Conservative rabbis filed a complaint with the police against Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, claiming he incited against them and slandered them in a letter calling rabbis of cities and regional councils to attend an emergency gathering against the state's decision to recognize of non-Orthodox rabbis.
Rabbi Mauricio Balter, President of the Israeli Conservative Movement Rabbinical Assembly, and Conservative Rabbi Avinoam Sharom, who is a member of the movement, filed separate complaints with the police against Rabbi Amar.
According to them, the letter he distributed and was directed against them can "arouse strife and animosity between different sectors of the population, which is considered mutiny according to Article 136/4 of the Penal Code.
"I was shocked by the way in which I was dishonored and humiliated in public, turning me into an object of hate and disdain," said Sharon, who is subscribed to the Rabbinate's mailing list and received a copy of the letter against him.
"Rabbi Amar describes in the letter how me and my colleagues trample the Torah, eradicate Judaism, destroy the religion and are responsible for the devastation of the people of Israel – all with the aim of harming the sanctity of the Torah."
Rabbi Sharon emphasized that the chief rabbi can disagree with him, "But as someone who is public office, he must not negate 80% of the Jewish people and accuse their leaders of despising Judaism.
"It proves that he doesn't really serve the public, but is acting out of political interests," he said, adding that "this letter proves once again that the Chief Rabbinate is no longer relevant and must be abolished."
Last week, Israel's Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar called on rabbis of cities, communities and regional councils to attend an "emergency gathering" following the state's decision to recognize rabbis of conservative and reform communities as official rabbis and give them the same funding as orthodox rabbis who are appointed by the Chief Rabbinate.