Reform Jewish rabbis in the U.S., who tended to be “dovish” when it came to the Israel-Palestinian conflict are adopting more hawkish and pro-military views in the wake of escalating violence in the region.
The Jerusalem Post (March 7) reports that leaders of the Reform rabbinate from the recent Central Conference of American Rabbis meeting in Jerusalem in March agree that there has been a change in many rabbis’ once-liberal views on the conflict.
In the past, Rabbi Martin Weiner, president of the conference (which includes Reform rabbis from around the world), said he was critical of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his hard-line position against the Palestinians. Today, Weiner and many fellow Reform rabbis applaud Sharon’s patience in dealing with Palestinian violence.
Likewise, the once active programs bringing together Jews and Palestinians have all but disappeared. “The dialogue and the meetings have stopped. In the U.S. there is still some dialogue going on, but it is often with Muslims who are not Palestinians,” Weiner adds.