The Yisrael Beyteinu party and its leader, MK Avigdor Liberman, petitioned the Supreme Court this week demanding the Chief Rabbinate stop conducting DNA tests for immigrants from the former Soviet Union as a condition for proving their Jewishness.
Party Chairman Liberman demanded the Chief Rabbinate stop these inspections, but was rebuffed.
The petition also includes three women, all immigrants from the former Soviet Union, who were required by rabbinic courts to carry out genetic tests, although they claim their Jewishness has been proven in various ways in the past.
The petition was filed against the Chief Rabbis, the Chief Rabbinate Council, the Rabbinical Courts, the Religious Services Ministry and the Interior Ministry demanding to prohibit the use of genetic testing to prove Judaism and to stop reexamining new immigrants' Jewishness.
According to MK Liberman, "Before people immigrate to Israel, they undergo an in-depth and very unpleasant investigation to prove their Jewishness. After the Jewish Agency and the Liaison Bureau conduct Jewish tests, they immigrate to the State of Israel. What infuriates me is that after aliyah, they suddenly begin performing these tests again. Sometimes this happens years after the immigrants'Jewishness has already been proven, not only by factors abroad, but by the haredi establishment here in Israel.
"It's outrageous to hear that only immigrants from the former Soviet Union are suspected time after time by rabbinical courts as 'non-Jews.' They even have to undergo the humiliating and degrading DNA tests in order to prove their Jewishness. To the agenda that people who came from a certain area are forced to undergo these tests, but not immigrants from France, the US, or England, only immigrants from the former Soviet Union are forced to undergo genetic testing to prove their Jewishness. This is crazy and we must stop the phenomenon completely," he added.
Rabbi Shaul Farber, chairman of the ITIM movement, said in response to the petition: "DNA testing to prove Judaism has no halakhic or legal source. From this we see how the rabbinical courts allow themselves to act in the way they chose in the past to act against the Jewish people. "
"The severe harm to the immigrant population, including immigrants from the former Soviet Union, must be stopped immediately. Evidence of DNA testing is a mark of Cain om the State of Israel, and harms its Jewish and democratic character. Instead of maintaining and bringing the Jewish people closer, the rabbinic courts choose to divide and reject the Judaism of those who have already proven it and have even married through the rabbinate. All the authorities responsible for this issue must act to stop these abominable acts," added Rabbi Farber.