Sokatch, according to insiders, found himself in the middle of a few major controversies in San Francisco, including the heated debate this past summer over the decision by organizers of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival to screen a movie about Rachel Corrie, the pro-Palestinian activist who was killed when she lay down in front of an Israeli bulldozer as it was about to raze a Palestinian house. Several foundations were outraged by the decision and then pushed to the brink when the film festival decided to invite Corrie’s mother to speak.
Sokatch had to put out a fire between a hyper liberal San Francisco Jewish populous and major foundations that were upset with the film festival. In the end, he publicly said that he thought the festival should have invited a wider range of speakers, not just Corrie’s mother.
He later irked some of the community’s more conservative factions by agreeing to speak at the upcoming conference of J Street, a new organization that has lobbied for U.S pressure on Israel (and the Palestinians) and criticized Israel's invasion of Gaza.
Sokatch, according to one insider very close to the situation, was offered the NIF job four months ago and turned it down. But only recently had a change of heart.
We’ll see if this version of the story holds as more people weigh in over the next day or so.
In any case, good riddance!