MK Rotem to propose bill dissolving Chief Rabbinate
Yisrael Beiteinu member threatens to pass with opposition support new bill to recognize IDF rabbis' conversions, claims Chief Rabbinate has ulterior motives for challenging validity of process.
Head of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu) has said that he will propose a law that would dissolve the Chief Rabbinate Council and allow the creation of a new one, as well as officially recognize conversions by IDF rabbis in an announcement on Friday.
According to the new proposal, military rabbis will also be empowered to marry those who joined the Jewish people in the military-sponsored conversion process.
"If the Chief Rabbinate functioned as it should, there would be no questions regarding the conversion process and no problem would exist. There is no doubt that if the rabbis weren't casting aspersions regarding the kashrut of conversions conducted by military rabbis, disparaging their work, that there would never have been a doubt with the conversion process."
Rotem alleged an ulterior motive behind the Chief Rabbinate's halachic position on the conversion process. "Rabbi Amar is going to weigh in on the matter and say, 'If you hand over to me the conversion process, I will certify the kashrut of these conversions,'" said Rotem. "This is scandalaous! What is the connection between these things? He [Rabbi Amar] knows that the military conversions are fine, he just wants something in return [for his recognition]."
Rotem's statement came in the aftermath of a Rabbinate Council decision on Thursday to review all IDF conversions as well as those done under the auspices of the State Conversion Authority.
The Yisrael Beiteinu MK also threatened to pass his bill with the support of the Knesset opposition if the government coalition did not back it due to pressure from Haredi factions.
"What is occurring now is a scandal that is impossible to tolerate," declared Rotem. "If there won't be coalition support [for the bill], there will be support from the opposition."
[Hat Tip: Michelle.]