Coalition sources express concern for candidacy of Eichler in vote for rabbinical courts committee

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July 21, 2015 19:18
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The battle between members of Knesset for election to the 11-member Committee for Appointing Rabbinical Judges heated up on Tuesday as the coalition and the opposition proposed their respective candidates for the powerful panel.

The issue has caused a bitter battle within the two constituent parties of the United Torah Judaism faction, Degel HaTorah and Agudat Yisrael, a situation which held up the so-called “Norwegian bill” on Monday with Agudah threatening to block the legislation.

Although an agreement was reached between the two sides on Tuesday with MK Yisrael Eichler of Agudah named as the sole UTJ candidate, sources in the opposition, the coalition and even Degel stated that there was a chance that Eichler would not get elected in the secret ballot for the positions.

The 11-member committee is comprised of the two chief rabbis, two rabbinical judges on the Supreme Rabbinical Court, two government ministers, two MKs, two members of the Israel Bar Association and a female rabbinical court advocate.

Due to legislation passed in the last Knesset, four of the positions on the committee must be women, a policy that was demanded by women’s rights activists since the four members reserved for the chief rabbis and rabbinical judges are automatically men since the rabbinate and rabbinical courts are Orthodox institutions.

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