Man divorces wife after 6-year refusal as Israel confiscates his passport
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Man divorces wife after 6-year refusal as Israel confiscates his passport

Rare consular sanctions imposed against Israeli in southeast Asia who denied his spouse a ‘get’

The Chief Rabbinate's offices in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
The Chief Rabbinate's offices in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

An unnamed businessman granted his wife a religious bill of divorce, known as a get, after an Israeli consulate abroad confiscated his passport in the latest case of Israeli authorities sanctioning recalcitrant husbands.

According to a report on Channel 12, the businessman was living in Bangkok, Thailand, for the past six years while his wife in Israel remained unable to remarry.

Several months ago, after various sanctions failed in the case, a Tel Aviv state rabbinical court instructed the Foreign Ministry to deny him consular services. The ministry, in turn, passed on these instructions to consulates throughout Asia.

Several days ago, when the man visited an Israeli consulate to renew his visa, his passport was taken away and he was told that he could either remain trapped in Thailand, return to Israel and be detained, or free his wife. He subsequently granted his wife a get.

Issues of personal status, such as marriage and divorce, are controlled in Israel by the Chief Rabbinate. Men who refuse their wives a religious bill of divorce can leave them in legal limbo for years, preventing them from remarrying in the Jewish state.

Last week, it was reported that an American man who had withheld a get from his wife for over a decade was told that his deceased mother would be refused burial in Israel until he agreed to finalize their divorce. Despite initial reports that he had given in, and after the funeral was held in Jerusalem, Yisrael Meir Kin said he had not agreed, and accused Israeli Chief Rabbi David Lau of corruption.

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