Shuli Moalem-Refaeli
Shuli Moalem-RefaeliMiriam Alastair, Flash 90

Jewish Home Knesset faction chairman MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Jewish Home), together with the Emunah women's movement, is promoting a bill to mandate stricter sanctions against recalcitrant husbands in divorce cases. But what about fractious females? On this topic Moalem-Refaeli becomes uncommunicative.

The Knesset yesterday approved the first reading of the law to deprive recalcitrant prisoners of privileges granted to observe religious life, including billeting in the Torah wing, study and keeping books, attending Torah classes and access to holy books. In addition, the objector will not be allowed to get special kosher meals.

The explanatory annex accompanying the bill clarifies that it is intended to bring pressure to bear upon male objectors. "A person who chooses to live according to Jewish law can not decide on the parts he accepts and those he rejects," Moalem-Refaeli said. "Judaism encompasses the fundamental principle of 'Love thy neighbor as thyself'."

More female recalcitrants than male

Arutz Sheva asked MK Moalem-Refaeli if she would promote sanctions against recalcitrant women. This in light of data recently published by the management of the Rabbinical Courts that indicate that there are more female recalcitrants - that is, women who refuse to accept divorce from their husbands - than recalcitrant husbands.

According to the court management, unlike male objectors, female objectors are not sent to prison. Whenever they maintain their refusal, they are still entitled to receive alimony, if not working. While husbands of recalcitrant wives may get "permission of one hundred rabbis" to remarry, as opposed to refused women, these permits are rare.

MK Moalem-Refaeli told us that she does not want to answer our question.

Two months ago, state prosecution announced that it would treat divorce refusal as a criminal offense. We asked the Justice Ministry to tell us if the tightening would apply also to female objectors. A Justice Minister's Office spokesman referred us to the state Prosecutor's Office, but the Spokesman refused to allow us to conduct an interview on the subject with anyone in the office.

Translated by Mordechai Sones