alliance is thus damaged, Israel will grow weaker and suffer. … Messrs. Bennett and Lapid must do everything within their power to turn this around: rebuild the American-Israeli alliance and the Israeli-Jewish alliance here and now.”