Israel came close to a full-scale cabinet crisis on Wednesday (21 June) ever the controversial issue of civil marriages.
GV INT ZOOM INTO Mr. Hausner presents bill to Knesset
LV Mrs. Meir (in blue) seated
LV Hausner leaves pedium after presenting bill
GV Mrs. Meir rises and walks towards podium
LV & GV PAN Mrs. Meir addressing Knesset (2 shots)
SV Hausner seated
GV Mrs. Meir speaking.
LV Knesset members listening
LV Knesset speaker ZOOM OUT TO GV Knesset.
HAUSNER INTRODUCING BILL: MEIR ADDRESSING KNESSET: KNESSET MEMBERS LISTENING: KNESSET SPEAKER ADJOURNING DEBATE (ALL SPEECH IN HEBREW)
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Background: Israel came close to a full-scale cabinet crisis on Wednesday (21 June) ever the controversial issue of civil marriages.
The issue--the latest in a long series of disputes over separation of state and synagogue--flared with the introduction of a bill to establish civil marriage for these barred from marrying under Jewish Rabbinical Law.
Prime Minister Golda Meir considered the move--sponsored by the miner coalition member, the Independent Liberal Party (ILP)--as a breakdown in her government and threatened to resign.
An immediate showdown was averted when the Knesset (Parliament) postponed debate after a heated discussion.
Despite the Prime Minister's resignation threat, another coalition group, the Mapam Party, voted by a large majority to support the legislation, introduced by ILP member are former Attorney General Gideen Hausner.
The ILP bill would allow civil marriage only for these people disqualified from marrying under present religious laws--such as unions between people whose conversion to Judaism is not recognised by the Rabbis.
SYNOPSIS: Israel came close to a full-scale cabinet crisis on Wednesday when Mr. Gideen Hausner of the Independent Liberal Party introduced a civil marriage bill at the Knesset, or Parliament, in Jerusalem.
The controversy about civil marriage is the latest in a long series of disputes ever separation of state and synagogue.
Prime Minister Golda Meir considered its introduction by the miner coalition party as a breakdown in her government and threatened to resign. Mrs. Meir fears that the bill--supported by another coalition group, the Mapam Party--could annoy the numerically more important National Religious Party, also a coalition member. The net result, she fears, could break up the present coalition formed in 1969.
Following the Prime Minister's threat to resign, the Speaker of the Knesset averted an immediate showdown by postponing further debate on the bill. The civil marriage issue follows a long line of religious disputes which wracked successive coalition governments since the establishment of Israel in 1949. Under it, civil marriage would be allowed for these who are presently disqualified by Rabbinical law.