The world-wide Conservative Movement approved on Monday a responsum drawn up by its Rabbinical Assembly, nullifying any provisions in Jewish civil law that discriminate against non-Jews.
The Conservative Movement said its halachic position statement specifically rejected the teachings of controversial works written by far-right rabbis in Israel in recent years which permit killing non-Jews and discrimination against them.
The responsum is the product of approximately 18 months of deliberations by the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards.
Rabbi Reuven Hammer, the founder of the Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel and a member of the committee was given the responsibility to write the responsum which was approved unanimously by the committee.
Hammer wrote that the status of non-Jews in Biblical texts in regards to civil law was generally favorable, citing exhortations by the Torah to treat non-Jewish residents of the Land of Israel compassionately and justly.
The rabbi also pointed to positive attitudes to non-Jews in rabbinic literature, and argued that statements in such religious texts allowing for discrimination against non-Jews appeared in the historical context of persecution of Jews by non-Jewish foreign powers.