The Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs on Sunday approved with a large majority a bill initiated by Knesset Member David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu), which states that all conversions carried out by the army are legal and cannot be annulled.
Shas Ministers Meshulam Nahari and Yakov Margi opposed the proposal.
The bill's approval, which means it will now head to the Knesset for a preliminary reading, was coordinated with the government. Minister Margi said that "the current government's decisions awaken yearning for the days of the Olmert government".
The ministerial committee postponed the vote two weeks ago. It held deliberations over the issue but the decision over the fate of the bill was postponed by two months due to opposition from the Shas party.
'Flagrant breach of status quo'The party's representative on the committee, Minister Meshulam Nahari, said that the bill constitutes a flagrant breach of the religious status quo, contrary to coalition agreements. But an appeal presented against the postponement was accepted and the proposal was once again on the government table.
The bill was first brought up before the ministerial committee after haredi conversion officials called on the IDF to halt its conversion procedures due to a Chief Rabbinate decision to establish a committee to examine its procedures.
The decision to establish a committee came after doubts were raised over the halachic stance of the converts.
At a High court hearing two months ago, the State's representative said in an appeal demanding that city rabbis register converts for marriage that IDF conversions weren't arranged by certified religious judges (dayanim), and weren't approved in the Rabbinate.
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