JERUSALEM (May. 16)
A demand that Israel institute civil marriage as an alternative option to religious marriage was struck off the agenda by the coalition majority in the Knesset today. The private motion was submitted by Yossi Sarid of the Labor Party, Shulamit Aloni of the Civil Rights movement, Meir Payil of Shell, and Mordechai Wirshuvsky of the Shai faction.
Replying for the government today, Minister of Religious Affairs Aharon Abu Hatzeira said it was futile to attempt to disrupt the delicate balance between the religious and non religious population. He stressed that all previous governments had maintained the status quo on marital issues which are under the jurisdiction of the Orthodox rabbinate. Many bills calling for freedom of choice in marriage have been presented in the past and were defeated regardless of whether Likud or Labor controlled the Knesset.