European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor slammed the withdrawal of four countries from the congress.
France, Germany, Portugal and Austria all suspended their membership in the pan-European organization to protest a Feb. 10 general assembly vote that extended term limits for Kantor and the executive board to four years from two years.
On Monday, Kantor wrote to the more than 40 countries represented in the EJC by Jewish leaders, criticizing the four countries’ withdrawals.
Kantor, who is Russian, wrote, “Any decision to separate oneself from this historic body is guided only by the unwillingness of these separating countries to welcome an Eastern European leader to the helm of the EJC.”
Kantor was elected EJC president last spring after a bitter contest against the incumbent president, Frenchman Pierre Besnainou.
In his letter, Kantor also said, “We recommend establishing, without delay, a reconciliation commission, composed of five or six members of our organization, in order to solve this issue,” referring to the issue of term limits.
The EJC is Europe’s main lobbying body on behalf of Jewish and Israeli interests.