(VIDEO IN EXTENDED ARTICLE)
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Tuesday 4 Tammuz was the keynote speaker at a Bnei Brith event, using the forum to speak out against Reform Jewry’s leaders in the United States for their questioning their future commitment to the State of Israel. Reform leaders were angered over the cabinet decision on Sunday, freezing the status of the Kosel, which halts work to construct an egalitarian prayer area near the Kosel, the Robinson’s Arch area.
The ambassador clarified, “I want to speak to you to some extent not as the United States Ambassador to Israel, but as a member of the Jewish faith and as the son of a rabbi who practiced before his pulpit for at least 45 years and committed his life to Jewish unity.”
He explains how he heard “A major Jewish organization has announced it must rethink its relationship with Israel”, which the ambassador calls “unthinkable”. He added there are issues that are being disputed including conversion and the Kosel, but the issues can only be resolved by dialogue and understanding.
“No one has to win” he explained, citing there must be dialogue between the sides. “This is not a question of winning. This is a question of mutual understanding and respect and co-existence. As soon as someone wants to win everybody’s going to lose.”
Clearly, the US ambassador decided to use his forum to reach out to Reform leaders, calling upon them not to “rethink” their relationship, but to enter into dialogue and work to resolve issues vis-à-vis Israel and Diaspora Jewry.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)