(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Jewish Agency and the Masorti (Conservative) movement are up in arms about
Religious Services Minister Ya’acov Margi’s recently expressed aspiration to see
legislation determining that non-Orthodox movements have no place on Israel’s
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Speaking in the Knesset last week at a ceremony marking 90
years to the Chief Rabbinate, Margi called for determining by law “that there
are no streams in Judaism, only one that has been passed down to us from
generation to generation.”
“We were saddened to read reports suggesting
that some MKs and at least one minister have called for outlawing the
non-Orthodox streams in Israel and transforming the Israeli rabbinate through
Knesset legislation into the “supreme” authority for the Jewish people
everywhere,” spokesman for the agency Haviv Gur said on Sunday.
of legislation that ‘outlaws’ branches of Judaism is harmful, divisive and
reflects a lack of understanding of the religious culture and institutions of
the Jewish Diaspora,” he said.
“Such a divisive initiative goes against
Israel’s historic duty and responsibility to build and maintain strong ties with
the Jewish world,” Gur added.
Executive-director of the Masorti Movement
in Israel Yizhar Hess said that “Margi, in his uninhibited statements, is
distancing world Jewry, and in fact delegitimizing them. His sentiments are
wrong from a moral, ethical and Jewish point of view.
“It is in this very
difficult time, when Israel needs every gram of support from US Jewry, that
Margi chose to shoot a poisoned arrow to the heart of so many Jews around the
world. Margi and his cronies are damaging Israel’s security,” Hess said.