LONDON (Feb. 25)
Britain’s Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits issued a statement today sharply critical of Israel’s National Religious Party for refusing to Join a coalition government over the Who is a Jew issue.
“The belated insistence of the NRP on pursuing the Who is a Jew controversy is a disastrous blow to the vital national, and religious interests of the Jewish people at a time of supreme crisis” and “cannot but gravely weaken Israel’s leadership and unity when these are indispensable assets for the security and survival of the Jewish State,” Rabbi Jakobovits said. He noted in his statement that as a result of the NRP’s tactics “The Law of Return-has not been amended, neither will religious influence continue to be exercised within the government.”
Rabbi Jakobovits’ statement could also be taken as implied criticism of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate which forbade the NRP from joining a government that refused to amend the Law of Return according to Orthodox demands. Rabbi Jakobovits observed that while “all committed Jews are deeply concerned to resolve the Who is a Jew issue…a principle of such universal ramifications should not be determined by political bargaining.”