My partner is not Jewish. She did not grow up in the conflict-ridden State of Israel, but in wealthy Germany, which offers extensive social services to its citizens. Despite this, she decided to move to Israel and live with me – in the name of love – and she is staying here despite the hardships we endure here each day; despite the racism and separatism; despite the fact that the country we chose to live in does not recognize our partnership and love.
According to law, we are not married, but we wear rings on our fingers and have been living together as a couple in a happy, stable and healthy relationship for a very long time. There are not many things that differentiate us from any married couple, yet we are discriminated against again and again.
My partner and I do not believe in ceremonies and do not believe our love will blossom and develop because we signed some antiquated document. Our love is strong, and it grows stronger each morning when we wake up next to each other and every night when we go to sleep.
Unfortunately, in order to obtain our rights – healthcare for example – we will have no choice but to register as a married couple as soon as possible.
We will not be able to avoid the 1,000 euro trip to Cyprus, where we can hold a symbolic wedding. If we wish to be registered as a married couple in Israel, we will have to pay this sum, because Israeli law does not allow civil marriage.
In any civilized country – if Israel can still be considered civilized – a person can choose his or her partner and decide how he or she wants to get married, regardless of race or religion. But instead of celebrating with the family, we are forced to fight bureaucracy and waste valuable time on unnecessary trips and the translation of forms.
The liberal and enlightened State of Israel refuses to recognize the right of its citizens to choose the manner in which they get married. As far as it is concerned, we can lose hope and move to another, more sane country.