A marriage bill initiated by MK (Yisrael Beitenu) Avigdor Lieberman was brought to the Knesset floor for its preliminary vote on Wednesday, 6 Adar-II. The bill was defeated with only 10 voting in favor, 45 opposing and 3 abstentions.
In his response, Lieberman exclaimed that he supports a Jewish state but not a chareidi state. The bill would have resulted in state recognition of non-halachic marriages of any kind.
The bill stated that marriage in Israel is a religious event and one should not compel religion on anyone who does not wish it. Hence, it makes provisions for a civil marriage or other alternative unions between partners.
In his remarks to the plenum, Lieberman stated that “666,000 people are listed as non-marriageable in Israel today. 90% of this number serve in the IDF and pay taxes, yet they cannot get married. They often fly to Cyprus and return with a marriage license which is recognized by the Interior Ministry. They do not have the civil alternative in Israel. These very same soldiers are permitted to die for the State of Israel, but they may not marry.
“I don’t understand the chareidi establishment which intervenes in this case while it is non-relevant since they marry with the Eida Chareidis. They maintain a yuchasin book anyway, and don’t recognize the Chief Rabbinate. We are all for a Jewish state but not a chareidi state”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)