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Coalition for Jewish Values criticizes letter by 330 rabbis pledging to boycott Israeli MKs

CJV representing over 2,000 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in American public policy, said the letter had "unrestrained hypocrisy."

Otzma Yehudit Party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir attends a debate at the Knesset, Nov. 22, 2022. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
Otzma Yehudit Party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir attends a debate at the Knesset, Nov. 22, 2022. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV) criticized a letter signed last week by an estimated 330 non-Orthodox rabbis pledging to bar members of Israel’s Religious Zionism Party from speaking at their synagogues.

“Their call reveals the unrestrained hypocrisy of these non-Orthodox (and anti-Orthodox movements,” said CJV President Rabbi Yoel Schonfield. “The same people who virtue-signal their ‘tolerance’ demonstrate that they are the least tolerant of all. Anyone who speaks outside their ideological echo chamber must be canceled, censored, and banned.”

CJV also criticized the pledge for claiming that the policies of RZP leader Bezalel Smotrich and Otzma Yehudit Party Chairman Itamar Ben Gvir “will cause irreparable harm to the Israel-Jewish Diaspora relationship.”

“Israel has not, contrary to their claims, disenfranchised them,” the CJV statement reads in reference to the signatories. “Rather, it is they who seek to disenfranchise Israel.”

The rabbinic policy group criticized the Reform Jewish leaders for meeting with noted antisemites such as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and defending Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who has a history of antisemitism, in a recent letter.

CJV also noted the added hypocrisy of non-Orthodox rabbis making no such calls to ban former Arab-Israeli Member of Knesset Hanin Zoabi or the United Arab List party after she called for the dissolution of Israel.

“Their frantic call to reject duly-elected Members of Knesset reflects their alienation from both the Israeli electorate and the mainstream American pro-Israel community,” added CJV Midwestern Regional Vice President Rabbi Ze’ev Smason. “These rabbis not only grant undue credulity to antisemitic double standards at a time of increasing double standards at a time of increasing antisemitism, but further, during the holiday of Chanukah, align themselves with the Hellenists who sought to muzzle authentic Jewish voices.”

“One thing is certain,” Smason concluded, “hundreds of authentic Jewish congregations will welcome these and other Members of Knesset with open arms.”

CJV is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents over 2,000 traditional, Orthodox rabbis as the largest rabbinic public policy organization in America. CJV promotes religious liberty, human rights, and classical Jewish ideas in American public policy.

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