Reform Rabbi and Labor MK Gilad Kariv’s appointment as the head of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee was confirmed last week. The influential committee carries much power over matters of religion and state, including the supervision of the Rabbanut and Batei Din.
In the course of a committee meeting, Kariv said: “We stand behind the opposition to a Reform Chief Rabbi because we don’t believe in the need for the Rabbanut.”
Shas MK Moshe Arbel retorted: “You don’t believe. Period.”
Shas MK Aryeh Deri spoke from the Knesset plenum prior to Kariv’s appointment, noting that the greatest threat to the Jewish people is assimilation. “Unfortunately we see the proof that when kehillot are makpid to preserve the mesoret, there is virtually no assimilation. But in communities that come up with a ‘new Judaism’, assimilation is over 80%, Hashem Yerachem.”
“The stubborn battle of the Reform to receive recognition as a legitimate stream of Judaism hasn’t succeeded until now,” Deri stressed. “My brothers in the opposition – an MK who boasts of being a reform rabbi is poised to be appointed as the head of a committee that deals with the most sensitive issues of religion and state. Whoever votes for him is proclaiming that he doesn’t care about the assimilation of the Jewish people.”
UTJ MK Yisrael Eichler said: “I prefer Mansour Abbas, a Palestinian Muslim who is faithful to his nation and birthplace as the head of the Law Committee than the appointment of an enemy of the Torah. He has already fought for 25 years against lomdei Torah, against their budgets, and against the basic rights of the Chareidi community, and he almost caused a civil war when he repealed the draft law.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)