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Curbing of Religious Establishment Proposed by Labor Party Youth

September 13, 1971
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A faction of the Labor Party’s younger members ended a two-day symposium at Beth Berl today by adopting a series of resolutions designed to curb the power of the religious establishment in Israel and separate it from the State. The resolutions were passed despite arguments against them from Labor Party Secretary General Israel Yeshayahu and Moshe Baram, chief of the Labor Alignment Knesset faction who claimed it was dangerous to separate State and religion.

The resolutions demanded civil marriage and divorce for those who, under present laws, are refused marriage or divorce by the religious authorities; abolition of the Chief Rabbinate; the local election of rabbis as spiritual leaders only: and public transportation on Saturdays and permission for entertainment and cultural events on the Sabbath. They also demanded conscription of all Yeshiva students and girls who claim exemption from national service on religious grounds. A preamble to the resolutions stated that any legislation that curbs individual freedom would only increase the internal tensions in the country.

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