MK Matan Kahana of Yamina is concerned about the possibility that the Supreme Court will determine the future of conversions in Israel, and talked to Arutz Sheva about why the Prime Minister is not promoting the outline formulated by former minister Moshe Nissim.
"The Supreme Court has repeatedly told the State of Israel to create legislation on the issue of conversion. There is currently no law governing conversion in the State of Israel, leaving the Supreme Court to fill the gap. The Prime Minister appointed a committee headed by Moshe Nissim, which sat with the most notable figures in religious Zionism to formulate a viable plan, an outline which was in turn corrected and refined. It is clear that this outline will stand the test of the Supreme Court and will continue to ensure that the conversions in the country are Orthodox," said Kahana.
"Unfortunately, there are people whose attitude is that if it is not exactly as they demand, a conversion counts for nothing. In this situation, the Supreme Court is once again the deciding factor, and it may force a Reform conversion in the State of Israel. I have made quite clear that the obstinacy which brings about that state of affairs is what will be responsible for allowing Reform conversions in Israel.”
In his opinion, it is very possible that what was done cannot be reversed. "I very much hope we are not in a situation where the horses have already bolted the stable. It could be that if the government convenes and at least shows that it intends to act, the Supreme Court will back down, but if there is already case law on the matter, there is no going back.”
Kahana also commented on other issues of religion and state, for instance, the appointment of a religious Zionist Chief Rabbi.
"I would like and would be happy to be the Minister of Religious Affairs. The current state of affairs causes outright blasphemy sometimes. For too many years the whole issue of religion has been run by extremists on all sides, and the time has come for a voice from the middle ground.”
Kahana also commented on Bezalel Smotrich, who has not ruled out cooperating with Yamina in the election.
"We are very sorry that Smotrich chose to split the religious Zionists, but we understood his decision. We call on the nation as a whole to come together behind the values of religious Zionism that we all believe in.”