Israeli politicians and media comment on the government’s decision to freeze the project to create additional land for the prayers of the representatives of heterodox currents near the wailing Wall and the decision of the inter-Ministerial Committee of the Knesset to approve the bill on deprivation of private rabbinical courts ‘ authority in the field of conversion.
— The head of the SHAS reported NEWSru.co.il’s readiness to negotiate on act convert to Judaism
Newspaper the Jerusalem Post in this regard, writes about a weak influence of the Jews of the Diaspora (we are talking primarily about the American Jews) to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is under constant pressure from ultra-Orthodox parties, including the ruling coalition. Published by Gil Hoffman notes that the leaders of the coalition parties are not interested in the crisis and not ready to fight.
In the same edition published an article by Tamara Zieve which shows the reaction of the head of «Sohnut» Natan Sharansky, for four years, actively participated in the development of the project to create a «common» area near the wailing Wall. He recalled that undertook this work at the request of Netanyahu, in January 2016, the project was approved and this decision was welcomed by the representatives of liberal circles in the Jewish Diaspora. Sharansky is disappointed with the decision to freeze the project.
Many commentators in various Israeli publications say that behind the SHAS and «yaadut-Tora», Netanyahu not only demonstrated the weakness of their position, but also ruined relationships with settimeline American Diaspora, in which only 15% of Jews are ultra-Orthodox communities.
As previously reported, SHAS and «yaadut Torah» sought the complete abolition of the compromise at the Western Wall, however, the Prime Minister put to the vote the proposal to freeze the compromise. Ministers Yuval Steinitz (Likud) and Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) voted against.
The second victory «haredim» was the decision of the inter-Ministerial Committee of the Knesset to approve the bill on deprivation of private rabbinical courts ‘ authority in the field of conversion. The only Minister who participated in the meeting and voted against this decision, was Minister of immigrant absorption Sofa Landwehr (NDI).
In the party «Israel Our home» said the editorial NEWSru.co.il that the NDI has the legal right to appeal against the decision of the inter-Ministerial Commission to bring this to the attention of the government. Shortly after the meeting, the party «Our house Israel» has submitted the appeal.
Flanked by the Minister of internal Affairs and leader of the SHAS party Aryeh Deri expressed confidence that the law will be adopted. Sources in the party said the editorial NEWSru.co.il that the bill is progressing with the knowledge of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ministers from the coalition parties and is aimed at maintaining the status quo. In SHAS also believe that Avigdor Lieberman is not going to derail this bill, nor does he torpedoes the bills initiated by the other coalition factions.
The reaction of the opposition
Isaac Herzog, the leader of the parliamentary opposition, the Chairman of the «Zionist camp» he said of the decision of the inter-Ministerial Commission for the abolition of the agreement on the possibility for the reformists to pray in a separate section at the Western Wall: «the Netanyahu Government accepted and promised to implement the decision. Then, under pressure from partners, the haredim, Netanyahu changed his decision. Cancellation of the agreement on the possibility for Jews, supporters of the reform movement in Judaism, to pray in a separate section at the Western Wall, is another violation of the promises that gave Netanyahu. He turns back to the Jews of the Diaspora, has the unity of our people in the country. Ruled the country Netanyahu: promises one thing and does another, despite the damage their actions cause to Israel.»
The leader of the «tnua» (Zionist camp), Tzipi Livni, said in turn: «Cancellation of this decision is a slap in the face to the Jews of the United States, many of whom are Jews-reformists. For the sake of his coalition partners, Netanyahu is willing to destroy Israel’s relations with Judaism of the Diaspora». She was also strongly criticized by the Ministers adopted the draft law on the state convert to Judaism, providing a monopoly in the issue of conversion to the chief Rabbinate.
Knesset member Ksenia Svetlova («Zionist camp») stated in this regard: «the Prime Minister gives the ultra-Orthodox parties, all they wish at the expense of all other groups of the population, to the detriment of relations with the Jews of the world. The dictates of the Haredi throws our society into the dark ages. Convinced that the Jewish state should support all people who want to become part of the Jewish people and to help them to convert to Judaism, having made a convert to Judaism, convert to Judaism, whether reform, conservative or Orthodox. We will continue to fight to ensure that Israel was a free country, not a country of religious dictatorship, in which the Haredi parties with the connivance of the other Ministers to impose their will on the entire country. It is a pity that the coalition was not a party that dared to raise a voice in defense of the interests of hundreds of thousands of Israelis, including many Russian-speaking immigrants. None of the Ministers did not vote against the madness taking place (approx.ed. – it is not, see above about who voted against), though defence Minister Lieberman could stop the advance of this law, using its existing veto power. But he did not veto. It is possible to take this infamous medieval law.»
Knesset member Constantine Razvozov («Yesh Atid») said: «the Netanyahu Government is behaving like a pawn in the game of Orthodox dependents and perform any of their whim. Already allocated billions for funding the yeshiva, abolished the compulsory study of basic subjects in religious schools and compulsory military service for yeshiva students. The state encourages those who do not work and is not ready to fulfill their civil obligations. Now at the mercy of the Orthodox and given to the whole field of conversion – this will significantly complicate the life of those who wish to become part of the Jewish people, instead of to facilitate this process.» Also the MP criticized the government’s decision on the abolition of the «agreement on the wailing Wall», according to which, the area at the wailing Wall in the Old city of Jerusalem was supposed to be divided into three zones, one of which was to be devoted to joint prayers of men and women representatives of the liberal streams of Judaism. According to Konstantin Razvozov, such decisions undermine the relationship of Israel with the Jews of the Diaspora. «We are losing the support of the representatives of liberal Judaism, instead of keeping a constant dialogue with them. It may very badly affect the future of our country», – he stressed.
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