The demise of a two-state solution and the Orthodox monopoly on key issues in Israel are the two main threats that Israel is facing, World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder wrote in a New York Times op-ed critical of the incumbent Israeli government.

Ronald Lauder

Ronald Lauder Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash 90

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder criticized the current Israeli government’s policies in a New York Times op-ed published Monday.

According to Lauder, Israel is facing two threats that “could endanger its very existence.” The first is the demise of a two-state solution. Lauder explained that while he is a Likud supporter and a Republican, not even he can ignore the fact that almost half of the millions of people who live in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza are Palestinian.

“If current trends continue, Israel will face a stark choice: Grant Palestinians full rights and cease being a Jewish state or rescind their rights and cease being a democracy,” he wrote. “To avoid these unacceptable outcomes, the only path forward is the two-state solution.”

Lauder appeared to scold Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the piece when he claimed that Palestinian leaders are prepared to begin peace talks with Israel. “[US] President [Donald] Trump and his team are wholly committed to Middle East peace,” Lauder explained. “Contrary to news media reports, senior Palestinian leaders are, they have personally told me, ready to begin direct negotiations immediately.”

The “grave” second threat is the Orthodox control over various issues in Israel, including marriage and prayer at the Western Wall, and the “growing disaffection of the Jewish diaspora.”  

“By submitting to the pressures exerted by a minority in Israel, the Jewish state is alienating a large segment of the Jewish people,” Lauder wrote. “The crisis is especially pronounced among the younger generation, which is predominantly secular.”

“We are at a crossroads,” Lauder wrote at the end of his op-ed. “The choices that Israel makes in the coming years will determine the destiny of our one and only Jewish state — and the continued unity of our cherished people.”