Israel Ministry Abolishes Special Notation on Mixed Marriages

A hearing before the Israel Supreme Court on a petition to bar notations “not according to the laws of Israel” by the Interior Ministry on mixed marriage records was brought to a quick close today by disclosure that identity cards in such marriages are now being recorded without that notation.

The issue was brought before the Supreme Court on behalf of Yisroel Schlesinger, an Israeli, who married Henriette Funck of Ghent, a Christian, in Cyprus because they could not be married in Israel under Israeli personal status laws. When the issue was taken to the Supreme Court, the court ordered that the Interior Ministry issue identity cards to the pair, as married.

This was done, but with the disputed notation. At the hearing today, Yosef Bemeashe, attorney for the couple, asked the Supreme Court to declare such notations extraneous and unconstitutional. The specific request by the attorney was for the Supreme Court to issue an order calling on the Interior Ministry to show cause why the Cyprus civil marriage should not be registered without “extraneous notation.”

The attorney for the Interior Ministry then disclosed that the Ministry had issued a directive on May 28, forbidding marriage registrars from entering additional remarks on identity cards. The court then made the order absolute. However, the plaintiffs were awarded only partial costs in the suit on grounds that the plaintiffs’ attorney “rushed into court” without giving the Interior Ministry enough time to effect the new directive.

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