Photo: Haim Tzach
Amar: Ease suffering on couples
Photo: Haim Tzach
Photo: Zoom 77
Margi: Only for non-Jews
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Photo: AFP
Lieberman: Alternate proposal
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Kariv: Call for Lieberman

Chief rabbi formulating own solution to Civil Marriage law

According to new proposal, non-Jewish couple could join in civil union in Israel. Solution does not answer needs of those who do not wish to marry under religious establishment laws

Just as MK Avigdor Lieberman enters the government, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, together with the Shas faction in the Knesset attempt to introduce their own version of the "Civil Marriage Law," an issue championed by Lieberman and was a condition for him joining the coalition. The purpose: Introducing a new alternative to the all inclusive proposal allowing anyone who does not wish to marry or cannot marry under Jewish law to join together in a civil union.


Rabbi Amar's new proposal limits the Civil Marriage Law only to couples who are not affiliated with any other religion to join together in a civil union. The new proposal does not cover couples who have at least one Jewish person in the union or Jewish couples who do not wish to marry under the religious procedures.


MK Yakov Margi of Shas explained to Ynet that the law will be good for non-Jewish couples who currently fly to Cyrus in order to marry. "In the case there are no problems, why should we make things difficult? We need to anchor the registration process and to institutionalize it. After all, they only marry within themselves," MK Margi said.


This solution, however, does not solve the issue of Jews who wish to marry non-Jews. Margi's words also indicate that their proposal could be a solution to intermarriages between Jews and non-Jews. "All in all, we are all concerned about the Jewish identity of State of Israel," he said.


According to the theme of Chief Rabbi Amar, whatever is connected with the Halacha cannot be changed, but if it is not, there is no reason to prevent and cause unnecessary harm.


Back when Shas entered the government after the elections earlier this year, the coalition agreement between them and Prime Minister Olmert stipulated that any change in the marriage laws must be approved by the Chief rabbi, who is considered the highest authority on the matter.


Past efforts to allow non-Jewish couples, who are not affiliated with any other religious group to marry legally within the borders of Israel, have also been opposed by different bodies who said such a solution will cause a creation of a separate social caste, banished from the rest of Israeli society.


Margi added that this is a Jewish state, and that he believes that Lieberman will be happy to bring this partial solution to the constituents who voted for him, rather than bring nothing.


So far, Kadima, the party of the prime minister, had not been updated on the new proposal and Margi says he is planning on introducing the proposal to the chairman of the coalition MK Avigdor Yitzhaki (Kadima) soon.


Rabbi Kariv to Lieberman: Stand your ground

In light of Lieberman's entrance into the government, Rabbi Gilad Kariv wrote a letter to MK Lieberman on behalf of the Israel Religious Action Center and the Forum for Free Choice in Marriage asking him to "stand your ground on the issue of solving the problems of those who cannot marry."


Kariv wrote that "it is enough that about 300,000 new immigrants cannot marry legally in their own country to illustrate the great distortion that has been taking place for so many years." Kariv also warned Lieberman from a law which will be limited only to those who cannot legally get married in Israel. "This solution will differentiate those people from the rest of Israeli society and will not give full public, legal, and social legitimacy to a marriage which is not under the auspices of the religious-Orthodox establishment," Kariv writes. 


פרסום ראשון: 10.23.06, 22:24
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