JERUSALEM — In an emotional speech delivered in the Knesset Monday, MK Yaakov Asher (UTJ) demonstrated how the new steps being proposed regarding conversions are a threat to the Jewish character of Israel.

“What are we railing about, who do we want to protect, what are we scared of,” Asher asked the plenum. “In Bnei Brak the beauty of the Shabbos queen will remain the same way it was described by former prime minister Menachem Begin z’l. My grandson will continue to keep kosher. Last Shabbos somebody gave him a candy and he naturally turned to me and asked: ‘Grandpa is this kosher?’ I’m not worried about him.

“The conversion reforms won’t harm our families, if we need, G-d forbid, we will know how to maintain geneaology documents, our grandchildren won’t marry gentiles. So what are we fighting about? For whom are we fighting? Why are we fighting to preserve the status of the Chief Rabbinate, since we were never the greatest users of its services? What do we want?”

“We are not waging a chareidi battle,” Asher continued. “This is not our war, this is ours because we are responsible to the religious, traditional and secular public who want to continue their tradition. Would that we would learn from the Muslims how to preserve our traditions.

“Millions of Jews in the country who do not strictly keep religion but want to maintain a Jewish character, they are the silent Jewish majority.”

MK Yorai Herzno interjected: “What will you gain from religious coercion.” Asher told him to shut up, but Herzno continued:”I am a member of parliament, I can respond to you.” Asher said that “you are more fitting for the European parliament, you are trying to change Israel into a state like all other nations.”

Asher concluded his speech by shouting: “This is not a chareidi battle, this is a J-E-W-I-S-H battle.”

As reported by Vos Iz Neias