WASHINGTON (May. 16)
Hart Hasten, president of the Herut Zionists of America, called on the Rabbinical Assembly of America (RA) today to repeal “at once” its resolution barring from appearing at Conservative synagogues the 5l Knesset members who voted to change Israel’s Law of Return so that the validity of Reform and Conservative conversions would not have been accepted.
“We believe that this recommendation of the Rabbinical Assembly if implemented, will serve only to cause deep and dangerous divisions between the people of Israel and Conservative members of the American Jewish community,” Hasten said in a statement released here.
The resolution, adopted by the international organization of Conservative rabbis, said the 51 Knesset members who voted for the amendment, which was defeated, are “not welcome as speakers or honorees in the 850 Conservative synagogues which they have sought to discredit.” The supporters of the amendment were members of the religious parties and Likud, including Herut Cabinet ministers Yitzhak Shamir, David Levy, Moshe Arens and Ariel Sharon.
“Regardless of whether or not the Rabbinical Assembly agrees or disagrees with the votes of members of the Israeli parliament on particular issues, it must be remembered that these members of the Knesset are elected in democratic process by the people of Israel, and are therefore representatives of the nation’s citizens,” Hasten said. “As free members of the Knesset they enjoy their basic and fundamental right vote their conscience on each and every issue before the parliament.”