I would like to correct a misapprehension that may have arisen from Stewart Ain’s article, “Israel’s nation-state law gets backing from some U.S. Orthodox leaders” (Aug. 2).
Only about 10 percent of Jewish Americans are Orthodox, and other major American-Jewish movements and organizations are united against it. Since about half of American Jews identify with either the Reform (35 percent) or Conservative (18 percent) movements, the views of these leaders are much more critical for your readers.
The Reform and Conservative movements, which together represent about half of Jewish Americans, have voiced objections to the law.
American-Jewish organizations are doing the same. While your article says the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of America, National Council of Young Israel, Zionist Organization of America, and Orthodox Union applauded the law, far more other organizations and people oppose it.
To name a few: Israeli President Reuven Rivlin; Natan Sharansky, outgoing chairman, and Isaac Herzog, incoming chairman, Jewish Agency; Ronald Lauder, president of World Jewish Congress; American Jewish Committee; Union for Reform Judaism; Association of Reform Zionists of America; Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism; Israel Religious Action Center; Jewish Federations of North America; New Israel Fund; Meretz, Hadash, Ta’al, and Labor parties; Israeli-Arab Member of Knesset Ayman Odeh; J Street; Americans for Peace Now; Ameinu; Aytzim’s Green Zionist Alliance; Habonim Dror North America; Hashomer Hatzair North America; Keshet; National Council of Jewish Women; T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights; Hagar School in Beersheva; Reconstructing Judaism; Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association; Right Now: Advocates for Asylum Seekers in Israel; Abraham Fund Initiative; Sikkuy; and Tivnu: Building Justice.
As a board member of the progressive Zionist group Ameinu, we called the law “superfluous and intentionally provocative.” “By distinguishing between the rights of Jews and all other citizens of Israel, this bill weakens Israel[’s] commitment to democracy and makes Israel less than a state of all of its citizens,” said Ameinu President Kenneth Bob.
It is important for those in opposition of the Israeli policies they feel corrupt Israel’s democratic trajectory to speak out against it.