Compromise for Conversion Law: Only to apply to Law of Return and obtaining citizenship

Israeli government ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelt Shaked along with Deputy Minister Eli Ben Dahan are working on a solution that will maintain the status-quo and apply the controversial Conversion Law only towards the matters of Israel’s Law of Return and obtaining Israeli citizenship. The bill’s writers have already discussed the issue with the Rabbinate, the Tzohar Organization and Jewish communities abroad.
Shaked and Bennett at the entrance of the reconciliation meeting Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

HaBayit HaYehudi is working on compromise for the Conversion Law that gives the ultra-Orthodox Israeli Chief Rabbinate complete control over Jewish conversions, which raised a storm within Israeli politics and among Diaspora Jewry. According to the compromise, the law will only apply to the matters of Israel’s Law of Return and obtaining Israeli citizenship. This would de facto maintain Israel’s status-quo and determine that in order to obtain Israeli citizenship through the Law of Return, only a state conversion is required.

The only fact differentiating the compromise from Israel’s current situation is that modern orthodox rabbis from the Tzohar organization will be able to request from the Supreme Court that the conversions that they perform in Israel on Israeli citizens be recognized for marriage licenses.

A mediating discussion is being held by Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan and with Jewish Federation representatives from the US, the Jewish Agency’s director-general and secretary-general, the Reform and Conservative movements’ presidents and Keren HaYesod representatives. The meeting is aimed at mediating and bridging the crisis surrounding the Conversion Law and the decision to freeze the Western Wall plan in an attempt to explain the disinformation that exists around the subject.

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