The House Committee on Tuesday approved the controversial IDF conversion bill, but Coalition Chairman Zeev Elkin said "when (Chief Rabbi Shlomo) Amar will resolve the conversion problem, as the prime minister declared last night, we won’t need this legislation."
Earlier, Eli Yishai said Prime Benjamin Netanyahu has changed his mind regarding Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's request to push forward the bill ahead of the vote on the state budget.
Speaking to Ynet, the Shas chairman said Netanyahu, who endorsed Lieberman's request, told him over the phone that the coalition would vote against the bill "after learning that Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar would advance the IDF conversion issue within a number of weeks and after learning that IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz is opposed to the legislation."
During the House Committee debate, United Torah Judaism members slammed Netanyahu's "zigzag" policy with regards to the IDF conversion bill. "The prime minister behaved like a child who got slapped upside the head by (Lieberman)," Knesset Member Menachem Eliezer Moses said after the vote.
MK Moshe Gafni, also from UTJ, said the vote would have "political ramifications." Asked if his party would leave the coalition, Gafni said, "It's too early to say."
Sources in Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party said it is determined to pass the bill, which would confirm the authority of the IDF chief rabbi to approve army conversions in the future without the authorization of the Chief Rabbinate.
The bill passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset about two weeks ago.
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