Blue and White propose gay surrogacy bill, opposed by Netanyahu faction

The Shas faction bashed Benny Gantz, accusing him of burning bridges on the way to an election.

Benny Gantz
Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz has instructed his Blue and White faction to submit three bills that have riled its Likud coalition partner.
Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin (Likud) told MKs in Monday’s Likud faction meeting that he would use his authority to prevent all of the bills from passing. They include a change in surrogacy arrangements for gay men and amendments to basic laws, to strengthen equal rights, and the authority of the proclamation of Israel’s independence.
 Gantz asked Knesset House Committee chair Eitan Ginzburg to advance the three bills in hope of completing the legislative process during the current Knesset.
“Blue and White views this legislation package as a significant milestone on the path towards a better society, and is certain that anyone concerned with the public interest and the good of the country, will offer their full support,” a party spokeswoman said.
The Surrogacy Law, submitted by Ginzburg and to be presented for a vote on Wednesday, would enable gay men in Israel to use local surrogates to give birth to children for them.
The bill is designed to expand the circle of people eligible to seek surrogacy arrangements, increase the number of women who can serve as surrogates and regulate surrogacy arrangements outside Israel to include only third-party agencies and surrogacy clinics recognized by the Health and Justice ministries. A formal advisory committee, which the bill also proposes establishing, would aid in this.
The ultra-Orthodox Shas faction derided Gantz for promoting the three bills, accusing him of trying to wreck the government in what it described as a gross act of electioneering.
“The attempt to advance bills that increase tension and cause rifts by a party doing badly in the polls is only intended to seek a few votes,” Shas said.
The two other proposed bills scheduled to be brought next week, affect the basic laws that substitute in Israel for a constitution.
The Basic Law: Equality – would anchor the right to equality and prohibit discrimination in the broader Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.
The Basic Law: Proclamation of Independence – is designed to anchor the full range of Israeli legislation, including other basic laws, in an overarching basic law that enshrines Israel’s Proclamation of Independence as a compelling constitutional document, in light of which all other laws must be examined and interpreted.
“The bill is a reaffirmation and a renewal of the commitment to Israel’s fundamental values and core identity as a Jewish and democratic state,” said Michal Cotler-Wunsh, who proposed the bill.
“In anchoring the vision, mission and values of the State of Israel, including the legacy of Israel’s prophets and equality to all citizens, this bill addresses, and is a solution to the tremendous challenges Israel is faced with internally, in its relationship with Diaspora Jewry and in the international arena.”