The mayor of the village of Kiryas Joel, Abraham Wieder, has sent a letter to Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney on behalf of the village's residents, asking him not to attend Netanyahu's address to Congress next week.
Dear Rep. Maloney:
The core theme of Orthodox Judaism is adherence to true Torah ideals and Jewish people the world over and through the ages have identified and continue to identify with this philosophy. And your constituents in the Village of Kiryas Joel, home to almost 25,000 Orthodox Jews, all the more so.
Torah ideals guide us to be loyal citizens of our country of residence, to respect our elected leaders and to pray for their wellbeing and prosperity (for further insight visit truetorahjews.org). We were therefore utterly dismayed by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s agreeing to address a joint session of Congress without first obtaining the President’s consent and without even the courtesy of consulting with the White House.
Netanyahu’s acceptance signaled his intent to challenge the President’s foreign policy on American soil. His unprecedented actions are a direct insult to the office of the President.
The intent of this letter is three-fold; first to defend the honor and prestige of the office of the President; second to decry Netanyahu’s breach of diplomatic protocol and last but not least to repudiate his claim to be the spokesman of the Jewish people. Neither he nor his state represent world Jewry.
Therefore, on behalf of our joint constituents I respectfully request that you not attend Netanyahu's address. Your absence would send a clear message that your constituents want no part of Netanyahu’s callousness towards the office of the President.
Kiryas Joel, near Monroe, NY, was founded by the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, in 1977. At that time, 14 families of his followers moved into the new town. Now it is home to over 4600 families, and is considered by the census bureau to be the fastest growing community in New York State.