Israel’s Haredi parties are apparently getting nervous over the conversion bill. Why else would they take the unprecedented step of having the Chief Rabbi write a letter to The New York Times accusing Diaspora Jews of “coercing the Israeli government”:

… The bill provision you discuss seeks no changes; it seeks only to retain the situation as it has existed for 62 years. If these non-Israeli movements believe in democratic principles, why have they intervened in a matter that affects only Israelis and does not affect American Jews at all? Even more puzzling, how do they justify asking 12 American senators to pressure the Israeli government on this internal matter?

Israeli laws should be determined by residents of Israel who defend its security and bear its burdens…

Diaspora Jews who are coercing the Israeli government to drop the proposed legislation are causing great damage.

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