Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky today criticized the Reform movement’s reaction to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last week.
“The Reform response to the recognition of Jerusalem was terrible,” said Sharansky in an interview with Israel Radio in Hebrew.
“Everything that Trump does is bad, as far as they're concerned. When the leader of a superpower recognizes Jerusalem, first you should welcome it, then [if you wish to,] express disagreement. Here it was the opposite,” he said.
Leaders of the North American Reform movement decried President Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and ordering the State Department to begin the process of relocating the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. A day later, however, the Reform movement seemed to backtrack, commending the president for the move.
A day before the much-anticipated statement by the President recognizing Jerusalem, Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ), the largest organization affiliated with the Reform movement, released a statement criticizing the president for altering the status quo vis-à-vis Jerusalem without a peace deal including the PA.
“President Trump’s ill-timed, but expected, announcement affirms what the Reform Jewish Movement has long held: that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Yet while we share the President’s belief that the U.S. Embassy should, at the right time, be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, we cannot support his decision to begin preparing that move now, absent a comprehensive plan for a peace process.”
A day later, however, the URJ appeared to backtrack, praising Trump for affirming “an age-old dream of the Jewish people," this after Israel's Consul General in New York, Dani Dayan held an angry phone conversation with Jacobs.
“Jerusalem is, in fact, the capital of Israel. That is how it should and must be. The President correctly noted that a sovereign state is entitled to name its own capital. The Reform Movement has also long held that the U.S. Embassy should be moved to Jerusalem.”