Powered by WebAds

Friday, February 27, 2009

Ruh-Roh: Bibi's 'narrow coalition' may be in trouble

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the pre-eminent halachic (Jewish law) decisor of the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox community in Israel, has issued a ruling that there may be no compromise on the question of civil marriages in Israel, even for non-Jews. The practical application is that United Torah Judaism's five MK's will not go into a coalition that adopts the compromise on civil marriage that was being discussed between Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas (the Sephardi ultra-Orthodox party) earlier in the week, leaving Netanyahu with only 60 of the Knesset's 120 MK's for his 'narrow' coalition (Likud 27 + Yisrael Beiteinu 15 + Shas 11 + National Union 4 + Jewish Home 3 = 60).
Rabbi Elyashiv explained that if civil marriages between non-Jews were to be allowed, it would send a dangerous precedent to the High Court, which might allow civil marriage between Jews, as well.

Rabbi Elyashiv's ruling was seen as a blow to coalition talks between Likud and the hareidi-religious United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party. Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel is Our Home) has demanded legalization of civil marriage as a condition for joining the Likud coalition, and if Likud accepts, the decision may leave UTJ with no choice but to sit in the opposition.

Rabbi Elyashiv explained that it is precisely now, when a narrow right-wing coalition appears to be forming, UTJ must not allow changing the status quo preventing civil marriage. “If the government would become established by our support, this would be considered as if we allowed the civil marriage law with our own hands,” the rabbi said.

A close confident of Rabbi Elyashiv explained the rabbi’s consideration. “If a wide-based coalition would be established, we wouldn’t be able to have an influence on the decision, and we would oppose it. When the establishment of a government is dependent upon us, the rabbi opposes our entry if it would allow civil marriage [legislation] to pass.”

The source furthermore stated that it was preferable to publicize Rabbi Elyashiv’s position in advance. That is to avoid charges that negotiations were stonewalled due to differences related to UTJ’s budgetary demands. Nonetheless, during coalition talks between Likud and Shas, it was decided that the religious party would keep a low profile regarding civil marriage so as not to arouse opposition from Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party, which sees the civil marriage issue as one of their bargaining chips.
Hmmm. Those of you expecting me to argue with Rav Elyashiv have come to the wrong place. I certainly see his concern based on past rulings of the 'Supreme Court.'

For more on why there is currently no civil marriage in Israel, please go here.


At 12:13 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I'm not arguing with you, Carl. Allowing civil marriage would also allow the other evil, same sex marriage. That's a door must be kept closed, irrespective of political considerations.

Sometimes, its really about the principle.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Chaim said...

so....what do Israel's muslims and Christians do? Does Israeli government force them to get married outside Israel?

If you'll allow "non-Jews" to marry inside Israel, then why not recognize civil marriages among other "non-jews" where the Rabbinate has stripped them of their heritage and won't recognize their religious Jewish marriages.

If you'll strip people of their "Jewish Identity" AND their membership among the Jewish people, then at least grant them the dignity of living where they have lived, for many years as "non-Jews" living among people who otherwise accept them.

At what point do you guys raise a hand and ask the following question"

"is Israel a sanctuary nation for all jews regardless of color, gender, nusach or ethnicity?...or is it a nation exclusively for Ashkenazi Jews whims which may, or may not, include certain types of Jews?"

Seriously, gentlemen, step back from the punch-bowl and think about it.

At 8:12 PM, Blogger LB said...

While I disagree (one of those Rightists who is in favor of civil marriage), that is not an argument that is bound to get very far here, and will not be resolved.

Chaim - non-Jews can get married in Israel. Their weddings just have to be religiously officiated. A certain number of religions have official status (based on demand - not judgment of each religion), and the institutions of each religion can officiate marriages to members of their community. i.e. - Muslims can get married according to Sharia, etc.


Post a Comment

<< Home