PM’s support for non-Orthodox Jews sparks firestorm of Haredi protest

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's expression of support for Reform and Conservative Jews during his visit to Washington sparked howls of protest from ultra-Orthodox members of his own coalition on Tuesday.
“As prime minister of Israel, I will always ensure that all Jews can feel at home in Israel — Reform Jews, Conservative Jews, Orthodox Jews," Netanyahu said at the general assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America.
"Now, for the first time, together with the Jewish Agency, we will invest directly in the development and fostering of Conservative and Reform communities in Israel,” he added.
However, Netanyahu's support for religious pluralism was denounced by ultra-Orthodox members of the Knesset including a minister in his government.  
Health Minister Yaakov Litzman claimed that Netanyahu's statements amounted to a possible breach of coalition agreements with haredi parties. "Throughout the generations, we’ve known that the Reform and Conservative (movements) are tearing apart the Jewish nation, and we mustn’t give them a hand to harm the Torah of Israel," he said.
Another member of the Knesset from Litzman's party, Moshe Gafni, alleged that the Reform and Conservative movements are "sticking a knife in the Torah," vowing that his party will demand a clarification of the "very severe" statements when Netanyahu returns to Israel.

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