When congressional letters criticize Israel


Hilary Krieger at The Jerusalem Post reports that the (unofficial) congressional Jewish caucus in the Senate is preparing a letter effectively asking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to kill a conversions bill under consideration in the Knesset:

The letter from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), understood to be addressed to Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren, outlines apprehensions over the bill’s language, according to sources familiar with the text. It is circulating for signatures from additional Jewish senators before being delivered to the embassy.

Caley Gray, communications director for Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey), one of the senators signing the letter, explained that “Senator Lautenberg hopes the Knesset  does not pass this legislation, which he views as divisive.”

Sen. Carl Levin (D- Michigan), who met with concerned American Jewish officials Tuesday, said, "I am troubled by a proposal which I believe would make it more difficult for many people who want to convert to Judaism to do so."

Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic wonders whether Israel knows what it’s doing:

I haven’t posted much of anything on the terrible Knesset bill that will, if passed, disenfranchise Reform and Conservative Jews, and help Israel transform itself into Ayatollahstan. What is there to say, really? It’s just horrible. Israel, which now, more than ever, needs the support of American Jews — the vast majority of whom are Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and unaffiliated — cannot afford to treat its alleged brethren like garbage.

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