Israeli Indian Jews End Protest; Dispute with Rabbinate Seems Resolved

A delegation representing the Bnei Israel community of Indian Jews today informed Prime Minister Levi Eshkol of a decision to end immediately the sit-down strike in protest against special Chiel Rabbinat directives concerning marriages between Bnei Israel members and other Jews.

The end of the sit-down strike followed a special session of Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, last night in which the House adopted a resolution declaring that members of the Bnei Israel community are to be considered Jews in every respect. The Knesset also endorsed the Government’s position, calling on the Chief Rabbinate to find a way to remove the discriminatory aspect of the marriage directives.

Ashkenazi, Chief Rabbi Isser Yehuda Unterman, meanwhile, voiced confidence today that the Chief Rabbinate Council would agree to strike out specific reference to the Bnei Israel from the heading of its marriage directives, thus giving the directives general application and removing the cause for any feeling of discrimination.

During their meeting with the Prime Minister, the members of the Bnei Israel delegation, who were accompanied by Jerusalem Mayor Mordechai Ish-Shalom, thanked Mr. Eshkol for his statement in the Knesset. The Premier expressed confidence that the issue would soon be settled.

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