By Miri -
Shay Agnon, one of the central figures of modern Hebrew fiction, was born as Shmuel Yosef Halevi Czazkes. He adopted his surname from his first published novel “Agunot”, meaning “the Chained” and referring to Jewish women, who were abandoned by their legal husbands and left without a writ of divorce. Those women are trapped in a defunct marriage, they cannot legally remarry and, in the case of a woman left alone with her children, will not receive any financial support, as she is not recognised as a single mother until her husband consents to the divorce. Agnon's book was published in 1924, and yet not too much has changed regarding the laws regulating marriage and divorce in Israel, which are still under the auspices of state-recognised religious authorities.
Marriage and Divorce in the Jewish Communities
Since Ottoman times, matters of personal status, such as marriage, are determined by the respective religious authorities, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, or otherwise. In the Jewish community all decisions are based on the Orthodox rulings of the chief rabbinate, which entails that only people who are recognised as Jews under Orthodox Judaism can get married in Israel. Because of those strictly halakhic rulings, many marriages, such as inter-faith, not to mention same-sex, cannot be legally performed in Israel, and an increasing number of Israeli citizens opt to enter a civil marriage abroad, and have it later registered by the state. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, 20% of the Israeli citizens who married in 2010, did so outside of the country, many because they would not get the Rabbinate's approval for their marriage, others in refusal of, and protest against having to marry according to Orthodox rituals.
|Not in Israel: Jewish lesbian wedding|
Many attempts have been made to implement civil unions in Israel, specifically upon the request of Israel's LGBT community, but were usually blocked by the religious parties in the Knesset. Last year a bill was submitted by the centrist Yesh Atid party that once more proposes the establishment of civil unions, in order to enable people, regardless of religion or sexual orientation, to apply for a secular civil union, which would fall under the same legal status as marriage. The chances of the bill to pass the vote of the national-religious parties and be implemented as law are estimated to be very slim.
Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Amendment to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law
|Direct action against the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law|
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