Ben Gvir: End aliyah for non-Orthodox converts

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Itamar Ben Gvir
Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90Itamar Ben Gvir

Jewish Power party leader wants only those converted by Orthodox rabbis to settle in Israel

Jewish Power party leader Itamar Ben Gvir is calling for the cancellation of the Supreme Court's decision which recognizes that Jews who converted within the liberal movements benefit from the Law of Return.

According to Sunday's report in Hebrew media, Ben Gvir intends to present this request to prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu during the coalition negotiations. 

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The goal is to overturn the ruling that recognizes conversions to Judaism from liberal movements for those who wish to make aliyah and immigrate to Israel. 

Since 1970, Israel's Law of Return has applied not only to people considered Jewish under Orthodox law, but also to converts from the Reform and Conservative movements, although such conversions are not recognized by the Chief Rabbinate in Israel.

According to the Kan report, Ben Gvir wishes to establish a situation in which only those who were converted by Orthodox rabbis will have the right to immigrate to Israel according to the Law of Return. 

The Jewish Power party has taken steps to have the same request made by the other parties in the coalition during the negotiations with Netanyahu.

Diaspora Affairs Minister Dr. Nachman Shai said overriding the Reform Conversion Recognition Clause would cause "a wedge between us and the wealthiest and strongest Jewish community in the world," referring to the American Jewish community.

"It threatens the delicate relations that bind Israel and the Diaspora at their most sensitive point,” said Reform Rabbi Uri Regev, who heads the organization Hiddush – For Religious Freedom and Equality.

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