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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his address to the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly in the USA angered the chareidi community in Israel, commenting on his plans to further embrace the Reform and Conservative Movements.
The prime minister explained that he has instructed Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit to create a round table for the different movements in Israel. Mr. Netanyahu explained that for a first time, together with the Jewish Agency for Israel, the government will invest in the development and nurturing of the Conservative and Reform congregations in Israel.
“I will see to it that all Jews feel at home; Reform, Conservative and Orthodox. We will ensure that the Kosel is a place that unites instead of dividing” stated the prime minister.
This marks the first time the prime minister publically spoke of strengthening the Reform and Conservative Movements.
In response, MK Moshe Gafne told the media “The Reform Movement sticks a knife in Toras Yisrael and Netanyahu’s words are more serious and demand clarification when he returns home”.
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman added “The prime minister’s words in support of the Reform harm us and are in direct violation of coalition agreements. We have known throughout the generations that the Conservative and Reform are destroying the Jewish People and we must not assist in harming Toras Yisrael. The prime minister’s words are most unfortunately and he is doing everything he committed to not doing”.
Shas faction leader in Knesset MK Yoav Ben-Tzur added “The position of loyal Jews regarding the Reform Movement is known and we are absolutely opposed to its path and this position is not changing”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)