According to the Jpost, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert called Sunday on religious and secular cabinet ministers to reach a compromise on legislation that would expand Rabbinic Court jurisdiction in divorce cases. “Feminists,” which apparently means any women with a grain of sense, are protesting this bill as discriminatory against women.
It seems to me that this is somewhat of an understatement. The Rabbinic Courts have long been er, discriminatory against women; that is to say, they tend to arbitrate in favor of the husband, and extort money (that is, money that would normally be part of her financial rights in the divorce, such as child support) from a woman before granting her release from her husband. That is, in cases where he will grant her a divorce at all, since by and large the religious courts don’t much force the issue (there have been a few exceptional cases where the husband has been jailed for failing to give a get, but by and large, this problem – which could be halachically solved, and has been by the Masorti movement, and will not be, by the Orthodox, because the options that they once considered acceptable were adopted by the Masorti movement, making them treif by association- remains an enormous one for Orthodox women, in which the courts demand that she submit to all sorts of craziness in order for them to pressure the husband to give her a divorce).
According to the JPost article
Rabbinic Courts Administration spokeswoman Efrat Orbach said the proposed legislation would simply maintain the status quo.
“The Supreme Court recently overturned decades of precedent during which the Rabbinic Courts litigated in monetary matters connected with the divorce process, even after the husband gave his ex the divorce writ,” Orbach said.
“This bill simply anchors in law what has been common practice for a long time now.”
Because Israeli law needs to have more religious control. the hegemony not being yet complete. This is a terrible idea. The status quo is not such a beautiful thing that it needs to be “anchored in law.” To the contrary, the status quo is quite broken and needs to be fixed.