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An Appeal to Israel’s Prime Minister: Stay Home!

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik), Times of Israel, March 3, 2015
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks about the proposed Iran nuclear agreement to a Joint Session of Congress in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015 (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik), Times of Israel, March 3, 2015

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,

I write you as a concerned American rabbi with years of experience dealing with antisemitism in greater Sacramento.

In 1999, three synagogues in our community were firebombed, causing millions of dollars in damage. The psychological scars remain to this day.  Meanwhile, incidents of Jewish hatred are increasing exponentially across America.

It is within this context, together with reports that you may be invited to speak before the US Congress, that I appeal to you.

Mr. Prime Minister, if you truly care about the well-being of Israel and the Jews of the Diaspora, then I implore you to decline any such invitation.

Recognize the reality that you have become an extremely divisive figure in Israel, the Diaspora, and much of the world.

Many view your 2015 address before Congress – nominally to oppose the Iran nuclear deal – as an unprecedented controversial intrusion into this country’s internal politics. Another such appearance before Congress will only risk exacerbating already unprecedented levels of anti-Semitism and violence in America – and provide NO substantive benefit to Israel.

As you are surely aware, many of your fellow citizens in Israel are appalled by the enormous damage caused to the nation on your watch.

During your tenure, our beloved Israel has become a deeply divided nation; the reality is that you are no longer an effective representative of the Jewish people.

We Jews in America, as well as our brethren in Israel, need healing and unity — not more division.

So, Mr. Prime Minister, please do the right thing: Stay home!

Sincerely,

Rabbi Reuven H. Taff

About the Author
Reuven Taff has dedicated his career to serving Jewish communities. For 25 years, he was the rabbi and spiritual leader of Mosaic Law Congregation in Sacramento, California, and now serves as Rabbi Emeritus. As a Hazzan and Jewish Educator, he has held positions as Cantor and Educational Director at Beth El Congregation in Phoenix, Arizona, and Headmaster of Gesher Jewish Day School of Northern Virginia. In addition to his blog on Times of Israel, his opinion pieces have been published in The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento News and Review, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Dallas Morning News, The Albany Times-Union, The Algemeiner, The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Forward, Jewish Journal and other publications. He can be contacted at rabbitaff@mosaiclaw.org.
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