The Charedi Rebel


Why are Jewish leaders not standing up for the “Charedi Rebel”?

Where is Abraham Foxman when we really need him? Where is Malcom Hoenlein, David Harris, the American Jewish media, the leaders of Jewish Federations and other prominent Jewish machers who have complained for years about the hijacking of Judaism and Israeli politics by the intolerant and power-hungry Haredim?

Why are they not standing up today in support of the “Charedi Rebel,” Rabbi Haim Amsalem, the Shas MK who is single-handedly taking on the Charedi establishment?

In case you haven’t seen the news today, Amsalem is the Sephardic Rabbi who is being excommunicated because he is trying to confront one of the most divisive forces in Israel today.

Read the complete article here.

update: the above article was published on Friday; today this statement from the American Jewish Committee:

AJC Appalled by Threats Directed at MK Rabbi Chaim Amsalem

AJC is appalled at the verbal and written abuse displayed in recent days toward Rabbi Chaim Amsalem, a Member of Knesset who has fallen out of favor with his Shas party.

Rabbi Amsalem has expressed innovative, courageous and farsighted positions on matters that affect the entire Jewish people, such as conversion to Judaism and the high rate of non-participation of ulta-Orthodox men in the Israeli workforce. As a result, he has been expelled from his party, but retains his Knesset seat, insisting on a direct mandate from Shas voters.

“You may agree or disagree with what the rabbi has to say, and we happen to find some of his views a welcome breath of fresh air,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “But nothing can justify the Shas newsletter using the term ‘Amalek’ to describe him. This is language that could incite hotheads to violence since, as the newsletter noted, Jews are commanded in the Torah to erase the memory of Amalek.”

“We would have thought that recent Jewish history alone would be a sobering reminder about the potential dangers of such incendiary language,” said Harris. “We call on Jewish leaders from across the religious and political spectrum, including, yes, from the leadership of Shas,to denounce clearly this incitement to hatred.”