JCRC Applauds Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Rebuke of the Former Co-Chief Rabbi of Israel
September 6, 2017
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:
“The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC) is appalled by Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar’s absurd moral equivalency between Holocaust deniers and Reform Judaism in comments he made yesterday in his weekly sermon. The rabbi, who is currently Jerusalem’s Sephardic chief rabbi, served as the Sephardic Co-Chief rabbi from 2003 to 2013.
“The rabbi’s deeply offensive remarks among other things violate the common-sense proposition that references to the Holocaust ought to be expressed with great care. We should all avoid invoking Holocaust comparisons except when keenly appropriate and certainly not in the rhetorical service of maligning other Jews.
“Specifically, the rabbi claimed that Israel’s Reform and Conservative Movements ‘deny more than holocaust deniers’ in connection with religious issues such as designation of areas of prayer at the Kotel.
“The JCRC is grateful that in response to the rabbi’s outrageous comments, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that ‘[a]ll Jews are part of one family and the diversity of our people should always be respected. I categorically reject any attempt to delegitimize any part of the Jewish people.’ As the public affairs voice for the Jewish community of Minnesota and the Dakotas we agree and reject such hateful comments which seek to divide the larger Jewish community against itself.”
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.