Diaspora and Information Minister Yuli Edelstein, acknowledged to American Jews he understands their concerns regarding the rights of women and other groups in Israel society. “One of the subjects which keeps coming up at every meeting with the various Jewish communities is the subject of pluralism in Israel.” He noted that the story of “Women of the Wall” repeatedly was cited. Last month Haredi worshippers protested an attempt by 200 members of the “Women of the Wall” organization to conduct a massive prayer session at the Western Wall. A month earlier police arrested a woman who was praying while wrapped in a shawl. Edelstein said many American Jews were frustrated at their inability to have a dialogue with anyone in the Israel government and their complaints are simply ignored.
Edelstein also encountered the New Israel Fund which is a liberal group that shares with J Street the view Israel is not moving sufficiently fast in working with moderate Arabs to resolve issues between Israel and Palestinians.