Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home) met with Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi Dov Lior Monday, as well as the head of the Bnei Akiva secondary school system, Rabbi Chaim Druckman.
The three discussed the wave of Knesset legislation apparently intended to upend religious Jewish life in the State of Israel – with special attention to the law on Surrogate Parenting.
Rabbi Lior stated that these laws were “punishments” that Finance Minister Yair Lapid was trying to impose on religious Israelis. Most of the laws in question, including permanent cuts to yeshivas and the drafting of hareidi yeshiva students, were proposed by Lapid and his fellow Yesh Atid MKs.
“It is a 'package deal' of anti-religious legislation – you cannot look at each law individually,” said Rabbi Lior. “The Surrogacy Law must be defeated at all costs, including the cost of bringing down the government,” he said.
Currently, the legislation is on hold, after Jewish Home MKs filed their misgivings with the coalition on the matter. A report by the Hotem Forum and the Pu'ah Institute analyzes the law, and concludes that it was proposed with one purpose in mind – to enable same-sex couples to easily hire surrogates for childbirth, while discriminating against married couples who go the surrogate route because they have not been able to produce their own children.
The Hotem Forum warned that the law would “encourage trade in children, by establishing a route to 'buy' children without having to go through adoption procedures.
In addition, the law allows for surrogacy within families, to the extent that some children may be classified as mamzerim (the offspring of a woman who has children with a man while still married to someone else).
Such children will be unable to marry in a religious Jewish ceremony, setting up a situation where they will have lost their right to marry through no fault of their own – a violation of Jewish law, and of civil rights as well,” the group said.