Knesset Approves 'Rabbi Amar Law'

Votes 44 to 14 to allow Rabbi Shlomo Amar to run for a second term as Chief Sephardic Rabbi.

Gil Ronen ,

Rabbi Shlomo Amar
Rabbi Shlomo Amar
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Knesset voted 44 to 14 Wednesday in favor of a law that would enable Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar to put forth his candidacy for a second consecutive term.

The bill passed in the preliminary reading, and needs to be voted upon two more times in order to become law. It removes the current prohibition on a serving chief rabbi to contend for a second consecutive term.

MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) launched a strong verbal attack on the members of the Coalition because of the alleged deals around the appointment of the chief rabbis.

"This bill demeans the honor of the Rabbinate,” he accused. “There is always fighting in the Knesset. There are deals. This rabbi for that rabbi. They brought new politics here. The Knesset that is slashing budgets and hurting the public is dealing, more than anything, with deals over the chief rabbinate.

“You will not reach agreement,” he predicted. “Why not extend the terms of the existing rabbis?”