Haredi MK: I'd sit with an Arab - but not a Reform Jew

Finance Committe chairman blasts Reform movement's criticism of Conversion Law: 'Reform movement delegitimizes Judaism.'

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MK Moshe Gafni
MK Moshe Gafni
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Chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) excoriated the Reform Movement on Thursday, following criticism by Reform leaders in the US of the proposed Conversion Law, which won coalition backing this week, and the government’s decision to freeze indefinitely the planned addition of a mixed-gender prayer space at the Western Wall.

“Reform Jews are delegitimizing Judaism,” Gafni told Army Radio. “I would be willing to sit with a Palestinian, but not with a Reform Jew.”

The Finance Committee chairman added that the scrutiny of internal Israeli policy by foreign, groups including the Reform Movement, was distracting the coalition from advancing its policy goals.

“All we need to do is to quiet things back down, and [go back to] fixing the legislation,” Gafni

Gafni argued that the Status Quo arrangement on religion and state was unworkable, and is in need of an overhaul.

“The Status [Quo] is bad, because it gets violated over and over again; the moment a religious Jew is unable to observe Shabbat, Judaism in Israel is undermined.”