In the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) debate on the definition of a Jew on Wednesday (July 12), Prime Minister Mrs Golda Meir said one was opposed to the motion to narrow the definition and that the matter was one for Rabbis to decide.
GV Knesset building(silent shot)
TV INTERIOR PAN FROM Mrs Golds Meir addressing house on coalition threat (speaks in Hebrew)
TV Delegates listening to Mrs Meir's speech
SV Speaker of the house making notes
LV Mrs Meir speaking
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Background: In the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) debate on the definition of a Jew on Wednesday (July 12), Prime Minister Mrs Golda Meir said one was opposed to the motion to narrow the definition and that the matter was one for Rabbis to decide.
The motion, which led to a stormy debate before being rejected, was put forward by two ultra-religious parties -- which wanted israel to recognise a Jewish person as one whose mother had been a Jew, or who had been converted to Judaism according to the Halacha, the authorised Rabbinical commentary on the Bible. At present, the definition does not stipulate exactly how a convert should be introduced to Judaism.
The issue caused a crisis two weeks earlier, when there was a possibility of the coalition National Religious Party voting for the motion. the N.R.P. 's vote could have helped defeat the Government in the debate -- possibly leading to an opposition call for a general election. But the crisis was averted when the party was allowed to abstain in Wednesday's voting.
SYNOPSIS: Israeli knesset in Jerusalem ended a stormy debate on the definition of a Jew on Wednesday, by rejecting a motion to narrow the present definition. The Prime Minister, Mrs. Golda Meir, spoke against the motion -- and said the definition of a Jew was one for Rabbis to decide.
The motion said the present definition of a Jew was too wide, and might cause a spilt within the ranks of the Jewish people. At present, a Jew is defined as one whose mother is Jewish, or who has been converted to Judaism.
The motion, however, was to have the conversion qualified, and done only according to the Halacha -- the authorised Rabbinical commentary on the Bible. the issue caused a crisis two weeks ago when it became possible that the coalition National Religious Party might vote FOR the motion. But the crisis was averted when the party was allowed abstain in Wednesday's vote.