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New York, NY; July 12, 2018 - Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the statement below about the proposed “nation-state” bill before the Israeli parliament:
We vehemently oppose the ‘nation-state’ bill being debated in the Knesset. If passed, it will create a dangerous precedent for democracy in Israel. It is a 180 degree turn from Israel’s Declaration of Independence, which enshrines freedom and democracy for all Israelis. This bill would instead upend democratic norms and create an Israel that is unequal. It is a grave threat to Israeli democracy.
It hurts the delicate balance between the Jewish majority and Arab minority, and it enthrones ultra-Orthodox Judaism at the expense of the majority of a pluralistic world Jewry.
It will make Israel an open target on the world stage for all those who seek to deny the Jewish people our right to a homeland. Our Reform Jewish Movement in Israel and North America is vocal in our opposition to this bill, and we are fighting it aggressively.
We urge Prime Minister Netanyahu to reconsider his support for this damaging legislation.
About the Union for Reform Judaism
The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) builds community at every level—from the way we collaborate with congregations, organizations, and individuals to how we make connections across North America to advance contemporary and inclusive Jewish life. Providing vision and voice to transform the way people connect to Judaism, we help congregations stay relevant and innovative, motivate more young Jews to embrace Jewish living, agitate for a more progressive society, and foster meaningful connections to Israel.
Founded in 1873, URJ has grown into the largest and most powerful force in North American Jewish life, with nearly 900 member congregations and work that inspires, connects, and educates millions of people. Our legacy, reach, leadership, and vision mean that we can unite thousands of years of tradition with a modern, evolving Judaism to strengthen Jewish communities today and for future generations.
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