Arab woman (illustrative)
Arab woman (illustrative) iStock

On Sunday Israel's Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Negative Impact of the Practice of Polygamy passed a series of groundbreaking resolutions in the Cabinet.

The Committee, headed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), noted that there has been a significant increase in enforcement, thanks to increased reporting.

Polygamy is illegal in Israel, but is rampant in the Arab sector, where the additional wives are not reported.

Responding to the additional resolutions, Regavim's spokesperson said, "This is an important and historic step, the first on the long road to eradicating the practice of polygamy in Israel. We applaud Minister of Justice Shaked and Director General of the Ministry, Attorney Emi Palmor, for their leadership and intensive efforts."

"For the first time in Israel's history, a standing committee will take practical and significant action against the illegal practice of polygamy.

"Thanks to this important effort, and as a result of very unique cooperation between Regavim and women's rights groups in the Bedouin sector, we were able to block the attempt by certain interest groups outside of the Ministry of Justice to create a 'back door' that would enable the continued practice of polygamy under the sanction of Israeli law.

"Aside from the victims themselves - the women and children in the Negev who suffer directly from this phenomenon - the price of polygamy has been paid by all of Israeli society for far too long: Massive social welfare payments and widespread fraud have cost the Israeli taxpayer billions, not to mention the far-reaching social and demographic ramifications that cast a shadow over the future of the State of Israel.

"Regavim will continue to work with the Committee in order to ensure that the law is enforced in full."