Knesset Committee Approves Important Conversion Bill Which Protects Geirus

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knessetint Following a heated debate, the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee today approved the conversion bill for a first reading in the plenum. Five committee members voted in favor of MK David Rotem’s proposal, while four others opposed the bill, which would give the Orthodox rabbinate control of conversions to Judaism. Committee members belonging to the Likud party were absent from the vote.

During the debate, Committee Chairman Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu) said he was removing a clause linking conversions to obtaining Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, adding that additional revisions would be made before the second and third readings.

The third clause states that anyone who “entered” Israel as a non-Jew (and did not have a father, grandparents or spouse who was Jewish and therefore was not eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return) and converted to Judaism at some later date, whether in Israel or abroad, would not be eligible for automatic citizenship.

Committee members who opposed to the bill protested the extended authority it grants the Chief Rabbinate regarding the conversion process. They also criticized the bill for determining that the conversion process will be carried out according to the halacha.

That, indeed,  is the biggest proof of the importance of this bill.

MK Nachman Shai (Kadima) warned that the bill would result in a severe crisis with the American Jewish community, saying US Jews had persuaded President Barack Obama to change his attitude towards Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Shai predicted that the bill would not pass because “Bibi will not be able to handle the pressure,” and suggested Rotem withdraw it immediately to avoid a crisis.

MK Einat Wilf (Labor) told the committee, “Since the State of Israel’s inception, Knesset members have been considered more important than any rabbi. This is the Zionist halacha.”

In response to Wilf’s comment, MK Reb Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) said he was unfamiliar with “another Jewish Zionism,” adding that the reformists’ opposition to the bill convinced him to vote in its favor. “Judaism is not a missionary religion, and it is not looking to recruit more people. Even membership in a beer-drinkers’ club is based on specific criteria,” he said.

Following the meeting, MK Rotem said, “Following the removal of clause three, the bill does not concern US Jewry anymore.”

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, who took part in the meeting, told Ynet that Reform and Conservative Jews in the US are “Israel’s soldiers in the world” and that the bill constitutes “a severe blow to them – if not outright betrayal.”

{Ynet/Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}

3 COMMENTS

  1. Don’t worry, by the time it gets passed into law it will be so watered down it will be as worthless as the people as the state of Israel’s “gerim”.

  2. I was laughing so hard while I was reading this…

    “Since the State of Israel’s inception, Knesset members have been considered more important than any rabbi. This is the Zionist halacha.”

    oh and…

    “Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, who took part in the meeting, told Ynet that Reform and Conservative Jews in the US are ‘Israel’s soldiers in the world’ and that the bill constitutes ‘a severe blow to them – if not outright betrayal.'”

    I rest my case as to why I simply can’t identify myself as a supporter of this unholy country inhabited by Jews occupying very holy land, anymore.

  3. these so called gerim are very strange to me since i rember how they (the israeli state ) imported all these ethiopian falashas back then and afterwards these goyshe russians. then there was the time when they started convertng people in south america and spain with the excuse they would be anusim.the rabbonim doing these conversions where sent by the rabbinut and where not charedim.
    this is just another proof that the chilonim are scared to loose controle to the daatim.
    oo i forgot then they allowed russian goym to make alliyah when they could proof that any of their ancestors like their grandmother or grandfather was jewish or had any relations with judaism. after that started this thing with the neonazis in israel.

    i think that the israeli state is just very scared to loose control to the charedim ,since medinat israel is a democracy.

    they converted all those mentioned above beliving that they would be considered jewish but would never act jewishly. becoming so the best electors for their policies against yiddishkeit. but now they realiced that these people are goyim and you can`t make a yid out of a goy. as some say ger shnitgaer.

    it is time to say good by to this israeli state and proclaim a state based on halacha!

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