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Monday, February 12, 2007

Bid to keep out Abraham halted: Olmert rejects bid to exclude converts from Law of Return

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/02/bid-to-keep-out-abraham-halted-olmert.html

Under the proposed law, Abraham would not have been eligible for the law of return, and neither would Ruth have been.

Last update - 10:29 12/02/2007   
Olmert rejects bid to exclude converts from Law of Return
 
By Amiram Barkat, Haaretz Correspondent

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has rejected "at this time" a proposal by Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar to amend the Law of Return to exclude its recognition of converts as Jews, according to a letter sent by Prime Minister's Office Director General Raanan Dinur to the Conservative Movement in Israel.
 
The letter was a response to one written by the Masorti (Conservative) Movement a month after Amar made his proposal, which aroused the ire of Jewish organizations in Israel and abroad.
 
Haaretz reported in late November that Amar had asked Olmert to change the Law of Return, which currently states that an individual born to a Jewish mother or who has converted to Judaism is considered Jewish, and thus has the right to come to Israel and receive Israeli citizenship.
 
Amar wanted even those who had undergone Orthodox conversions not to be recognized as Jews by the Law of Return. Behind Amar's proposal is his concern that the High Court of Justice will require the state to recognize non-Orthodox conversions in Israel, as well as non-Orthodox marriages.
 
He is also worried that non-Orthodox rabbis will conduct conversions abroad, allowing the converts to immigrate to Israel and become citizens.


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