Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein made his remarks in light of critical comments about Israel by American Jewish leaders over the last months.
By World Israel News Staff
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein channeled Mark Twain when he said, “the rumors of the death of Israeli democracy are greatly exaggerated,” during a Tuesday night panel.
Edelstein’s comments were “thinly veiled criticism of US Jewish leaders,” according to a Jerusalem Post report. The Knesset Speaker’s remarks were meant for American Jewish leaders who attacked the Nation-State Law which was adopted on July 19 this year.
The law, which spotlights the Jewish nature of the state, came under intense worldwide criticism, including from some American Jewish leaders, as a threat to democracy and Israel’s minorities.
“Unfortunately, you have heard that some legislation is ruining Israeli democracy,” Edelstein said. “As speaker of the Knesset, I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. The Knesset is – and will remain – a beacon of democracy, and the commitment to these values is shared across the political spectrum.”
Edelstein expressed his concern that Israel and Diaspora Jewry was moving apart. “The very topics that once brought us together now divide us,” he said, according to the JPost report. “It saddens me greatly that discussions of Israel and Zionism have become so painful as to be nearly taboo.”
While Edelstein admitted Jewish students in American colleges and universities felt alienated from, and even actively criticized, Israel, he dismissed the idea that the Jewish State’s policies were solely to blame.