The failure of Yisrael Beiteinu, headed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, to live up to its promise of promoting civil marriage legislation at a vote in Knesset on Wednesday has left many of the party's voters disappointed.
"We were all waiting for this vote, it was a chance we believed in, but Yisrael Beiteinu has failed yet again, and continues to play its games in the Knesset," said Dr. Ludmilla Oigenblick, head of the Association for the Rights of Mixed Families told Ynet.
The Knesset plenum on Wednesday rejected the civil marriage bill, which was submitted by Kadima. The members of the Yisrael Beiteinu faction, which put civil marriage at the forefront of its election campaign, either opposed the bill or were absent from the vote. Lieberman himself did not show up.
According to Dr. Oigenblick, who voted for Yisrael Beiteinu in the February elections, thousands of couples were waiting for this vote, since many of the can not afford to travel to Cyprus for a civil marriage.
'This could have been Lieberman's success'"I am very sad, because they did not just vote against the law, but actually voted against mixed families. I supported them in the elections, but they have made it clear that they seek to perpetuate the struggles between parties over whose name is on the law," Oigenblick said.
Before the elections, Oigenblick met with Lieberman in Knesset. "Back then he told me personally that he would not speak to Shas and that he would pass the law… This could have been Lieberman's success, everyone would have realized he was behind the bill, but I am disappointed with him personally. What I am hearing now is the exact opposite of what they said before the elections."
Roman Levinger of Haifa also gave his vote to Lieberman for the 18th Knesset said, "I believed he would stand behind his campaign, but this move proves that all that's left is just words.
"Since he has been appointed minister all we see him doing is traveling abroad, leaving behind him a very large community of disappointed people that include people with children that have either a mother or father who is not Jewish and therefore can't get married in Israel."
Yisrael Beiteinu said after the vote on Wednesday: "Contrary to Kadima, which only deals with public relations and which, when it was the ruling party, did nothing to promote civil marriage and even voted against it, the Yisrael Beiteinu faction has cemented the bill in the coalition agreement in order to promote it and have it approved by the Knesset.
"Tzipi Livni's voice is heard loud and clear when she's in the opposition, while she becomes mute when she's part of the government."