Human rights violations in Israeli rabbinic courts.
Israel currently has two recognized systems of law operating side by side: civil and religious. Israeli religious courts possess the exclusive right to conduct and terminate marriages. There is no civil marriage or divorce in Israel, irrespective of one's religious inclinations. All Muslims must marry and divorce in accordance with shariya laws, all Catholics in accordance with canon law, and all Jews in accordance with Torah law (halakha). The interpretation and implementation of Torah law is in the hands of the Orthodox religious establishment, the only stream of Judaism that enjoys legal recognition in Israel. The rabbinic courts strenuously oppose any changes to this so-called status quo arrangement between religious and secular authorities. In fact, religious courts in Israel are currently pressing for expanded jurisdiction beyond personal status, stressing their importance to Israel's growing religious community. This book shows how religious courts, based on centuries-old patriarchal law, undermine the full civil and human rights of Jewish women in Israel. Making a broad argument for civil marriage and divorce in Israel, the authors also emphasize that religious marriages and divorces, when they do occur, must benefit from legislation that makes divorce easier to obtain. Making this issue their focal point, they speak to a larger question: Is Israel a democracy or a theocracy? (source: Nielsen Book Data)
Oxford ; New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press, 2011.
Book — 1 online resource (x, 267 pages)
1. Zionism and the Evolving New Culture
2. The Cultural Struggles over the Shaping of the Law
3. From Judicial Restraint to Judicial Activism
4. The Decline of Formalism and the Rise of Values
5. From Hegemony to War of Cultures
6. The Supreme Court and the Future of Liberalism
7. Israel as a Multicultural State
8. Law and Culture in the Coming Decades
(source: Nielsen Book Data)
Menachem Mautner offers a compelling account of Israeli law as a site for the struggle over the shaping of Israeli culture. On the one hand, a secular, liberal group wishes to associate Israel with Western culture and to link Israeli law to Anglo-American liberalism. On the other hand, a religious group wishes to associate Israeli culture with traditional Jewish culture, and to found Israeli law on traditional Jewish law. The struggle between secular and religious Jews has been part of the life of the Jewish people in the past 300 years. It resurged in the 1970s with the rise of religious fundamentalism and the decline of the political and cultural hegemony of the Labor movement. The secular group reacted by shifting much of its political action to the Supreme Court which since the establishment of the state has been the state organ most identified with entrenching liberal values in the country's political culture. In a short span of time in the early 1980s the Court effected extensive changes in its jurisprudence, most strikingly adoption of sweeping judicial activism which is widely regarded as the most far-reaching in the world. The Court's activism provided the secular group with the means for intervening in decisions of the state branches over which the group had lost control. With Arabs being a fifth of the country's population, an additional divide in Israel is that between Jews and Arabs. Drawing on notions of multiculturalism, political liberalism and republicanism, the book offers fresh insights as to how to manage Israel's divisive situation. (source: Nielsen Book Data)