Netanyahu Meets With Jewish Leaders — Snubs Critics by the Forward

Netanyahu Meets With Jewish Leaders — Snubs Critics

Image by Avi Ohion

Avoiding a showdown with Jewish American leaders fuming over the his decision to backtrack on a settlement establishing a egalitarian prayer area in the Western Wall, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in New York Saturday only with a select group of non-critical Jewish leaders.

The meeting, which took place Saturday evening at Netanyahu’s hotel, was attended by representatives of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, The American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Federations of North America.

Netanyahu and the Jewish leaders, in their 75-minute meeting, did not ignore the Western Wall issue, but both sides tries to put their best spin on the discussion. A source in the prime minister delegation said the atmosphere was “excellent” and that Jewish leaders wanted to “hear the prime minister clarify to American Jews what actions are being taken to establish an egalitarian prayer area.” Representatives of Jewish organizations said they felt Netanyahu gave them a better understanding of the problem and of the political and legal pressure his government is under when dealing with the Western Wall issue.

By choosing to hold the meeting in a smaller forum, Netanyahu did not have to directly confront some of the more vocal opponents of his Western Wall stance, including Conservative leaders who had sent an angry letter to Netanyahu earlier this month, complaining against his government “betrayal” of non-Orthodox denominations.

Contact Nathan Guttman at guttman@forward.com or on Twitter @nathanguttman

Author

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman

Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Netanyahu Meets With Jewish Leaders — Snubs Critics

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Netanyahu Meets With Jewish Leaders — Snubs Critics

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close