(JTA) – Israeli diplomats in North America rejected a talking point handed down to them from Jerusalem to blame Liberal Jews for the Western Wall controversy.
The top diplomats refused to repeat the narrative that Jonathan Shechter, a top advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, handed down to them earlier this week in telephone conversations about the crisis in relations between the government and leaders of the Reform and other liberal Jewish denominations in the United States, Maariv on Friday reported.
The crisis erupted following an announcement by a government spokesperson in Jerusalem on Sunday that the cabinet had decided to suspend the implementation of a compromise on the contested issue of egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall plaza.
One ambassador reportedly said he would comply with the directive only if Jerusalem transmits the talking point in writing.
A diplomat who was not named in the Maariv article told the newspaper: “It defies belief that after everything that’s happened, the prime minister’s staff are seeking to blame U.S. Jews, who were deeply offended by the government decisions, for the situation,” the diplomat told Ben Caspit, the Maariv journalist who wrote the article.