Reform Jews condemn being labelled as not being Jewish

July 20, 2015 Agencies
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ARZENU, the world movement of Reform Zionists, condemns Israel’s Religious Services Minister for his comments in a radio interview that Reform Jews cannot be considered Jews, and calls for action to be taken to prevent any further statements like this being made by a government minister.

arzwnu“It is unacceptable for a senior representative of the State of Israel to publicly undermine the Declaration of Independence and to seek to divide the Jewish people along sectarian lines,” said ARZENU President, Rabbi Larry Englander.

ARZENU joins the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism’s call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take further and more definitive action against Minister Azoulay. “As a citizen of a democratic country, Mr. Azoulay is entitled to his views, reprehensible though they may be,” said Englander, “But the office of Minister of Religion must represent all expressions of Judaism, and thus he is unfit for this position,” said Englander.

The statement released Tuesday afternoon from the Prime Minister’s office, asserting that Minister Azoulay’s comments do not reflect the position of the government has had no impact on Minister Azoulay and amounts to no more than a slap on the wrist. Such hateful and disparaging remarks by a Minister demand a stronger response from Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“We endorse the Prime Minister’s statement that Israel is a home for all Jews and that as Minister of Religious Affairs, he must serve all of Israel’s citizens,” Englander said, “As such, this continued attack on Reform Jews in Israel and around the world cannot be allowed to continue and we call on the Government of Israel to take action against this divisive and outrageous behaviour.”

In light of the Minister’s continued attacks that will only serve to alienate Jews around the world from Israel, we believe that concrete sanctions should be imposed on the Minister and on the Shas Party. We, therefore, call on the Prime Minister to insist on Azoulay’s resignation. We also demand that the Minister meet with representatives of the Reform Movement and apologise to them.

Finally, we call on the World Zionist Organization (WZO) to suspend the membership of the Shas Party as being anti-Zionist based on Article 2A of the WZO Constitution which says “Zionism is a movement which adheres to the basic principles of justice, equality and democracy and which rejects discrimination based on origin, nationality, race or gender.”


4 Responses to “Reform Jews condemn being labelled as not being Jewish”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    To be a Jew or not to be a Jew….. that is the Question?

  2. Gabrielle Gouch says:

    If the Reform Jews are not Jews, who are the secular Jews?
    And if they are not Jews either how come they have the right to return?

    How many morons like Azoulay ended up in the current Israeli government?

  3. Paul Winter says:

    As a Reform Jew for decades, I support the protest against Azoulay’s intemperate outburst, commend PM Netanyahu’s declaration that Israel is the home of all Jews and not only endorse the call to expel Shas from the WZO, but recommend that no party based on religion be allowed to stand for elections; a parliament must make rules that comply with laws for all sections of a populace rather than impose aspects of a religious code.

    At the same time, non-Orthodox Jews would win more respect in Israel if the majority of non-Orthodox in the USA would cease support for the “Palestinians” and cease hopping on every passing popular cause bandwagon. In other words, if USA progressive Jews behaved more like Jews rather than populist progressives.

  4. Marta Mikey Frid says:

    We should all support Arzenu. The Minister is truly showing how much of his proclamations are truly dominated by FEAR of losing his monopoly on the faithful.

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