Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's decision to withdraw support from the Conversion Bill proposed by Tzipi Livni's Hatnua party has won him praise from Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef.
The rabbi sent a letter of support to the prime minister, reported Channel 2 News. “I wish to commend the honorable prime minister for his courageous decision,” wrote Rabbi Yosef.
"In the course of the last year, we held numerous meetings about the Conversion Bill in which we explained that the bill would lead to terrible assimilation in the Jewish people. With this decision, the honorable prime minister prevents this danger, in effect, and assists the unity of the nation of Israel,” Rabbi Yosef added.
The heads of the coalition factions will convene Wednesday with Prime Minister Netanyahu in an effort to defuse the heightened political tension between them. The more leftist factions in the government, Yesh Atid and Hatnua, have already announced that they are forming a united bloc and there have been reports that Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu party will also vote in favor of Hatnua's Conversion Bill.
Netanyahu wishes to lay down certain ground rules for the political behavior of the coalition partner, that will make it possible for the current government to survive. “The last thing Israel needs now is a new election campaign,” Netanyahu said yesterday during his birthday celebration.