Netanyahu, Stand for equality for all!

Prime Minister Netanyahu,

I wish to congratulate you on your strong stance regarding civil rights and equality in Israel in your recent speech to the AIPAC general assembly*.  However, I turn to you regarding the challenge of religious freedom in Israel.

While we are pleased with your strong commitment to the rights of other faiths in Israel, and your intolerance towards discrimination of women, it is difficult difficult to reconcile your statement with the current situation in Israel in which non-Orthodox Jews, whether Reform, Conservative or secular, are denied basic rights such as marriage if they do not conform to Orthodox criteria and rites. This is denigrating to women, discriminating against non-Orthodox and depriving most Jews by Choice of the right to marry in Israel. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens, mostly new immigrants from the former Soviet Union, are denied the right of marriage altogether.

We are proud of Israel’s Declaration of Independence that ensures “freedom of religion and conscience” as well as equality for all. We are encouraged to know that most Israelis wholeheartedly support the realization of that promise.  However, it pains us to see how far Israel still is from reaching that goal, consistently ranked lowest in freedom of religion among the world’s democracies.

We ask that you proactively stand for freedom of religion for all, rather than the power of religion for some. We ask you to commit to making your statement* a reality, as it is the will of the Jewish people, both in Israel and abroad.

Thank you.

* "Israel’s fate is to continue to be the forward position of freedom in the Middle East. The only place where minorities enjoy full civil rights; The only place where Arabs enjoy full civil rights. The only place where Christians are free to practice their faith...I will never allow anything to threaten Israel’s democratic way of life. And most especially, I will never tolerate any discrimination against women."

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Jessica FainMiami
Uri RegevJerusalem
Davida ChazanJerusalem
AnonymousMiami, FL
Lauren B. Simonds, MSWSeattle
Pamela WittLos Angeles
E RileyIrvine
molle gradMiami, Fl
Natasha RowlandHerzliya
Leah Gayle BourneLexington, KY USA
Sarah (Cheryle) TacherJerusalem
Dimitrios FouliasMesa, AZ
Alison EpsteinRehovot
Leah KellerLenexa, KS
Linda Haas-ShapiraJerusalelm
Yael ShapiraWashington, DC
Michael JohnsonLondon
Jason MenayanSan Francisco (Calif, USA)
Russell CohenJohannesburg
Ailsa WuWaltham, MA
Arthur SimonDetroit
Moshe Dovid KaufmanValley Village,California
David ShneyerRockville
pam awrachLexington,MA
Susan L. ShevitzCambridge, MA, USA
Rick MoranNew Holland Pa
Julia StevensonWashington
Janet MosesSarssota
Philip KritzmanChicago
Hank SkirballJerusalem
Ilana Horowitz RatnerJerusalem and Cleveland
Davida ChazanJerusalem
Arthur HeymanAtlanta
Karla WorrellRichmond VA USA
Gordon SilvermanBronx
Roberta RoosDobbs Ferry NY
Elizabeth JanowitzMiami
Debra FrankCoral Gables, Florida
Avital Meron AkrishTel Aviv
Karla WorrellRichmond VA
Ann ShepherdKansas City
Leah KellerLenexa, KS
מרטין ססלרקיבוץ מגן
Michael LauferNew York
Michael JohnsonLondon
Steven BeckTel Aviv
Ellyn BenderSarasota
Miriam SimpsonHamden, CT
Roberto GerstenbluthBogota - Colombia
Alfredo Roldan Flores Newton
David ShneyerRockville
Zvi Engel Brooklyn NY
Steven BeckJerusalem
Paulette BalsamAmagansett NY
Barry WilliamsCork - Ireland
Heidi AbramsonWhite Plains
Shahar IlanJerusalem
Matt HaunKansas
Caryn NoveckDetroit/New York
Rabbi Darah Lerner Bangor me
Diana Davidson LernerSan Diego
Ariel BeeryTel Aviv
Mimi TestenShaker Heights
Zohar NevoJerusalem
Brad SokolMiami, Florida
Dawn Adels FineCoral Gables
Rabbi Adrian GottfriedSao Paulo
E rileyIrvine
Lori BarnettShawnee, Kansas
Henri GoettelIndependence
David GleiserBogota, Colombia
Sam WolffJerusalem
Michael JohnsonLondon
Sarah TacherJerusalem
Ileana Adriana StanBucharest
Arthur HeymanAtlanta
Rabbi Mark GoldsmithLondon UK
Martinho Faustino Xavier JúniorJoão Pessoa/PB/BR
Robert A. EpsteinHouston
David ShneyerRockville
Susan GerstenfeldNewton
Mark BodensteinLos Angeles
Ileana Adriana StanBucharest
H. Anne HoogasianSeal Beach
Nir LaxJerusalem, Israel
Henry SkirballJerusalem

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