Jewish wedding
Jewish weddingiStock

Responding to the New Israel Fund's call to allow civil marriage in Israel, Israel's Liba Center revealed the results of a poll, which show 71% of the Israeli public prefers to marry via the Chief Rabbinate, and have an ordained rabbi officiate at their weddings.

The survey, conducted by Israel's Summit Institute, shows that despite claims to the contrary, 100% of the religious and haredi populations, 83% of the traditional population, and 47% of the secular population, prefer to marry via the Rabbinate.

Respondents were requested to note which party they voted for in the 2015 elections, and 60% of Yesh Atid's voters were found to prefer marrying via the Rabbinate.

Yesh Atid is a secular centrist party which drew crowds of former Labor voters in both 2013 and 2015.

"Most Israelis want to preserve the governmental institution of marriage, and want it to be done through the Chief Rabbinate," a Liba Center spokesperson said.

"Unfortunately, several marginal groups in the Religious Zionist public are trying to uproot Israel's identity as a Jewish state and turn it into a 'state for all its citizens.'

A 'state for all its citizens" is a euphemism for eliminating all vestiges of Jewish tradition from the public sphere in Israel.

"The Jewish people want Shabbat (Sabbath), the Western Wall, conversions, and marriage to remain under governmental control - regardless of whether those with vested interests agree with them or not."

Israel does not currently have a system for civil marriage, with all couples marrying via the Chief Rabbinate. In fact, In Israel, since the days of the British Mandate, all marriages take place under the auspices of the religion to which the couple belongs and are perfomed by that religion's authorities. Accordingnly, there is no intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews and no civil marriage. However, in 2009, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger agreed to recognize civil unions between non-Jews.

To read the full report (Hebrew) click here