Elkin wants marriage laws to change
Photo: Alex Kolomoysky
There is no choice but to allow civil marriages in Israel, Coalition Chairman Zeev Elkin (Likud) said during a conference in Ramle.
"There will be no escaping a solution of registering partnerships between Jews and non-Jews as well," he said, warning that otherwise the State will have to contend with one million immigrants from the former USSR "lending their support to the notion of a state of all its citizens."
Elkin, who was a member of Likud's coalition negotiations team and led to a compromise on the issue of marriages of non-Jews between Yisrael Beiteinu and the ultra-Orthodox parties, said: "Toady the State of Israel is starting to recognize this issue and advance on a path that would enable marriages between non-Jews. I find it amazing that it hasn't been done before. There was no Jewish Law reason to prevent it; the opposite is true."
The coalition chairman was also asked about Israel's demographic problem vis-à-vis Israel's Arab, and rejected the possibility of "convergence" to areas within the Green Line.
"That's a mistake that would be destructive in terms of our very existence here," he said. "The State of Israel was not born or formed in order to safeguard Tel Aviv, but rather, in order to safeguard the historic legacy of the people of Israel which is found in other locations…its essence is found, for those who are familiar with the Bible, in places called Jerusalem, Hebron, and Nablus."
Instead of convergence, Elkin proposed "gradual progress by annexing parts of Judea and Samaria that enjoy consensus among the people."
"The great danger to the State's Jewish character is presented by the Jewish majority itself, and not by the Arab minority," he said. "If the Jews will know how to maintain the State's Jewish character, things will work out."