Israeli Minister Pleased with Momentum to Dissolve Ministry of Religious Affairs
Israel's acting Minister of Religious Affairs Yossi Beilin on Tuesday expressed delight with the current momentum pointing to the total dissolving of the ministry of religious affairs, reported Israel Wire news agency.
Beilin, who is also minister of justice, told reporters that "if the ministry does not appear at all in the 2001 state budget, this would be an accomplishment for the good of all, including those Israelis seeking religious services."
Beilin explained that he was in no way seeking to bring an end to religious services, but was reassigning the departments of the ministry to existing agencies, said the agency.
Beilin indicated the program to dissolve the ministry was in its final stages and much of the decision-making and policy implementation may be accomplished without Knesset approval, providing an atmosphere conducive to the expeditious abolition of the ministry exists, added the agency.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced two weeks ago a "secular revolution" that includes a constitution, national service for all and educational reform.
His plan would eliminate the religious affairs ministry, require haredi yeshiva students (students of religious institutes) to learn citizenship, English, and mathematics, enact a constitution, allow civil marriages, and require national service by army-age yeshiva students and Israeli Arabs - Albawaba.com
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