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March 5, 2020 – Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) President Rabbi Rick Jacobs and Chair Jennifer Brodkey Kaufman issued this statement following Israel’s general election this week:
We congratulate the Israeli people on a massive voter turnout, reflecting the strength and vitality of Israeli democracy. The Reform Movement in North America cultivates strong relations and an open dialogue with all Israeli governments and we will continue to do so with the next government. We hope the next Israeli government will work to heal the rift with North American Jewry, and advance the equality of all the Jewish streams as part of the vision of a Jewish and democratic state.
And, we remain concerned about actions and legislative initiatives that could hinder future negotiations for peace, as well as steps threatening the central democratic institutions of Israel, especially the Supreme Court.
We are also concerned about efforts to delegitimize and marginalize the voices, votes, and citizenship of Arab citizens of Israel. We believe that the results of the election demonstrate that the majority of Israeli citizens oppose these steps.
Together with our Israeli partners in the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, we will continue to promote our Reform Jewish values – including democracy, equality, religious freedom, and a shared society for Jews and Arabs – and strive for peace based on our deep commitment to Israel’s security.
We hope that the next Israeli government will promote these values as well.