Update Wednesday March 19, 7:00 PM: I have just received a detailed and convincing message from the director of Kolech reiterating that they have no connection with Mossawa and will demand that their name be removed from the list of partners in the initiative. I regard this matter as closed as far as Kolech is concerned. The behavior of those who signed the mendacious letter (Jafar Farah of Mossawa, Francis Radai of Hemdat and Gilad Kariv of the Reform movement) bears further investigation.
The economist Harold Hotelling once observed that the rational course of action for a political party that is the most left (or right or whatever) among those competing would be to move to the point just left (or whatever) of its nearest competitor. As a result political parties will all inevitably drift towards the center.
What Hotelling doesn't take into account is that parties don't always seek to maximize their voter base. Here's another dynamic I have seen. The party that is most left (or right or whatever) necessarily becomes home to all the moonbats who have nowhere more extreme to go. The moonbats then either take over or become the audience to which those in charge need to appeal. Moonbats are not pulled by gravity towards the center; they are driven outward by centrifugal psychic needs.
Here's an interesting example. In my previous post, I discussed the constitutional proposal of the IDI and the extent to which it is pareve on the Jewish character of the state. As you might have surmised, however, even this proposal is way too Jewish for some. The "Future Vision" document, published by a group of Israeli Arab intellectuals calls for completely removing any Jewish character the State of Israel might have. This includes changing all state symbols, revoking the Law of Return and much more. In addition, Israel must atone for its colonial roots by granting special privileges to Israeli Arabs. (Of course, all this in Israel proper; Arabs in Judea, Samaria and Gaza get their own state in addition.) It's worthwhile to read the full document; if you can't, here's the NYT coverage.
(I haven't gotten to the example yet; bear with me.) One of the organizations that participated in preparing that document (and the source of the above link to it) is Mossawa. The head of Mossawa, Jafer Farah, was also a member of the steering committee that produced the "Future Vision" document. Jafer Farah and Mossawa are now leading an effort to either change or abort the Knesset's effort to produce a constitution. They refer to the influence of the IDI (not mentioned by name) as pulling the process too far rightward and note with dismay the participation of "religious and haredi" MKs in the committee meetings.
Mossawa is not working alone. The letter they sent out seeking support for their initiative notes that a number of organizations are working with them. Here's the critical paragraph in full:
Update Wednesday 4:30 PM: Since a number of people asked, both here and at My Obiter Dicta, the facts are these. The letter from Mossawa clearly states that Kolech is a partner in this initiative. This letter, with a request for clarification and a warning that it would be publicized, was brought to the attention of the Kolech office on Friday March 7 and acknowledged on Sunday March 9. After further pestering, Kolech promised a response "at the beginning of next [= this --BC] week". After a further nudge on Tuesday went unanswered, I posted the above. I quoted the paragraph in full so that I could not be accused of misinterpreting or quoting out of context.
I am active in several organizations and I can tell you one thing: If some other organization circulated a letter that misrepresented me, I'd be on their backs immediately and I'd certainly try to get the truth out as quickly as possible, especially if someone specifically inquired about the matter and expressed an intention to publicize it.
In any case, after posting the above, I received email from Channah Pasternak, director of Kolech, informing me that Kolech has never had any connection to Mossawa. She adds that her response was delayed due to illness.
That should close the matter as far as Kolech is concerned. Now, who wants to follow up with Mossawa and the others who put out a mendacious letter? The letter was signed by Jafar Farah of Mossawa, Francis Radai of Hemdat and Gilad Kariv of the Reform movement.