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Statement on JNF event with Avigdor Lieberman, MK

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The Movement for Reform Judaism has released the following statement from Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Rabbi to the Movement for Reform Judaism on JNF's event with Avigdor Lieberman, MK.

The Movement for Reform Judaism was surprised and dismayed to see that Avigdor Lieberman, MK has been invited to address the Jewish community in London.

Israel advocacy is most effective when its case is made rationally and compassionately. JNF is right in seeking to create opportunities for people to hear from Israeli advocates. Its decision, however, to invite someone with fundamentalist right wing views from outside the consensus of mainstream Israeli society, suggests it is concerned with something other than effective advocacy.

His past statements, especially regarding Israeli Arabs place him outside the mainstream Israeli consensus which recognises that Arab citizens of Israel are fully part of Israeli society with the same rights of free speech as Israeli Jews.

It is often argued that to criticise Israel in any way is to lend succour to Israel’s opponents; equally therefore to actively promote extremist right wing policies in any way is to lend succour to those that advocate them.

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