One thing the heterodox (as Rav Yonasan Rosenblum called them) don't seem to understand is why Torah observant Jews don't recognize their conversions. After all, as independent "streams" of the Jewish religion, shouldn't they have an equal right to decide who gets into "the club"?
This lack of understanding is compounded by the actions of (not so) well meaning secular judges in Israel who also see Judaism from a religious point of view and don't comprehend a difference between the concepts of Orthodoxy and heterodoxy. It's all the same to them, just with a varying degree of observance of the rules.
Thus this article from YNet which shows that Israel's high court remains intent on turning Israel into an "enlightened" non-Jewish state as soon as possible:
The High Court ruled on Tuesday that the State must fund private conversion classes operated by the Reform and Conservative movements, in addition to the regular funding of private Orthodox institutions.
The Movement for Progressive Judaism in Israel petitioned the High Court demanding funding for private conversion schools that are operated by the movement, and that refer their students to independent Reform and Conservative rabbinical courts at the end of the process.
There are three fundamental flaws to the thinking that non-halachic conversions can ever be accepted by the Torah observant community.
The first is the idea of a non-observant rabbinical court. The idea is, to be frank, absurd. Could one imagine a legal tribunal anywhere composed of lawyers and judges who are outspoken opponents and non-observers of the law they supposedly represent? Imagine a traffic court judge who holds that speeding laws are unconstitutional and therefore refuses to find guilty any speeder no matter what the evidence. Would such a judge maintain his position for long?
The basis for Reform and Conservatism is rejection of the traditional halacha and its absolute authority in a Jew's life. What you feel, what you like, what gives you a good personal moral sense is the ultimate rule in heterodoxy. Am I expected to acknowledge the authority of a judge on such a court when he himself refuses the acknowledge the authority of the Ribono shel Olam over him? What does he base his authority on? What binding legal sources? And if everything is an option, how can he rending an enforceable judgement?
The second is the idea that Israel must, in its unavoidable role of being at the centre of the Jewish world, maintain a standard that is acceptable for the vast majority of Jews. To put it simply, heterodoxy recognizes Orthodox conversions. Orthodoxy does not. Therefore, if the State is going to authorize and play a role in the conversion process, it must restrict itself to only those nearly universally held.
The third and final problem goes to the heart of the difference between Torah observance and heterodoxy. Reform and Conservatism see Judaism as a religion. As a result, they do not see conversion in terms of anything more than a lifestyle choice. Yesteday one may have chosen to bow in church. Today he'll have a bagel with lox.
For Torah observant Jews, Yiddishkeit is much deeper than this. It is first and foremost not a religion but rather a nationality. For the Reformer, a Jew is a Canadian who happens to be Jewish. For the Orthodox, a Jew is a Jew who happens to be living in Canada. This is more than just semantics! Secondly, one who identifies as a Jew has a responsiblity to feel a sense of brotherhood with not only the Jewish people alive today but with the nation as it has existed since we stood at Har Sinai. The reason Orthodoxy cannot recognize the Reform and Conservative conversion process is because it does not create in its contestants the sense that they are leaving behind a "citizenship of the world" and exclusively joining the Jewish people. As another article in Ynet notes:
In their flashy website it says that aside from going to the mikvah and undergoing circumcision, one may adhere to mitzvot in line with his personal ability to adhere to them in light of circumstances of time or place. That is, if a convert finds it difficult to keep the Shabbat or fast on Yom Kippur, he need not do it. Such person would also be exempt in cases where a mitzvah contradicts his conscience.
This is in complete contradiction to the Orthodox expectation that a person joining the Jewish people joins them completely, for good and bad, for convenient and annoying, because he has chosen to leave behind his gentile life and pledge his complete loyalty to God and Torah.
For all these reasons, we cannot accept or acknowledge any legitimacy to those who would change our nation into just another culture with interesting cuisine. Fortunatley, with the continued poor growth rates of heterodoxy in Israel, this is not likely to become a major issue in any case.