Conservative movement applauds Netanyahu’s address

Attorney Yizhar Hass, head of the Conservative movement in Israel, said he was satisfied with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's address at the Jewish Federations of North America's General Assembly on Tuesday.

In his speech, Netanyahu said the Prime Minister's Office has established a special roundtable of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox streams, and hinted at a possible change of arrangements at the Kotel (Western Wall) to allow for non-Orthodox prayer.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Hass said "the prime minister's words express how much the issues of the Jewish people are close to his heart."

"This is a declaration that has symbolic meaning and operative meaning, but most of all Zionist meaning. The state of Israel is the state of the Jewish people, the entire Jewish people, and to continue to be as such it must be obligated to the fact that there are more than one ways of being a Jew."

Hass noted that the Jewish Agency has been aiding Conservative communities in Israel for years, and that while Netanyahu's words will not have a dramatic effect, the importance of the declaration is great.

Netanyahu in his speech said "for the first time, the government of Israel together with the Jewish Agency is investing in and strengthening the Reform, Conservative and Orthodox movements within the State of Israel."

The Reform movement just last Thursday passed an extreme new pro-transgender policy. Homosexuality is strictly forbidden by Jewish law.

Netanyahu's statements on welcoming Reform and Conservative Judaism triggered anger among haredi MKs, who warned the statements were in breach of the prime minister's coalition promises.


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