Back in September, Merav Michaeli, Chair of the Zionist Camp, a.k.a. Labor Party appeared on an ABC TV debate on the usefulness of the institution of marriage and the nuclear family in today’s society, and expressed views that would likely infuriate many of her own supporters, never mind the vast majority of Jewish and Arab Israelis. A month or so later, as word of her fierce anti-family agenda traveled back to the Mediterranean basin, the raging condemnations in response were equally fierce.
Channeling Betty Friedan and 1970s dust-covered feminist manifestos, MK Michaeli told the Australian panel, comprised of Zed Seselja, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs; Mark Dreyfus, Shadow Attorney-General; Lucy Gichuhi, Independent Senator for South Australia; and philosopher A.C. Grayling, that the family institution “was created back at a time when we, women, were commodities, as were children, as were men without property and of other colors. This is not something that we should maintain in a world when we realize all of us are human beings.
“It is not about love, I realize that the campaign for the ‘yay’ suggests that love is equal. Love is definitely equal – [but] it’s got nothing to do with this institution. This is a tool that was made to dominate women for the sake of reproduction, for men to have legal custody over children which are to the largest, I would say, chance of certainty, their own flesh and blood. This is not something that we should sustain.”
Michaeli also suggested that, in fact, the nuclear family is the most dangerous place for children, since every fifth child, according to her stats, undergoes some kind of sexual, physical or emotional abuse.
“Hallucinatory, Hallucinatory, Hallucinatory,” MK Betzalel Smotritz (Habayit Hayehudi) tweeted on Tuesday, calling the Labor Chairperson’s views “distortions that can only be invented by the brains of a wretched person who has never experienced parenthood and family.”
Michaeli, who shares a duplex apartment in Tel Aviv with her partner, comedian and television host and producer Lior Schleien, is, indeed childless. She is also renowned in Israeli society for her much mocked and maligned use of Hebrew grammar, insisting on expressing both the feminine and masculine cases for every verb and adjective, thus making her speech cumbersome and needlessly complicated.
Back in 2012, just before joining the Labor party, Michaeli delivered a major speech about the need for society to undergo a paradigm shift and “cancel marriage.”
MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) also responded on Twitter to the senior Labor MK comments, stating that “it turns out that there are clear truths that need to be repeated in a loud and clear voice. A warm family is the best place to raise a child!”
Erez Tadmor, one of the founders of the Im Tirtzu movement, attacked Michaeli, saying, “The dark […] days are already here. A senior politician wants to crush the family and set government criteria that will determine whether you can raise your children. Frightening.”