Israel’s minister of education said in a cabinet meeting this month that the rate of marriage between US Jews and non-Jews is like a “second Holocaust,” a report said Tuesday.
Rafi Peretz made the statement in the July 1 cabinet meeting that was attended by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Axios reported.
Peretz was responding to a discussion by officials in the meeting about the growing rate of marriage between Jews and non-Jews around the world, especially in the United States.
He said that because of the rate of mixed marriages, Jewish people have “lost 6 million people,” which is “like a second Holocaust,” according to the report.
Peretz received some pushback for his remarks, including by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, who said: “First we need to stop disregarding and looking down on Jews in America that see themselves as Jews not only religiously but even more culturally and historically,” Axios reported.
Netanyahu closed the meeting by saying he was most concerned about US Jews straying from Jewish traditions, which he said is hard to reverse.
Peretz, an Orthodox rabbi, is the leader of an alliance of right-wing parties in Israel, which Netanyahu helped form.