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Sephardi chief rabbi calls to pass bill to override High Court to amend ‘law on who is a Jew’

File: Israel's Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef at the International Convention Center, on February 1, 2022. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)
File: Israel's Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef at the International Convention Center, on February 1, 2022. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

The Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel says Benjamin Netanyahu’s prospective incoming government must pass a bill allowing the Knesset to override High Court of Justice rulings.

In a weekly lesson, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef says the so-called override bill is “an opportunity to amend the law on who is a Jew.”

“There was never such government with 32 religious and ultra-orthodox Knesset members. Maybe there is an opportunity to amend the law on who is a Jew? Don’t know if it’s possible. To fix things. Now is the opportunity to make amends,” he says.

Yosef accuses the High Court of stopping the appointment of local rabbis after demanding that rabbis from the Reform community be appointed as well.

“You have to [pass] the override clause to overcome these High Court rulings,” he says.

Ultra-Orthodox leaders do not view the Reform movement as an authentic form of Judaism and do not recognize Reform rabbis.

Yosef has a history of making provocative comments, including against Reform Judaism, women, the High Court of Justice and Black people.

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