Alon Pinkas has been brought in to revive the fortunes of the American Jewish Congress -- and I am struggling to know what to make of it.
a. A disgrace, in that it appears to be a violation of the cardinal rule that a diplomat returns to the country which he represents when his term is up? Particularly relevant for a country like Israel, which encourages Diaspora Jews to make Aliya, and looks silly when its own ambassadors won't go home.
b. A triumph, in that it shows just how out of his way Pinkas must have gone to forge ties with the Jewish community? Particularly relevant when many, if not most of Israel's Ambassadors never really come to understand, let alone appreciate the Diaspora communities in the cities in which they are based.
c. A slap in the face by a charismatic, successful Consul General to a charmless, mediocre Foreign Minister who dissed him?
d. Proof that $350,000 for sitting in Manhattan is more tempting than $50,000 for sitting in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem (although it does have very nice new offices)?
Personally, I'm leaning towards e., all of the above, with a slight bias towards b., a triumph. Putting myself for a moment into my father's shoes, however, I will be interested to see how this affects the hundreds of shlichim across North America who wouldn't mind another year or two (or ten) in Chutz La'aretz but are told they must go home at the end of their term. Let's just hope they don't notice that the rules have changed.