Anti-parent bill suffers close loss in Knesset

Outraged Likud MKs slam 'extremist opposition' and 'spineless coalition members' for voting against bill to limit parental rights.

Cynthia Blank ,

Min. Gamliel
Min. Gamliel
Flash 90

After a heated debate, the Knesset rejected by an extremely narrow margin Wednesday a bill that sought to take away Israeli parents' rights as the natural guardians over their children. 

The "Parents and their Children" bill promoted by Likud politicians Yoav Kish and Gila Gamliel won support from the Ministerial Committee for Legislation but faltered in the Knesset, losing by just 42 opposed to 41 in favor. 

The bill would have granted social workers the power to supervise in minute detail the values upon which parents educate their children, and to ask courts to take away their parental rights if they deem that the parents are not respectful enough of their children's rights. 

Opposition to the bill mainly stemmed, though, from one section which would have canceled the so called Tender Years Presumption in the current law, which says that in divorce, children under six will be in their mothers' custody.

Sources in the Justice Ministry told Arutz Sheva on Wednesday morning that both the Kulanu and the Shas factions have expressed their opposition to that section of the bill.

While Kish and Gamliel argued the bill was meant to promote parental equality between the father and mother, Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon said the bill "completely ignored the fact that there is no equality between women and men."

A furious Gamliel blasted the Knesset's decision, calling it a "badge of shame on the coalition...Shame on you." She also attacked the opposition, noting that they may have "won this battle, but a government bill on the subject will pass anyway."

Kish was equally disheartened, asserting he was "appalled by the disgrace the coalition" had brought upon itself in the Knesset. 

"Because of the extremist opposition and spineless coalition members, only Israeli children were harmed here today - in a most difficult manner. This will not pass silently," Kish charged.