Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Thursday condemned as “hurtful” and “spurious” comments made by former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu that the victims of the Holocaust were made to suffer because of the sins of the Reform Movement.

In a letter to Steven M. Bauman and Rabbi Uri Regev, the chairman and president, respectively, of the World Union for Progressive Judaism, Olmert wrote: “We recently marked Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Day here in Israel, and I was disturbed that it was precisely at this painful time that certain spurious comments were made regarding the cause of the horrors inflicted on our people, and unequivocally condemn any such hurtful expressions.

# Why many Jews might feel the Orthodox do hate them

“Let me be clear,” Olmert wrote, “the murder of more than six million of our brothers and sisters in the Holocaust was perpetrated by the evil and immoral Nazi regime and its collaborators. The only ‘sin’ committed by the victims was being born Jewish.