During a recent interview, the longstanding executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations let on where he stands – or rather, does not stand – on one of the most divisive issues to test Israeli-Diaspora relations of late: the right of women to pray as they see fit at the Kosel.
Asked to respond to highly-publicized remarks made last week in Yerushalayim by Barbra Streisand in support of the rabble-rousing Women of the Wall, Malcolm Hoenlein told Haaretz: “I think it is certainly legitimate to discuss concerns and issues, but I think this is something that gets exploited, and I would have hoped she would have also talked about the rights of women in neighboring countries, about women who have emerged here in powerful positions, and about the increasing number of women in the Knesset and in high tech.”
Hoenlein added that the issue of women’s prayer at the wall was “far more complex than what Streisand’s comments made of it.”
On a different issue, he believes world Jewry had grown far too nonchalant about efforts to delegitimize Israel. “It’s we who raise the barriers about what we can tolerate, and that’s got to stop. The Jewish community has got to say ‘Enough. We’re not gonna tolerate it,’” he told Haaretz. Read more here.