Israel’s Prime Minister has berated his religious affairs minister, after he said that Reform Jews were not Jewish.
Shas Knesset member David Azoulay made controversial comments yesterday, in which he claimed: “A Reform Jew, from the moment he stops following Jewish law, I cannot allow myself to say that he is a Jew
Azoulay, the Religious Affairs Minister continues: “These are Jews that have lost their way, and we must ensure that every Jew returns to the fold of Judaism, and accept everyone with love and joy.”
In response to these comments, Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the minister “to remind him that Israel is a home for all Jews and that as Minister of Religious Affairs, he serves all of Israel’s citizens,” in a statement, according to the Times of Israel.
Rabbi Gilad Kariv, the leader of Israel’s Reform movement, urged Bibi to “immediately spark a strategic dialogue with the leaders of the non-Orthodox movements to fully recognize their equal status in Israel.”
The Anti-Defamation League’s National Director, Abraham H. Foxman criticised Azoulay’s “outburst of demeaning and hateful comments,” whilst welcoming the PM’s “swift rejection”
“One would hope that a minister charged with administering religious affairs would be a voice for respect and tolerance of the religious views and traditions of others.”