Prime Minister Netanyahu,
I am appalled by recent public pronouncements made in Israel which assault both non-Orthodox and secular Judaism.
As a friend and supporter of Israel, I was gratified to hear of the recent Supreme Court ruling and instructions given by the Attorney General aimed at granting equal status to non-Orthodox rabbis.
You will therefore understand our grave concern at the recent barrage of hateful statements demonizing Reform and Conservative Judaism as well as the civil judiciary.
We find such statements as those referring to the non-Orthodox streams as “uprooters and destroyers of Judaism” and “God’s enemies” (made by Chief Rabbi Amar) to not only be distasteful, but also highly offensive to these mainstream denominations of world Jewry.
Similarly, we find it incomprehensible that a marriage would be invalidated merely on account of using a witness who also serves as civil judge, even if he is observant, as recently declared by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: "(Civil Judges) cannot serve as witnesses for marriage. Their justice follows the laws of non-Jewish nations… They accept the testimony of women… Any man who uses them (civil judges) as witnesses in his wedding makes his wife a whore. The marriage is invalid.”
We are disappointed to know that neither of these or similar recent attacks were condemned by you or your colleagues in government.
Moreover, we strongly hold that the time has come for Israel to cease all forms of discrimination against non-Orthodox Judaism which runs contrary to everything world Jewry is based on: respect, diversity and pluralism.
Please take a stand, Mr. Netanyahu, on these issues that are critical to the future of Israel and its relationship with world Jewry.