Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on erev Shabbos departed for Strasbourg where he attended the funeral of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Prior to departing, he made the following comments before boarding, choosing to address the decision to freeze the Giyur Bill under mounting pressure from Reform and Conservative leaders.
“I am now leaving for Strasbourg in order to pay final respects to former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who was a great leader, a great friend of the State of Israel and my personal friend. He did much for the diplomatic and security interests of the State of Israel; all citizens of Israel owe him their deep gratitude. I will say this in Strasbourg, among European and world leaders.
“Domestic peace among the Jewish People is important to me. It is important to me both as Prime Minister of Israel and as a son of the Jewish People. Therefore, today I convened the heads of the coalition parties and together we reached the following conclusion: In effect, the appellants and the Government of Israel agree together to freeze all proceedings, to freeze the appeal to the High Court of Justice on the conversion issue, to freeze Government and Knesset legislation on the conversion issue. This will also, of course, allow me to establish a team that will work for approximately six months on finding solutions for an agreed-upon arrangement on the conversion issue. On Sunday, together with the appellants, we will go to the High Court of Justice and request a stay on its decision until the team will have completed its work. I very much hope that the High Court of Justice will accede to this joint request because it will calm things down and also open a door to hope for an agreed-upon arrangement among our people.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon, GPO)