Lapid: There's no religious freedom here

Yesh Atid Chairman slams government for caving to 'haredi coercion,' claims Reform, Conservative are 'vast majority' in the US.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yesh Atid Chair Yair Lapid
Yesh Atid Chair Yair Lapid
Flash 90

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid on Thursday morning responded to the interrogation of Conservative rabbi in Haifa, who married a couple which was not legally allowed to marry.

According to Israel Police, Dov Hayoun was questioned detained for interrogation after he was ordered to appear for questioning but failed to appear.

He was questioned on suspicion of violating section 7 of the Marriage and Divorce Ordinance, which prohibits private marriage and divorce and establishes a two-year prison sentence for unregistered marriage or divorce, as well on suspicion of an offense under the Penal Law.

"At five thirty in the morning, police officers arrived at the home of a Conservative rabbi in Haifa and accompanied him to an urgent interrogation. The reason: He officiated at a wedding. It's inconceivable, but it's true. A rabbi in Israel was interrogated for marrying a couple, two Jews, members of his community. This is the insanity of haredi coercion."

"Think of Jews around the world. What should millions of Jews in the US - where the Reform and Conservative are the vast majority - think? They wake up in the morning and hear that in the eyes of the State of Israel, their religious beliefs are a criminal offense. What does that say about us, that Israel is the only democracy in the world in which Jews have no religious freedom? The religious institution is convinced that if it controls Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, it controls the State. We will not allow this disruption to the system."

In fact, the numbers of America's Reform and Conservative movements are dwindling, while the percentage of Jews identifying as Orthodox climbs. Meanwhile, the intermarriage rate among non-Orthodox Jews now exceeds 70%.

In addition, the Pew Research Center determined that only 25% of American Jews are now members of Reform or Conservative synagogues, both of which now allow non-Jewish members. Another Pew survey showed that 50% of American Jews identify as secular - not Reform or Conservative.