Israeli marriage law makes it a two-year prison offence for any Jew marrying outside of the rabbinical authorities in that country, it has emerged after a failed attempt to overturn the rabbinate’s authority in the Israeli parliament.
While it has long been known that the Jews forbid marriage between non-Jews and Jews in Israel, the existence of the prison term as punishment for breaking this law has effectively been kept under wraps until now.
The existence of the prison term punishment was revealed after the Israeli parliament voted down an amendment to Israel’s marriage laws this past week, according to an article in the Times of Israel.
According to that paper, the proposed law amendment sought to decriminalize marriages performed outside the auspices of the Israeli chief rabbinate, was defeated in a 32–25 vote in the Knesset.
All marriages in Israel are, in terms of the Jewish state’s constitution, under the control of the rabbinate, which only performs unions under Jewish law.
This has the practical effect of making it impossible for anyone but a Jew to marry another Jew in Israel.
However, the defeat of the amendment pushed the Jewish lawmakers who proposed it, into making the prison sentence punishment aspect of the law public.
Critically, the Jewish lawmakers who tried to amend the existing law were not seeking to repudiate the ban on Jews marrying non-Jews. Instead, all they were seeking to do was to amend the rules under which rabbis carried out…