Re­form leader urges evan­gel­i­cal boy­cott


THE LEADER of Amer­ica’s largest Jewish de­nom­i­na­tion and a prom­i­nent Chris­tian-Zion­ist fig­ure traded barbs this week fol­low­ing calls to boy­cott events or­gan­ised by evan­gel­i­cal sup­port­ers of Is­rael.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, pres­i­dent of the Union for Re­form Ju­daism, called on Jewish in­di­vid­u­als and groups to re­frain from at­tend­ing the “Night for Is­rael” events or­gan­ised na­tion-wide by John Hagee, an evan­gel­i­cal pas­tor who heads a group known as Chris­tians United for Is­rael.

“Most of the time, th­ese evenings will not in­crease our po­lit­i­cal clout. They will re­duce our po­lit­i­cal clout and drive away our al­lies,” Rabbi Yoffie told a con­fer­ence in Cincin­nati.

He ar­gued that Mr Hagee and his group op­pose a two-state so­lu­tion to the Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict and that if the group’s be­liefs were im­ple­mented, it would “mean dis­as­ter for Is­rael”.

Re­spond­ing to Rabbi Yoffie’s call, Mr Hagee con­vened a tele­phone press con­fer­ence in which he ar­gued that the Re­form leader had mis­rep­re­sented his views, since the group states it will sup­port any de­ci­sion made by the gov­ern­ment of Is­rael re­gard­ing its borders and re­la­tions with Pales­tini­ans.

“Rabbi Yoffie’s speech demon­strates not only a lack of re­spect for me but a trou­bling lack of re­spect for the truth,” said Mr Hagee, visit­ing Is­rael this week.

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