Richard Jacobs, a Reform rabbi and president of the Union for Reform Judaism, told Ynet that appointing Itamar Ben-Gvir as Public Security Minister is comparable to appointing David Duke - an American white supremacist and former head of the Ku Klux Klan.
Jacobs, head of the congregational arm of the Reform movement in North America which represents an estimated 1.5 million Reform Jews in nearly 900 synagogues across the U.S. and Canada, is considered one of the most influential Jews in the world.
Jacobs argued that the appointment of Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich as senior ministers in the emerging coalition will lead to a rift with Diaspora Jews and potentially even a breach with the American government.
The Rabbi said that, like Duke, Ben-Gvir's career derives from hate and igniting violence. He added that he is extremely worried for Israel as a Jewish and Democratic state.
According to Jacobs, the American government will not accept the new ministers, and potentially even prohibit Ben-Gvir from entering the U.S. He predicts that many international leaders would not be so keen to communicate with the religious right-wing politicians.
Speaking on behalf of most American Jews, Jacobs said that it would be difficult to grasp the idea that someone like Ben-Gvir or Smotrich have a seat in the Knesset, and more so, be appointed ministers. He said he found it frightening to think 's that they will be the voices of modern-day Israel, given that they had built their political career off intolerance of non-Orthodox Jews, Israeli Arabs, Palestinians, and LGBTQ communities.
While Jacobs admits that American Jewry will not disengage from Israel, he expressed concern regarding the ability to communicate with a coalition that includes the two far-right politicians.