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June 21, 2011

Israel's Ultra-Orthodox Interior Minister Moves To Brand Reform And Conservative Converts

Eli Yishai 2 The decision calls for the nationality section in ID cards issued to people who converted to Judaism through the reform or conservative movement to be blank, while ultra-Orthodox converts and born Jews will be marked Jewish – a measure that defies a High Court of Justice ruling that officially recognizes the non-ultra-Orthodox converts as Jews.


Yishai reinstates nationality in ID cards
‪‪Interior minister's plan leaves Reform, Conservative converts to Judaism without nationality as ministry doesn't recognize them as Jewish‬‬
‪Kobi Nahshoni‬ • Ynet

Eli Yishai 2 Interior Ministry Eli Yishai has signed a regulation that reinstates the nationality label in the identification cards of all citizens who were eligible for the document before 2002.

Yishai decision's calls for the nationality section in ID cards issued to people who converted to Judaism through the reform or conservative movement to remain blank – a measure that defies a High Court of Justice ruling that officially recognizes the converts as Jews.
While the regulation must first be approved by the Justice Ministry and the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, sources close to Yishai said that it is just a formality that can be easily completed.
In 2002, Yishai decided to eliminate the nationality section from ID cards altogether, to avoid carrying out the High Court ruling that called for the nationality of reform and conservative converts to be identified as "Jewish" on their state-issued documents.
Yishai now claims that many citizens, including Holocaust survivors, refuse to renew their worn-out IDs, because their new IDs no longer will reflect their Jewish nationality. He also says that many will avoid exchanging their old cards for the new "smart cards" in two years for the same reason.
Representatives of the reform and conservative movements are furious with the decision, which they say discriminates against anyone who was not issued an ID, or wasn't eligible for one, before 2002 – including people who were born as Jews and roughly 5,000 people who converted in Israel and abroad through movements other than the ultra-Orthodox.
'Haredi minority damages Israel's' reputation'

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, who heads Israel's Reform Judaism movement, sent an urgent letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claiming that the interior minister is "trampling the basic principles of equality and governmental reasonability in order to violate the recognized rights of converts from the reform, conservative and non-Orthodox movements."
Kariv urged Netanyahu to block the measure, and added that if he doesn't do so, his movement will petition the High Court of Justice over the issue.
"The transparent and unsophisticated use of Holocaust survivors as an excuse for the regulation just exposes how low Minister Yishai is willing to go in his battle against the reform communities," Kariv said.

Yizhar Hess, the CEO of the conservative movement, spoke out against Yishai as well. "It's hard to conceive a more cynical or mean decision," he said. "Instead of welcoming the converts, Minister Yishai sends a message of contempt and humiliation.
"The majority of the Jewish people belong to the reform and conservative movement, but a fundamentalist haredi minority damages Israel's reputation and destroys its image, especially at a time when Israel needs the Jews of the world more than ever," he added.
Attila Somfavi contributed to the report.

[Hat Tip: Seymour.]


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Muslims have more rights in Israel than converts to Judaism.

Just like in Germany (1930's).
May God save Israel from the lunatics who
call themselves religious.

honestly i cannot see why the haredim made an issue of this - its not like they were marrying reform/conservative jews either way

there should be a proclamation with lots of sources and examples by the non haredi jew world proclaiming that the haredim are not practicing judaism; rather some twisted paganistic spin off religion

Y'know, maybe if Jews had been more insistent on the ideal that the State couldn't discriminate against its Arab citizens, it'd be taken for granted that the State couldn't discriminate against any group of its Jewish citizens, either.

How about two values for nationality

"Israeli subject to conscription" which would include secular jews, MO and R and C Jews, russians and converts of uncertain status, and Druze arabs


"Israeli but NOT subject to conscription" which would include non-Druse Arabs, and Haredim.

Is he is decent Sefardi or $ephardic? What a lying piece of trash. He ain't Jewish to me. Throw the A-hole out

JJG, most Arab citizens of Israel, unfortunately are rooting for elimination of Israel. The converts on the other hand are loyal citizens of the country. Do you see any difference? How blind you could be to make this statement?

It's actually a ploy to make sure that people with IDs issued prior to 2002 who are weary to switch to a new ID because the word "Judean" will be removed will now relent and renew their IDs thus assuring that everyone switches over to the upcoming Big Brother biometric ID system. It has nothing to do with "branding" anyone, it's quite selective to those who already have it on their IDs and won't give it up.

why not just have the Jews that they accept wear a yellow star on their cloth

The other "secret" indicator, the Hebrew DOB (wink, wink, no one will ever know...), will continue to appear - as it does now - only on the IDs of Israelites and those who converted "Orthodox."

Mr Yishai, why not tattoo the Reform or Conservative converts so that you can continue your war of discrimination against them. Why not segregate them? Oh wait, that has already been tried.

If a Reform or Conservative Rabbi can indeed make a marriage a Torah Marriage with a full Torah standing, then they can in my sight also confer the spiritual equivalent of being jewish to a convert. I have struggled with this issue and this is my opinion today. Those who convert under the R or C synagogues are indeed Jewish. Worry about educating them instead.

A seventeen year old boy and a fourteen year old girl pulled off a legitimate Torah marriage here in Israel - without any rabbi present or assisting them. That doesn't make them qualified as to sit as judges on a rabbinic court. The presence of the "rabbi" at a wedding is to assure that all is done correctly and in accordance with Judean law, but a layman can pull it off if he knows what he's doing, as in the case of the two (legal) minors.

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