United Torah Judaism member of Knesset Yitzhak Pindrus said on Tuesday that a female soldier who converted to Judaism during her IDF service is a Shiksha, the derogatory term given to non-Jewish women.
Pindrus went on to say that any man who marries a woman converted by the IDF should be considered dead to his family.
The Israeli Chief Rabbinate recognized orthodox conversions carried out by the IDF for soldiers predominately from immigrant families that immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union. Tens of Thousands of Israelis have undergone conversions to Judaism during their military service.
In a panel discussion Pindrus responded to a Supreme Court ruling on Monday that conservative and reform conversions carried out in Israel must be recognized by the state.
"I will not compromise on even one shiksha or goy that will be recognized as Jewish just to be nice and pluralistic. That will not happen," Pindus said.
The Haredi legislator said he considers people who did not convert according to strict Orthodoxy, to be non-Jews as he was directed to do by the late Rabbi Eliashiv, a leader of the Haredi community.
The landmark ruling of the court, 15 years in the making, centered around the combustible question of who is Jewish and marked an important victory for the Reform and Conservative movements. These liberal streams of Judaism, which represent the vast majority of affiliated American Jews, have long been marginalized in Israel.
The ruling only interprets the existing law, the court said, while parliament “at any time can set a different arrangement in the law”.
Israel’s powerful ultra-Orthodox establishment has held a virtual monopoly on religious matters for Israeli Jews, overseeing life-cycle rituals like weddings and burials and using their political clout to gain influence over matters like immigration.
Monday’s ruling chipped away at that power by saying that the state must allow Jews who undergo conversions with the liberal movements in Israel to receive citizenship.
“Jews who during their stay in Israel were legally converted in a Reform or Conservative community must be recognized as Jews,” the court said in its majority decision. It said the ruling only applied to the question of citizenship and did not delve into religious affairs.
Israel previously recognized conversions by the liberal streams conducted overseas. This ruling now applies to conversions inside Israel.
Monday’s ruling only directly affects about 30 people a year, such as spouses of Israeli citizens, advocates say. But both supporters and opponents of the decision suggested there was much deeper symbolism.
Arye Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party said he is committed to changing the law to ensure only Orthodox conversions will be recognized by the state.
First published: 10:42, 03.02.21