American Philanthropist Retaliates Against Israel’s Rebuffing Reform

YERUSHALAYIM -
Kulanu MK Michael Oren. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

American real estate tycoon Isaac “Ike” Fisher has made good on threats to withdraw support from the state of Israel over Israeli government decisions to suspend the Kosel plan and keep conversion in the hands of the Chief Rabbinate.

Fisher informed MK Michael Oren (Kulanu) that in protest against the decisions, he is cancelling a $1 million dollar investment in Israeli bonds, calling off fundraising activities and suspending his involvement in AIPAC.

Oren received a letter from Fisher to that effect, The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.

The MK declared last week that he will vote against the conversion bill even if it costs him his position as Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office

In an email, Fisher thanked Oren for siding with the Reform and Conservative groups in recent days. “As you know, I actively support the state of Israel; however, my support is suspended till the Government of Israel reverses course,” he wrote.

Oren indicated that others may follow Fisher’s example. “I don’t think there is appreciation of the depth of hurt and alienation that liberal North American Jews feel toward Israel now, and this was a last straw for many.

“I’ve heard from several major philanthropists that they were crestfallen, disappointed, hurt and they were certain it would have impact on Diaspora giving [to Israel],” he added, though he said he was not at liberty to reveal their names.