Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar
Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar (New Hope) has postponed the government's vote on joining the Istanbul Convention. Voting was scheduled to take place by the end of this month.

According to a report by Bar Peleg and Noa Spiegel in Haaretz, the postponement is the result of pressure exerted by right-wing and family organizations which are opposed to the signing of the convention.

Two weeks ago, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) approached Sa'ar and asked him to make certain changes to the wording of the Istanbul Convention, mainly to clauses that if left intact, could have limited Israel's freedom of action with regard to immigration law.

Around ten days ago, Sa'ar met with representatives of family and immigration organizations, in order to hear their arguments against the adoption of the principles of the Istanbul Convention by the State of Israel.

The meeting was attended by the head of the Organizations for the Family Forum, Adv. Naama Sela; the head of the 'We choose family' organization, Michael Puah; the head of Betsalmo, Yehuda Puah; the head of the Torat Hamedinah Institute, Rabbi Yair Cartman; and representatives of the Center for Israeli Immigration Policy. Legal Adv. Dr. Yonah Shreki as well as the head of the administration division at the Center for Israeli Immigration Policy, Akiva Lamm.

Justice Minister Sa'ar listened to their arguments for about four hours, held a joint discussion, and then announced that he would examine their claims in depth and come to a decision.

The Center for Israeli Immigration Policy congratulated the Justice Minister for his decision to postpone the vote on the adoption of the principles of the Convention by the State of Israel. "We congratulate Justice Minister Sa'ar on this courageous decision to re-examine the Convention, and thank the civil society organizations that have joined the effort to halt it," they said. "The fight against gender-based violence is important, but not at the expense of the state's identity. We will continue the fight until the Convention is completely removed from the agenda."