Right-Wing Israeli Lawmaker Calls Reform Judaism ‘Fake’

A right-wing Israeli lawmaker known for his controversial statements called Reform Judaism a “fake religion.”

Jewish Home party member Bezalel Smotrich, who created a stir in April for saying Jewish women should not have to share hospital rooms with Arab women, made his remarks about the Reform movement on Thursday, The Times of Israel reported.

The latest remark came days after the Knesset passed a law permitting local religious authorities to bar non-Orthodox conversion ceremonies from their public mikvahs.

Smotrich told a meeting of his party’s youth activists that he was “not willing to recognize Reform conversions and their fake religion.”

He also has made numerous anti-LGBT remarks, last year referring to the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade as an “abomination parade” just days after a 16-year-old participant was murdered there by a haredi Orthodox assailant.

Smotrich in May called on the Israeli government to perpetrate “revenge” against Palestinians, saying it would prevent individual Jews from perpetrating anti-Palestinian acts of violence.

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

Right-Wing Israeli Lawmaker Calls Reform Judaism ‘Fake’

Thank you!

This article has been sent!