A top Israeli diplomat was rebuked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Thursday, for suggesting that American Jews have a poor commitment to service in the US military.
Asked in an English-language television interview about criticism of Israeli policies by some US Jews, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely questioned whether âpeople that never send their children to fight for their countryâ could understand the âcomplexityâ of the Middle East.
âMost of the Jews donât have children serving as soldiers, going to the Marines, going to Afghanistan or to Iraq,â she said onÂ i24 TVÂ news, on Wednesday.
âThey donât feel how it feels to be attacked by rockets, and I think part of it is to actually experience what Israel is dealing with on a daily basis,â said Hotovely, a member of Netanyahuâs right-wing Likud party.
While Israel has often quarrelled with American Jews over their right to advise it from afar, Hotovelyâs remarks went further by appearing to insinuate they are not fully committed to their native country, a notion US Jewish organisations have long fought against in their battle against anti-Semitism.
In a statement, Netanyahu, who also serves as Israelâs foreign minister, denounced Hotovelyâs comments as âhurtfulâ, Days of Palestine further reports.
âThere is no place for such a harangue and her remarks do not reflect the State of Israelâs position,â the statement said.
According to a 2009 survey published by the congressionally-mandated Military Leadership Diversity Commission, an estimated 1.09 percent of the members of the US armed forces are Jewish. The Pew Research Centre estimated in 2013 that Jews make up about 2 percent of the US adult population.
The website of the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in Washington lists more than 50 Jewish service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.
Archive IMEMC post — 05/24/15Â Hotovely: âThe whole land of Israel belongs to the Jewsâ