The head of American Jewry’s main umbrella group urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to rethink his approach to the suspended Western Wall compromise, and move to “restore the confidence” of US Jewry or risk broadening the “chasm” between many American Jews and Israel.
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice president of the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations, noted that his group normally steers clear of such issues because “you cannot deal in consensus on religious issues, on issues of conviction like this.”
Nonetheless, Hoenlein said that the government’s unexpected decision 10 weeks ago to suspend an agreement negotiated over years with Diaspora leaders “hurt a lot of people” and exacerbated what he said were already some “troublesome and troubling aspects of the relationship” between US Jews and Israel.
Therefore, Hoenlein, speaking to The Times of Israel on Monday, urged Netanyahu to revisit the decision.
“If we care about the US-Israel relationship, if we care about the relationship of the Jewish community to Israel, the internal support, then we cannot afford to alienate and lose significant portions of the American Jewish community,” he said.