Israeli minister’s visit with local Jewish leaders canceled


Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli’s scheduled meeting on Thursday with Jewish leaders in North Bethesda area was canceled, according to Hebrew media reports.

Maariv reported that the last-minute cancellation came after rabbis invited to the meeting announced that they would not come, and amid activist pressure from a group calling itself “UnXeptable – Saving the Israeli Democracy.”

The “off-the-record” roundtable discussion at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington’s North Bethesda offices was supposed to take place in the afternoon and was being co-organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and the Embassy of Israel.

UnXeptable, who planned to protest the event outside of the JFed building, reshared a tweet displaying a screenshot of an email from the JCRC’s Israel Action Center director, Adam Odesser, saying that the meeting was canceled “due to schedule changes.”

The nixing of the Chikli meeting comes after the cancellations of similar meetings with Israeli Economy Minister Nir Barkat in Boston and Innovation, Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis in Los Angeles.

Anti-government protesters also harassed Knesset member Simcha Rothman of the Religious Zionism Party on June 3 in New York City with the New York Police Department closing a complaint filed against him after he pulled a megaphone away from a protester trailing him in Manhattan.

Despite the anti-government instigators, more than 40,000 people gathered on June 4 for the “Celebrate Israel Parade,” marking New York City’s solidarity with the Jewish state and celebrating the 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding.

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