search

Coalition forum formed to ward off religious disputes

Representatives from member parties meet to discuss controversies before they reach the headlines

Jewish Home Mk Eli Ben Dahan (R) speaks to Yesh Atid MK Shai Peron during a committee meeting in the Knesset ( photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Jewish Home Mk Eli Ben Dahan (R) speaks to Yesh Atid MK Shai Peron during a committee meeting in the Knesset ( photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Frequent coalition infighting over issues of religion has led to the establishment of a new forum aimed at ironing out differences before they turn into battles waged in the media.

According to a report in Hebrew daily Ma’ariv, the forum — made up of Education Minister Shai Piron (Yesh Atid), deputy transportation minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), deputy minister of religious affairs Eli Ben Dahan (Jewish Home), and MK Elazar Stern (Hatnua) — has met twice in the past week.

“Since we are dealing with highly sensitive issues that touch on the state’s Jewish and democratic character, we decided to make the effort to cooperate,” one of the forum’s members said. “We promised each other that we will avoid surprising the other parties with legislative initiatives that have to do with state and religion, and instead try to coordinate with each other.”

The source said that the first item on the agenda was the Burial Law. The bill, proposed by Stern, aims to end the practice of burying non-Jewish soldiers separately from their Jewish comrades, a policy many see as discriminatory, but which is based on Jewish law.

News of the bill sparked intensive infighting among the coalition parties, with the Jewish Home threatening to veto it. Wednesday’s meeting reportedly discussed ways to maintain the spirit of the proposal while finding ways that would not necessitate legislation. One of the options currently being examined is changing the military’s regulations, which would make legislation redundant.

“We are also looking for ways to reach an agreement on the issue of civil unions,” said one of the forum’s members.

Other issues expected to be debated by the forum include bills having to do with conversions, education, marriage, and nationality.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed