(JNS) A new bill that would allow Israel’s rabbinical courts to extend sanctions to non-Israeli Jewish men who refuse to grant gets to their wives passed its first reading in the Knesset on Monday. At present, Israeli courts are not able to adjudicate cases in which women are not citizens or residents of the country.
The new law would necessitate that the husband be physically present in Israel. It would also require proof that the wife had attempted to obtain civil and Jewish divorce in their country of origin. If the husband continues to refuse to give a divorce, the rabbinical court could impose a variety of sanctions against him, as it currently does to Israeli citizens, including fines, frozen assets and short-term imprisonment.