Within the last few weeks, MK Lavie has made progress on increasing the rights of agunot within Israel and abroad. This success was achieved when Knesset passed a new law giving rabbinical courts international jurisdiction and sanctioning power over Jewish divorce-refusers. This allowed non-Israeli Jewish women to come to the Israeli rabbinical courts for help in receiving a get and allows the country’s rabbinical courts to impose sanctions on non-Israeli Jewish men who refuse to grant their wives a divorce.
Agunot is a problem for Jews in Israel, it also affects Jews around the world. Much too often, Knesset members forget that their policies can have international ramifications. We need to pay more attention to the needs of Diaspora Jewry. The agunah problem is one such problem that affects Jews everywhere. The passing of this law is an unprecedented advancement towards liberating chained woman abroad. Moreover, it has the ability of bringing Jews closer to their homeland, where they feel more secure and considered. Where foreign governments cannot help agunot, the Jewish State can.