"The IDF helps non-Jewish soldiers to convert at their
request through its conversion course, which is faster than
other courses. The army provides non-Jewish soldiers with
Judaic studies teachers and works along with the existing
civilian conversion institutes."
The above remarks were made at a meeting of the Knesset
Foreign Affairs and Security Committee on 16 Adar I (a month
and a half ago) during a report of the IDF Chief Education
Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Elazar Stern, who expressed his
support for this trend.
Chairman of the Committee, Dan Meridor (Mercaz) said: "In my
opinion, those soldiers who have made aliya to Israel
and serve in the IDF have passed the most important criterion
for joining the Jewish nation. We have to facilitate their
way. They speak Hebrew, they are in the army, and are with
us." Meridor complimented the IDF for setting up the quick
Rabbi Avrohom Ravitz, a member of the Committee, sharply
attacked Meridor's remarks. He stressed that, "The distorted
world view -- expressed by Meridor that service in the IDF
constitutes an entrance into the Jewish nation -- is liable
to bring calamity upon the nation. It is obvious that the
Jewish nation cannot accept this thesis. There are members of
minorities groups who serve in the IDF, and no one thinks of
counting them as Jews-- neither Bedouins nor Druse. They may
be loyal citizens to the state, but they are not transformed
into Jews merely by their service in the IDF."
Rabbi Ravitz stressed: "The only way to gain entry into the
Jewish Nation is by acceptance of the yoke of Torah and
mitzvos. Playing with this is like playing with fire. The
final result will be a painful rift in the nation."