Amichai Chikli says he will focus less on Women of the Wall and Reform Jews struggles as minister

Chikli said that "every new minister put his emphasis on certain things. My emphasis will be on protecting the Jewish communities from antisemitism and also the fight against the BDS movement."

 MK Amichai Chikli at the Knesset, April 25, 2022.  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
MK Amichai Chikli at the Knesset, April 25, 2022.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

"As minister, I will focus less on the struggles of Women of the Wall and Reform [Jews] at the Kotel," said the new Diaspora Affairs and Social Equality Minister Amichai Chikli to KAN public radio on Thursday.

Chikli, a member of the Likud Party shared that he insisted on the mandate to represent the Israeli government in the fields of combating antisemitism and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as part of his role, even though these topics aren't always part of the ministry.

Asked about how he will manage the complicated situation with progressive Jews from the Diaspora and with the struggle for egalitarian prayers at the Kotel, Chikli said that "every new minister put his emphasis on certain things. My emphasis will be on protecting the Jewish communities from antisemitism and also the fight against the BDS movement." 

He added that he intends to invest in "strengthening Jewish identity and teaching Hebrew to Jews in the Diaspora." Chikli said that "Jewish education in countries such as the US is one of the largest expenses that Jewish parents have in the diaspora. As result, many send their children to public school."

"Every new minister put his emphasis on certain things. My emphasis will be on protecting the Jewish communities from antisemitism and also the fight against the BDS movement."

Diaspora Affairs and Social Equality Minister Amichai Chikli

Israel must give back - Chikli 

Chikli stated that after decades of support from Jews in the Diaspora, Israel needs to give back: "Jews in the Diaspora have been raising money for Israel since our establishment, whether it airplanes or other types of assistance. It's now our turn to help the Jewish communities in the US and other Jewish communities in the diaspora. I will be less concerned with the struggles of the Women of the Wall or Reform [Jews]." 

MK Amichai Chikli at the Knesset, April 25, 2022.  (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)MK Amichai Chikli at the Knesset, April 25, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Chikli added that the struggles at the Kotel aren't new and "won't end during this government."  He concluded by stating that "we will try to maintain the status quo," with regards to religion and stated, "my motto is: 'Do no harm.'"