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Report: Netanyahu Promises Talmud Will Be Israeli Law

Netanyahu tells Likud hareidi leader Hebrew calendar will be official calendar of state in new Basic Law, Jewish law basis of legal system.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 5/9/2014, 9:49 AM

Binyamin Netanyahu at the Likud Conference
Binyamin Netanyahu at the Likud Conference
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly revealed at a Likud conference on Wednesday some remarkable facets of the Basic Law he submitted last Thursday, which would enshrine Israel's status as the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Netanyahu told the head of Likud's hareidi division Yaakov Vider at the conference that he intends to make the Hebrew calendar, which is based on Jewish law, the official calendar of Israel, reports Kikar Hashabat.

The new law also would establish the Talmud, the core work of Jewish law, as an official basis for Israeli state law.

"I'm going to personally be involved in the law defining the state of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people," Netanyahu reportedly told Vider. "It's a very important law that will influence how Israel will look in the future."

"I want to anchor in this law, that it will be a Basic Law that the state of Israel arose and exists on the basis of the Torah and the Jewish tradition," Netanyahu explained, promising to define the Hebrew calendar as the official state calendar.

Netanyahu also promised that "we will define in the law the Gemara as a basis for the Israeli legal system," referencing the Jewish legal text analyzing the Mishnah, a legal work of the Jewish sages, which together form the Talmud.

Discussing the new Basic Law on Sunday in a cabinet meeting, Netanyahu stated "the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish state does not actualize itself enough in our Basic Laws, which is what the proposed law aims to fix."

Netanyahu stressed the law would not restrict the rights of non-Jewish citizens of Israel. He further dismissed opposition to the law by leftist MKs, foremost among them Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who pledged to block the law.

"They want a Palestinian national state to be built beside us, and to turn the State of Israel, meanwhile, into a bi-national state, Jewish-Arab, within our restricted borders," Netanyahu argued, saying the new Basic Law would prevent such a situation.