The ex-president of the European Jewish Congress slammed his successor for a proposal to allow Diaspora Jews to vote in Israel.
Pierre Besnainou called Moshe Kantor’s idea “ridiculous and hard to believe.”
Kantor, the Russian-born billionaire who heads the EJC, offered his proposal Monday at the World Jewish Congress board of governors meetings in Jerusalem.
“That proposal is so off the wall,” said Besnainou, the president of the French Jewish Social Fund in Paris, “that it bothers me that nobody in Europe or the States has reacted.”
Kantor, according to a report in Ha’aretz, said at the board meetings that “Israel’s leadership should recognize that all the Jews in the world have the right to vote in Israel elections. If anyone with at least one Jewish grandfather or grandmother has the right to make aliyah with the framework of the Law of Return, then we need to grant them equal rights.”
Over the years, Israeli and U.S. Jewish leaders have discussed various ideas for giving Diaspora Jews a voice in Israel. One recent proposal, made by Moshe Katsav when he was Israel’s president, called for a parliament of the Jewish people, but no serious proposals have included voting rights for Diaspora Jews.