Israel Harel is to Haaretz as David Brooks is to the New York Times: a moderate right-wing columnist there to prove the paper's diversity. In today's column he puts his finger on a fundamental part of the Conversion Law uproar: That the law is intended to rectify a real problem, in which the Haredi monopoly over conversions is blocking hundreds of thousands of Israelis from becoming Jews. Should it pass, it might well make it harder for some future legislators to achieve what isn't in the cards anyway at the moment, namely the legal recognition of Reform and Conservative conversions for the purpose of marriage in Israel.
Unfortunately I lack the time to study the present issue, to talk to some of the main figures, to read the relevant material beyond the draft law itself - which is an anodyne document that may or may not have serious implications, which may or may not happen. What is clear to me, however, is that the proposed law will not effect the Law of Return nor the current interpretation of it which recognizes Reform and Conservative conversions for the purpose of immigration. That interpretation stems from a ruling by the Supreme Court, and Rotem's law doesn't effect it - indeed, it doesn't even mention it. It's not about that issue at all.
What is also clear to me, having observed Israeli society for more than 40 years, is that no law could ever force the 40-60% of Israelis who will never accept Reform conversions, to accept them. Were such a law to be passed, the orthodox of all strands, probably backed by a large chunk of Mizrachi secular Israelis, would set up unofficial registries of Jews and marry their children only according to them, thus in effect splitting the Jewish people. I'm not saying this would be nice, or justified, but it would be the reality. That's the reason it hasn't been mooted since the mid 1970s, when Gideon Hausner destroyed his party by insisting on an earlier version of such a law. (No, you've never heard of the party. It's been gone, ever since).
Essentially, therefore, the opponents of David Rotem's law are demanding that hundreds of thousands of Israelis remain in limbo now and for the foreseeable future, so as not to endanger the chance for future legislation that will not happen in our lifetimes, and were it to happen would tear us apart.