Israel Rabbinate Scores Supreme Court Justice’s View on Jewishness

Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, in an unprecedented action, sharply criticized today remarks on the legal basis for determination of Jewishness in Israel, which were made by Supreme Court Justice Haim Cohn.

Justice Cohn, who was a speaker at the second “Dialogue” of American and Israeli intellectuals held last month in Jerusalem under the auspices of the American Jewish Congress, asserted that the official determination or rejection of Jewishness in Israel was based on “biological and racist principles propagated by the Nazis and incorporated in the infamous Nuremberg laws. “

His remarks sparked a debate in the Israeli press, both in letters to the editor, and in editorials. It was also raised in Israel’s Parliament, where the Poale Agudat Israel asked whether the Justice Ministry would institute an inquiry into the Justice’s comments.

The Chief Rabbinate said in its published statement today that Justice Cohn’s comments were “a distortion from the point of view of Jewish law and a defamation of the Jewish national point of view. “

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