Jewish Journal

Israel and the world Pt. 18 - weekly news from Israel

by Noga Gur-Arieh

September 3, 2012 | 11:35 am

In 2006, an Israeli couple changed the rules of Jewish marriage in Israel, when the orthodox court had to acknowledge their homosexual marriage. Now, they may change the rules once again. The two fell in love several years ago, but due to the Israeli law, which claims only orthodox court can legalize marriage, they were unable to tie the knot legally in Israel. Therefore, the couple got married in Canada. With their return to Israel, they turned to the Supreme Court, and at the end of a very long process, the state acknowledge their marriage, and every other gay marriage from that day on, as legal.  Since the orthodox court do not recognize gay marriage, most couples still get married abroad, but with their return to Israel, the state legalizes their marriage. A couple of days ago, this couple created yet another "first": they want to get a divorce. Since they broke up, and one of them chose to remarry, they need to legally end their six years of marriage. In Canada, the law states only citizens can get divorced. So they had no other choice but to approach the only legal authority in Israel in charge of marriages and divorces- the orthodox court. The only problem is that it does not recognize gay marriage, which is against their belief. Now, the rabbis there are trying to figure out how to give the couple a divorce, and go according to law, while not betraying their faith.


Dozens of Pro-Palestinian activists caused a riot during a performance of a performance of the Israeli dance group, Bat-Sheva in Edinburgh. The respected dancers were invited to this prestigious international dancing festival, where they performed in front of an audience of 1500. Prior to the performance, 300 protestors stood outside the performance hall, shouted "Free Palestine" and caused a commotion. However the riot did not end there. Some managed to enter the hall, and interrupted the performance until the police escorted them outside. Somehow, some managed to go back inside, and interrupted the performance yet again. The dancers had to stop their performance several times, until at some point, the audience rose on their feet and clapped in respect to the Israeli dancers, not letting politics get in the way of culture.


Ronit Levitan in came in third at the European Chess championship for kids and teenagers. Ronit, only eight years old, beat 53 young girls from 28 different countries, until winning the Bronze medal. But even at eight, she is still very aware of the respect she brought to her country, and proud of her achievements.


The Paralympic games started only a week ago, but the Israeli team is just getting started. After a rather rough disappointment in the Olympic Games last month (zero medals, for the first time since 1988,) the Israeli team won three medals so far in this grand international  competition for athletes with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities: Inbal Pezaro won two Bronze medals for swimming (Women's 50m Freestyle, and Women's 200m Freestyle), and Itzhak Mamistvalov won Bronze medal (Men's 200m Freestyle.) So far, Israel is located at the 13th place in the world when counting Paralympic medals, with a total of 336 medals.


Not only US and Britain: soon, Israeli women would be able to also enjoy "50 Shade of Grey". The erotic novel, which sold more copies than Harry Potter (a worthy achievement indeed), was translated to Hebrew, and will soon be taken from every bookstore shelf in Israel. The reviews are glorifying, and pre-orders have already been made.

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My name is Noga Gur-Arieh, and I’m an Israeli Journalist, currently studying for my B.A degree in Media and Political Science, at Tel Aviv University.

I am very socially...

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