Outgoing Finance Minister, Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman, has called for the resignation of the Sephardic Chief Rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, following comments made by Rabbi Yosef concerning his wishes for the incoming government.
Rabbi Yosef made known his views on the controversial Override Clause during a Torah class he gave, stating, "We're going to pass a law that says that there's no such thing as the Supreme Court being the final arbiter. This is an Orthodox country, not a Reform state. We have to utilize this opportunity where we have 32 religious and haredi Knesset members," he added. "Who knows -- maybe this is our chance to settle the question: Who is a Jew?"
Liberman, a long-time critic of the institution of the Chief Rabbinate, responded to the Chief Rabbi's words, saying, "The Chief Rabbi is acting like a Chief Politician. These recurring calls from the Chief Rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, on political issues, are absolutely outrageous. Yosef, who called yesterday for the passage of the Override Clause, which is extremely controversial, is abusing his position, one which is supposed to be above politics and outside influence.
"This is not the first time the Chief Rabbi has meddled in politics," Liberman added. "Just a few days ago, he intervened in coalition negotiations and called for the budget for Torah students to be trebled or quadrupled. I am now calling on the [current] prime minister to suspend him immediately and after a hearing, to remove him from his position, even before the new government is formed."