Rabbonim Call Shas Move to Join WZO `Chilul Hashem'
By Yechiel Sever
Rabbonim who head cities and congregations in Eretz Yisroel and abroad have been voicing disappointment and protest against the great chilul Hashem that has resulted from the Shas Party's decision to join the World Zionist Organization, noting the exultant response among Reform and Conservative figures to what they call Shas' "historical precedent."
A press release issued by the Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel read, "The Masorti Movement welcomes Shas' admission into the World Zionist Organization. We are convinced that we will now see fruitful cooperation with Shas' Zionist leadership.
"The Masorti Movement in Israel, the umbrella group for Conservative congregations, praises Shas' adoption of the Jerusalem Program, and the amendment to the party regulations in such a way that enables its official entry into the WZO."
"I warmly embrace the Shas Movement," says Yoav Ende, director of the Masorti Movement educational center at Kibbutz Hannaton, "for its historical decision to sit down at the Zionist table, which is committed to pluralism in Judaism. For years we've been awaiting the day when non-Conservative rabbis would attain this status and receive support from the ministries the Shas Movement heads, and we are certain that we will now see fruitful cooperation with Shas' Zionist leadership."