Netanyahu cuts Hotovely trip after i24NEWS interview ignites firestorm: report
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly cut on short notice a planned trip to the Czech Republic by Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely as punishment for the firestorm ignited by disparaging remarks she made about the "convenient lives" of US Jews during an i24NEWS interview last week.
The Hadashot news network (formerly Channel 2 news) first reported that Hotovely's trip, planned for Thursday, had been nixed.
Hotovely's office said in response to the report that the trip was postponed, not canceled.
Hotovely was chastised by Netanyahu on Thursday after she slammed what she called the "liberal dictatorship" over American Jewry and charged that US Jews who "never send their children to fight for their country" and "do not know how it feels to be attacked by rockets" can't understand the complexities of life in Israel.
Hotovely's remarks drew fierce backlash from American Jewish leaders, who called on Netanyahu -- who serves as foreign minister -- to fire his deputy. Hotovely offered somewhat of an apology for her remarks, saying she was sorry "if someone is hurt by my words", but refused to retract her comments.
The comments worsened an ongoing crisis with the Diaspora over issues such as egalitarian prayer at Jerusalem's Western Wall holy site and a proposed law that would not recognize conversions performed outside the Chief Rabbinate's authority.
A yawning gap has opened in recent years between swathes of the world's largest Jewish diaspora population and the Israeli government, who have typically been quick to compromise on matters of religion and state in order to satisfy junior ultra-Orthodox parties in Israel's coalition governments.
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As a secular American Jew, I could not agree more with Ms. Hotovely’s viewpoint. Frankly, I am sick and tired of liberal, secular Jews weighing in on subjects they have little knowledge or experience in. If they do feel as passionately about Palestinien allegations while having hatred for the Netanyahu government, let them move to Israel and contribute to the society that they so revile.