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Israeli minister meeting with DC Jewish leaders canceled

A meeting between Amichai Chikli, minister of diaspora affairs, and D.C. Jewish leaders, was canceled after rabbis who were supposed to be part of the meeting dropped out and a protest was scheduled.

Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli speaks during a panel discussion at the Israeli American Council's National Conference in Austin, Texas, Jan. 19, 2023. Photo by Shahar Azran.
Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli speaks during a panel discussion at the Israeli American Council's National Conference in Austin, Texas, Jan. 19, 2023. Photo by Shahar Azran.

A meeting scheduled on June 8 in Washington, D.C., between Amichai Chikli, the Israeli diaspora affairs minister, and Jewish leaders was canceled. The local Jewish Federation cited a scheduling conflict, while Hebrew media reports noted that rabbis who were to be part of the meeting had dropped out, and a protest was scheduled.

Maariv reported that the invited rabbis announced that they would not participate, and a group called UnXeptable-Saving the Israeli Democracy had said it would protest the off-the-record roundtable, which was to be hosted in the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s North Bethesda offices .

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the Israeli embassy were to be co-hosts.

UnXeptable, which planned to protest outside the Federation building, shared a tweet containing a screenshot of an email from JCRC Israel Action Center Director Adam Odesser, citing “schedule changes.”

The cancelation comes amid other recently-nixed meetings, with Israeli Economy Minister Nir Barkat in Boston, and with Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis in Los Angeles.

But a Jewish Federations of North America spokeswoman told JNS that two prior meetings with Chikli took place earlier in the week in the Federations’ New York offices.

Also earlier in the week, anti-Israeli government protesters harassed Knesset member Simcha Rothman, of the Religious Zionism Party, on June 3 in New York City, with the New York Police Department closing a complaint filed against him after he pulled a megaphone away from a protester trailing him in Manhattan.

More than 40,000 people gathered on June 4 for the “Celebrate Israel Parade,” marking New York City’s solidarity with the Jewish State and celebrating the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding.

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