‘The Zionist enterprise is in danger’: Why Charles Bronfman signed an open letter pushing back against Netanyahu

Canadian philanthropist Charles Bronfman, 91, speaks to The CJN’s Ellin Bessner on Friday Feb. 24, about why he signed an open letter with 15 Jewish billionaires and foundations calling for Israel’s Netanyahu government to slow down the pace of reforms to the judicial system, leave the judiciary independent from the Knesset, and preserve democracy.

Canadian philanthropist Charles Bronfman is one of 15 signatories to an open letter to Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, which sounds the alarm over the new government’s push to reform the judiciary.

Bronfman, who created the Birthright program that sends young Jews to visit Israel, says he didn’t write the letter himself. But his name tops the list of uber-wealthy North American Jews, which includes Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of the KIND energy bar company; Lester Crown, who owns the Chicago Bulls and Maytag; and Marcia Riklis, heir to the late Faberge and Carnival Cruise fortune of her late father, corporate raider Meshulam Riklis.

Bronfman has never been a Netanyahu supporter, and feels the Israeli leader wouldn’t talk to him on the phone anyway about his concerns that “the Zionist enterprise is in danger”. Bronfman joins The CJN Daily from his Florida home to talk about the threats he believes are affecting Israel’s founding democratic principles.

What we talked about:.


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.