Knesset pushes off vote on custody invoice

A controversial divorce reform bill to be voted on in the Knesset on Wednesday has been postponed for a week due to the political crisis. The law, sponsored by Yamina MK Matan Kahana, would repeal the so-called Tender Years clause, which has guaranteed custody of the mother of all children if one of them is five years or younger since 1962. Kahana told the Knesset plenary that he recognized that MKs cannot vote on their conscience on such a political day and that he would wait until they can. Coalition chairman Miki Zohar agreed to suspend coalition discipline if blue and white agreed. But Blue and White focused on Wednesday’s vote on dispersing the Knesset and refused to discuss Kahana’s bill. “How long will Israel remain one of the last countries in the world to discriminate against fathers?” Kahana asked the plenary. “Sixty years ago when it was drafted, this law made sense because women stayed at home and men went to work. But now women work in all fields and men are more involved in raising their children. The most important criterion must be the child’s best interests. “The previous Wednesday, the Knesset Committee on the Improvement of the Status of Women voted to propose a bill that would remove the parental rights of a parent who murders or tries to murder the other parent. The bill, sponsored by committee chairman Oded Forer (Israel Beytenu) and Gideon Sa’ar (Likud), came after an incident where a father who tried to murder his wife prevented her from vaccinating her child.

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