Conversion to Judaism
Conversion to JudaismThinkstock

A survey by "Hiddush" shows most Israelis do not support the Israeli government's decision to limit conversions to those done under the auspices of the Chief Rabbinate.

The Hiddush organization supports increasing the influence of the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel.

Under the new law, private conversions - including those done by Orthodox, non-haredi rabbis, would be banned in Israel.

Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli ben Dahan, for many years in charge of the Religious Courts in Israel, explained on Israel Radio that the main reason for the law concentrating conversion in the hands of the Chief Rabbinate was to prevent wildcat conversions of infiltrators and foreign workers now in the country who would use fake conversion as a way to gain automatic Israeli citizenship.

In the survey, participants received a short summary of what the conversion bill entailed, and were asked whether they support or oppose the bill.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) said they oppose the bill, while 36% said they support it.

57% of Likud voters oppose the conversion bill, together with 80% of Kulanu voters, 84% of Yisrael Beytenu voters, and 34% of Jewish Home voters. Meanwhile, only 6% of the haredi parties' voters opposed the bill, whereas 94% said they support it.

When asked about their religious affiliation, most "traditional, not so close to religion" voters (77%) oppose the conversion law, and of those who are "traditional, close to religion," 48% opposed it. Among Religious Zionists, 22% opposed the conversion law.

Earlier on Thursday, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said he "never understood what the issue is with municipal rabbis making a rabbinical court and performing conversions."

"If there is a specific issue, we'll deal with it."