TEL AVIV (JTA) — A haredi Orthodox Israeli lawmaker accused Reform Jews of destroying Judaism, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to address non-Orthodox denominations’ concerns in Israel.
“They’re not Jews because 80 percent of their kids are assimilators,” Eichler said. “Whoever wants to uproot Jewish law to lead to heresy, to make the God of Israel something amorphous, to make the Torah of Israel into legends, that’s not Judaism. That’s the destruction of Judaism.”
United Torah Judaism lawmaker Yisrael Eichler, also accused America’s Jewish community federations of corruption and of funneling money to anti-Israel groups.
“I’m talking about the leaders and organizations of the Reform — the federations, the corruption,” Eichler told Israel’s Army Radio Wednesday. “You know that they take money for Israel from innocent Jews and leave 95 percent of the money in the United States. Where does the money go? To the anti-Israel organizations.”
Eichler said near the beginning of the radio interview that Reform Jews are Jews, but he appeared to walk that back minutes later. Earlier this year, Israeli Religious Services Minister David Azoulay, from the haredi Orthodox Shas party, caused controversy by asserting that Reform Jews are not Jewish.
He called Reform Judaism “something much further from Judaism than Christianity.”
Eichler said Reform groups equate Israel and Iran. He also compared Reform Judaism to the Islamic Movement, an Islamist, anti-Zionist group in Israel.