Lieberman voters 'feel cheated'
The daughter of a Jewish father and Christian mother, Victoria voted for Yisrael Beitenu hoping they would push through legislation allowing her to marry in Israel. But with Lieberman now willing to give up on civil marriage as a concession to Shas – she feels betrayed
Yisrael Beitenu voters have voiced mixed feelings following the report that party chairman, Avigdor Lieberman, is willing to compromise on civil marriage to join a coalition with Shas.
Victoria, a 25-year-old Israeli who has a Jewish father and Christian mother, says she feels betrayed. "I voted for Lieberman because this was one of his cornerstone promises. Now I really feel cheated," she told Ynet.
Victoria says she can not understand why a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen is barred from marrying in a country that declares itself democratic. "Having a family is the most basic of rights. I am part of a couple and I want to actualize that in my country, to celebrate it with my family. Now it looks like I'll have to go to Cyprus or Prague to get married, and my family won't be there at my side. It's just so sad."
Victoria said her disappointment is so great due to Lieberman's performance in the elections. "When I heard how many mandates he got, I had a lot of expectations. I thought he could use the momentum to realize his positions. A lot of people voted for him because of this issue and he just let us down. If I could take back my vote I would do it," she said.
Another Lieberman voter, 41-year-old Yulia Faziuk, also said she voted Yisrael Beitenu because she is opposed to religious coercion, but she is not disappointed.
"There are a lot of more important problems to deal with right now, like security and the economy. If Lieberman is willing to compromise on this issue, I understand him," she said.
"In politics you have to be flexible. Life isn't black and white, you have to compromise."
Marina Georgiv, 44, said she still trusted Lieberman to champion civil marriage: "I don't believe he changed his agenda in 24 hours and I'm sure he'll uphold his word and change the law. These changes don't happen in a day, and this issue has been debated since the country was founded."
Irit Rosenblum, founder of the 'New Family' organization, called on Lieberman not to compromise. "We're talking about hundreds of thousands of people who live in the State of Israel and who cannot wed, not to mention hundreds of thousands of others who would prefer alternate ways to marry. We know it's hard, we know what the resistance (to civil marriage) is like, but for someone to unload the responsibility so fast – that we haven't seen yet," Rosenblum said.