First Published: 2008-01-25

 
Israel coaxes non-Jewish soldiers to convert
 

Israeli army sends non-Jewish soldiers – mainly from former Soviet Union - to courses on Judaism.

 

Middle East Online

Many Israeli soldiers hold extremist Jewish beliefs

TEL AVIV - The Israeli army exerts pressure on new recruits who are not Jewish to convert, a newspaper said on Friday.

According to the mass-selling Maariv daily, non-Jewish soldiers are sent to courses on Judaism after which they are encouraged to convert by the state's chief rabbinate, which follows strict Orthodox conversion rules.

Most of the non-Jewish soldiers serving in the army arrived in Israel in the 1990s among the mass wave of about one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union, of which nearly one third are believed to be non-Jewish.

An army spokesman denied that pressure was exerted for conversions.

 

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