Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the leader of the Reform Movement in North America, warned on Wednesday that the recent comments by the chief rabbi of Jerusalem, who said that Reform Jews were “worse than Holocaust deniers,” could lead to threats and acts of violence against non-Orthodox Jews in Israel.

Jacobs added that it is “indefensible” that the senior Rabbi who made these comments, is receiving a salary from the Israeli government. “Although I defend Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar’s right to hold hateful, odious beliefs about me and the Reform Movement, what I find indefensible is that his salary is being paid by the Israeli government,” Jacobs said in a statement.