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What’s Wrong With Israel’s Proposed Conversion Bill

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/israel/article/whats_wrong_with_israels_proposed_conversion_bill_20100309

Only in Israel. On the day that the U.S. vice president arrived in Israel, reportedly to thwart Israel’s bombing of Iran, and following two days of intensive talks between Israel’s prime minister and President Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, the Israeli government almost fell ... because of a proposed bill about conversion to Judaism. How could a conversion bill, which set out to marginally expand the list of rabbis who can perform conversions in Israel, set off a string of events that almost brought the government down? Though hard to imagine, the Israeli government coalition agreements include clauses that call for legislation to improve conversion in Israel. This week, such legislation was discussed in the Knesset law committee, and the proposed bill, which would be a first for the Jewish state, brought on a coalition crisis between the ultra-Orthodox and immigrant parties.

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