In the urgent meeting between Rishon L’Tzion Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef Shlita and Chief Rabbi Dovid Lau Shlita and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held on Tuesday 4 Marcheshvan at the prime minister’s behest, the chief rabbis warned Mr. Netanyahu of the dangers of the Giyur Bill.
Prime Minister Netanyahu recently toppled the bill, removing it from the cabinet agenda and informing coalition faction leaders the bill is off the agenda and the new conversion reality will not be the result of a government decision as was originally planned.
Not deterred, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and the bill’s author MK Elazar Stern received the backing of the Yesh Atid and Yisrael Beitenu parties and plan to move the bill ahead in Knesset. The bill was passed by the Ministerial Law Committee earlier this week. All that remains is to have the bill voted upon in Knesset in a second and third reading. Then it becomes law. At present, it appears the bill will pass in Knesset as it is also backed by liberal opposition parties.
The chief rabbis used the urgent meeting with the prime minister to clarify they will not agree to rubber stamp the bill, spelling out for the prime minister how the bill will tear the Jewish People apart. They explained that many will no longer accept conversions from Israel and this will result in maintain yuchasin books for future generations, hence an untenable chasm within the nation.
MK Stern however remains determined to have the bill passed, telling the media there are plans to establish new batei din for giyur around the country in December and he remains confident his bill will have passed into law before then.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)