Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Reform Jews Would Convert Illegal Migrants, Israeli Interior Minister Suggests

Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri suggested on Monday that opponents of a controversial recent conversion bill, which would prohibit all private conversions, are motivated by a desire to convert illegal African immigrants and promote intermarriage.

The Times of Israel reported that at the weekly meeting of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Deri attacked Israeli Reform leader Gilad Kariv and Union of Reform Judaism leader Rick Jacobs, whom he called “that man who doesn’t live here.”

Kariv “boasts that he wants to enshrine their [illegal migrants’] status in Israel. This is the same man who wants the keys to establish who converts here,” said Deri.

“I leave it to your imagination what will happen here in a year or two if the keys to the Law of Return… are in these people’s hands,” he added.

Kariv called Deri’s statements “shameful lies” and “defamation.”

“Minister Deri is a liar, who it seems forgot that the Torah commanded us to avoid lies,” the Reform leader told The Times of Israel.

Contact Jesse Bernstein at [email protected] or on Twitter @__jbernstein

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.