Mercaz Olami, the Zionist arm of Masorti-Conservative Judaism in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Australia published a statement on Tuesday calling on presumptive prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to appoint Itamar Ben-Gvir as minister in the upcoming government.
The movement said in a statement that it “reaffirms its commitment to the essential values of Zionism and Israel as a Jewish and democratic state,” and that they are “proud of Israel as a vibrant democracy. We also applaud the fact that all sides accept the results of the election.”
The movement added that they “affirm our unshakable support for the State of Israel,” however, “in light of the basic values stated in the Declaration of Independence of the State of Israel, we respond to the election results with great concern.”
They explained that “it is impossible to ignore the fact that the coalition which appears to be in the making, will include politicians whose positions regarding basic elements of democracy and diversity, such as Jewish pluralism, LGBTQ and vulnerable minorities, significantly differ from the values which have guided Zionism since its inception. The bridges between Israel and world Jewry could be severely damaged if a step back will be taken on sensitive issues like the egalitarian Kotel, conversion and who is a Jew.
“We are worried and troubled because the power of Israel depends not only on her military and economic strength but also on her values, her international stature as a liberal democracy and her connection with the Jewish people around the world.”
Heads of the Conservative movement said in their statement that they call upon Netanyahu “with a request not to appoint Itamar Ben-Gvir to a ministerial position in the new government.” They explained this request by the fact that “he has been convicted of criminal acts including incitement of racism, possession of propaganda material of a terrorist organization and support of a terrorist organization.”