Edelstein advised he cannot ban divorce refuser from Knesset

The Haifa Rabbinical Court issued an order of social ostracism against Yaron Attias in November last year for refusing to give his wife a bill of divorce for two years.

May 24, 2018 01:30
1 minute read.
Yuli Edelstein

Yuli Edelstein. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)


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The Knesset legal adviser has advised Speaker Yuli Edelstein not to ban a divorce refuser from the Knesset, following a storm of protest that erupted after the man in question came to the building on Monday.

The Haifa Rabbinical Court issued an order of social ostracism against Yaron Attias in November last year for refusing to give his wife a bill of divorce for two years.

The court ordered that people not host Attias, have him for a meal, or give him any form of public honor, and to distance themselves from him as far as possible. The court also revoked his driver’s license and banned him from leaving the country.

On May 9, the court ordered that his picture, name and other details be published to publicly shame him into agreeing to divorce his wife.

Attias was, however, invited by Likud MK Yehudah Glick to the Knesset on Monday, and his appearance there aroused the ire of Kulanu MK Rachel Azaria and others who loudly denounced Glick in the Knesset plenum when he spoke there during the course of the day.

Azaria and Zionist Union MK Revital Swid were ejected from the Knesset plenum because of their loud and vociferous protestations and interruptions of Glick as he spoke from the podium.

On Wednesday, the Knesset legal adviser wrote to Edelstein saying that although the speaker does have the power to ban people from the Knesset building, it has in the past been used to prevent people from entering who were a security threat who threatened the public order in the Knesset.

“The social sanctions used by the rabbinical court due to divorce recalcitrance... do not come within the boundaries of the authority granted to the Knesset speaker to prevent the entry of someone for security and public order reasons,” wrote the legal adviser.

Glick declined to say why he invited the individual, although Attias himself wrote to Edelstein following Azaria’s request saying that he was in the Knesset “out of a desire to establish peace and compromise [in the divorce proceedings] for the sake of continuing our lives and the good of children.”

Edelstein’s office did not respond to a request for comment as to what his final decision will be.

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