Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday sent a letter to Chief Rabbi Rav Dovid Lau threatening to remove him from his position following reports of the letter Rav Lau sent to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett telling him he will freeze all giyur processes if the head of the Giyur Authority is dismissed from his position.
In his letter, Lieberman defended the decision of Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana to dismiss the head of the Giyur Authority due to his refusal to carry out the giyur reform and slammed Rav Lau for his letter: “Conditioning the signing of the giyur certificates on the continuation of the term of office of the head of the Giyur Authority is an implicit threat, not to mention blackmail.”
“If the threat is realized and the Chief Rabbi refrains from signing the certificates and thus delays the continuation of giyur proceedings, it may lead to the implementation of steps to end his term of office,” Lieberman threatened.
“Therefore the Chief Rabbi is requested to fulfill his duties…without any connection to the extension of the term of office or the dismissal of the head of the Giyur Authority. Otherwise, there will be no choice but to take the necessary steps for behavior that is inappropriate for the position of Chief Rabbi of Israel,” Lieberman brazenly wrote.
Mercaz Liba, an organization founded to strengthen the Jewish identity of the state of Israel, responded to Lieberman’s letter by excoriating the Bennett government. “Its ministers act brazenly and with chutzpah to the Chief Rabbi of Israel Rav Dovid Lau and threaten everyone who refuses to harm the Jewish character of the state. Bennett and Kahana are dividing the Am for the sake of political survival.”
HaGaon HaRav Shalom Cohen, Nasi of the Motetzet Chachmei Torah, called Rav Lau on Wednesday and offered words of encouragement and support in the wake of the attacks against him by coalition members.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)