Britain’s Chief Rabbi Assails Practice of Abortion and ‘secularism’ in Israel
Menu JTA Search

Britain’s Chief Rabbi Assails Practice of Abortion and ‘secularism’ in Israel

Download PDF for this date

Britain’s Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits inveighed against abortions and “secularism” in Israel last night. He claimed that were it not for the high rate of abortions Israel might have had a much larger population “without the pangs of resettlement.” Rabbi Jakobovits addressed the closing session of the national conference of Mizrachi-Hapoel Hamisrachi, an Orthodox Zionist group. Another speaker was Gen. Uzzi Narkiss, head of the Jewish Agency’s immigration department. The Chief Rabbi, just returned from a visit to Israel, said he was informed by medical authorities there that 40,000 abortions are performed every year. “This is a result of the permissive society, which is in turn a result of abandoning our religious convictions,” the Orthodox rabbi said. “We speak of our desire to have more Jews in Israel. We overlook the fact that since Israel was established, a million future sabras have been smothered in their mothers’ wombs before they had a chance to grow to life. If there was a religious conscience abroad, if there was not such a rabid secularism, Israel may have had a much larger population,” Rabbi Jakobovits claimed. Jewish law does not forbid abortions under all circumstances. Gen. Narkiss also spoke of Israel’s need to increase its population. He claimed that the Arabs would have to abandon their dream of pushing the Israelis into the sea “if our population were to double by aliyah in a comparatively short time.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund