Jewish Home party chairman, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, announced Thursday that the members of his Knesset faction will use all parliamentary tools at their disposal to fight “anti-Jewish” legislation.
Bennett spoke at a study day conducted for Jewish Home MKs at Beit Harav Kook in Jerusalem, dedicated to legislation on matters of religion and state. Rabbis who took part included the Dean of the Hesder Yeshiva in Maale Adumim, Rabbi Nahum Eliezer Rabinovich, the rabbi of Kiryat Arba, Rabbi Dov Lior, the Dean of Or Etzion Yeshiva, Rabbi Haim Druckman, and the Dean of Har Etzion Yeshiva, Rabbi Yaakov Madan.
Bennett said that he and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had agreed that the Conversion Bill will not pass againt the wishes of the faction.
The bill, submitted by MK Elazar Stern (Hatnua), would allow the rabbi of any city to open a religious court for conversion – thus ending the Chief Rabbinate's control of the conversion mechanism. The Jewish Home demands – along with the Chief Rabbis – that only a rabbi who is recognized as being capable of acting as a dayan (religious court judge) or one who has been approved for performing conversion by the Chief Rabbinate will be able to open a beit din for conversion.
"In the face of the wave of anti-Jewish legislation, we will take action to strengthen the Jewish identity of the state of Israel,” said the minister.
Rabbi Druckman defended the Jewish Home from critics within religious Zionism. “I am very sorry,” he said, “that there are people and groups that attack the Jewish Home without checking things, with actual lies. It is shocking, how can people act in such an evil way under the guise of righteousness, and simply write things with no connection to reality, while the truth is the opposite?”
Rabbi Druckman offered the study day and a previous study day as examples of what makes the Jewish Home unique. “Is there another faction in the Knesset that does something like this? There is such good will here, in the real sense of the word.”