When we last left the Rotem Bill, which would essentially delegate the responsibility of defining Jewishness in Israel to a small coterie of fundamentalist rabbis, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced in January that it would sit in a drawer for another six months. This has apparently angered Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party (he leads it) is the bill’s main sponsor:
Lieberman is considering withdrawing from the government and bringing about a general election unless his party pushes through the military conversion bill that recently passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset.
Lieberman said as much last month in a meeting with MKs from his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, at a Dead Sea hotel. The meeting was documented by journalist David Deri of Channel 10’s Saturday news magazine. The report will be broadcast this Saturday.
Oh noes! Say it ain’t so—we wouldn’t want Lieberman, the hardcore right-winger with a penchant for saying provocative things out of step with his own government’s policy, to no longer be running Israel’s Foreign Ministry!
Of course, his decision might be made easier should the attorney general decide to indict him on corruption charges, for which he has been under investigation.
Lieberman Mulls Leaving Netanyahu Government If Conversion Bill Fails [Haaretz]
Related: The Diaspora Need Not Apply [NYT]