In the midst of the crisis between the current government of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Jewry – over issues such as egalitarian prayer at Jerusalem’s Western Wall (the Kotel holy site) and a proposed law that would not recognize conversions performed outside the Chief Rabbinate’s authority – Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely inflames the relationship even more and insulting the non-Orthodox Jews of the United States.
In an interview with I24 News on Wednesday, Hotovely said, among other things, that the American Jews live comfortably. They have no children who serve as soldiers, and they don’t know how to live under a rocket attack.
In addition, Hotovely claimed that their place at the Western Wall (the Kotel) stands empty most of the time because American Jews have no interest in going to the Western Wall and that the government offered them an egalitarian prayer, but all they wanted was recognition through the Western Wall issue.
American Jews mostly belong to the Reform and Conservative streams of Judaism.
On the crisis surrounding the cancellation of the outline of the Western Wall, Hotovely said: “This is an important goal to bring American Jews closer to Israel. That’s one of my goals.
The solution the government found on that issue is a wonderful place called Ezrat Israel in the Western Wall. Most of the time this place is empty, and the reason it’s empty is not that they don’t like the arrangement. The reason is that these people have no interest in going to the Western Wall.
“The government of Israel did a great deal so that people could pray there equitably,” she continued, “in a way that they could go with their families – fathers could pray with their daughters, everything was arranged. But they don’t want this because it’s a political issue. They want to get recognition through the Western Wall issue and they are turning a holy site into a controversial place. ”
In response to a question about whether she understands American Jews, she said: “I do not understand, because they may be too young to remember what it means to be a Jew without a Jewish state. The Memory is too short. 70 years ago, the Jewish people underwent a terrible Holocaust because there was no Jewish state to go to. This is the home of all Jews of all denominations and everyone is invited to influence.”
“There is another issue: they do not understand the complexity of the region,” added Hotovely. “Those people who never sent their children to fight for the land. Most of the American Jews do not have children who serve as soldiers. They do not send their children to Marines in Afghanistan or Iraq. Most of them have a comfortable life. They do not know what it’s like to be attacked with rockets. Part of that is to feel how Israel feels in everyday life.”
Hotovely also referred to the cancellation of her appearance at a conference of the Hillel Association at Princeton University under the pressure of a progressive Jewish organization: “You are canceling my appearance because Jewish students do not like my opinions, and something bad happens under the ‘liberal dictatorship’ and you have to be concerned about how Hillel behaves with Israeli representatives.
“I received backing even from representatives of the left, who understand that the problem is not the government of Israel, but Jews who are at the leading universities in the United States. ”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning condemned what she described as “offensive remarks about American Jewry.”
Netanyahu said that “Diaspora Jews are dear to us and are an inseparable part of our people. There is no room for such an attack, and her words do not reflect the position of the State of Israel.”
“Amazing ignorance, no one will want to welcome her in America”
Hotovely’s words drew a wave of condemnation.
“Deputy Minister Hotovely continues to severely sabotage Israel’s relations with the Jews of the Diaspora and to discover incredible ignorance about North American Jewry, דaid the director of the Masorti Movement, attorney Yizhar Hess.
“For many years the US military has not checked the religion of its soldiers, but the last time they checked the data indicated that the proportion of Jewish soldiers in the American army was higher than their proportion in the population, without mentioning the dozens of Americans who come every year to serve in the IDF as lone soldiers.”
“Just two weeks ago, Hotovely argued at a conference in Washington that American Jews emptied Judaism of it. She allows herself to speak with confidence, arrogance, and especially control over a whole world of Jewish culture that she has no clue about, and to argue that “this is an important goal to bring American Jews closer to Israel.”
It is good that the prime minister decided to condemn this statement after prolonged damage, but it would be better if he prevented her from speaking out and continued to sabotage it, or prevented Gafni and Weizman from running the government.”
“What an insulting, stupid joke?” MK Itzik Shmuli responded.
“Instead of just condemning her words, the prime minister should fire Hotovely from dealing with foreign affairs – in any case, no one would want to receive her in America anymore. American Jewry has a large and important part in the contribution and prosperity of the State of Israel, and we have an unbreakable family bond. ”
MK Nachman Shai added: “The Jews of the United States were here before her and they would be after her. They do not need classes from her that are not in love with Israel and not in “who is a Jew.” Mrs. Hotovely should not give grades to American Jews as to their loyalty to Israel, they do not need it. ”