According to the proposed military conversion law sponsored by Yisrael Beiteinu and passed by the Knesset in a first-stage summary vote on Wednesday, the IDF's giyur apparatus would be completely severed from civilian conversion tracks and would not be under the authority of the Israel Chief Rabbinate.
The chareidi parties held feverish meetings in advance of Wednesday's Knesset meeting and preliminary vote, discussing the moves they would make in the event the proposal passed the preliminary vote.
The respective chairmen of the chareidi parties announced they would try, up until the last moment, to prevent the proposal from passing the vote, saying it violated the coalition agreement, but acknowledged that there was a majority in the Knesset in support of the law.
Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday at the start of his party's meeting in the Knesset that the proposal would be brought for a preliminary vote on Wednesday despite the opposition of the chareidi parties and the coalition partners.
He noted that the proposal would be brought for a vote with no draft changes and no compromise. "Tomorrow we will bring the law [for a vote] based on the full draft as it stands. We won't change a word, not a single letter or even a comma. Neither will we postpone the vote," said the foreign minister.
Liberman also speculated that the clash over the law would not bring about a coalition crisis, predicting that the coalition would remain intact and the government would last until 2013. He also claimed that "Yisrael Beiteinu respects Judaism, its values and the [Jewish] heritage and it is not an anti-religious party," but said that in their opinion the Chief IDF Rabbi is a sufficiently notable figure to handle the conversion issue.