Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar (New Hope) has delayed a government vote on joining the Istanbul Convention of the United Nations, Haaretz reported Thursday.
The vote, which was to take place by the end of this month, could have resulted in Israel joining an international pact that limits the country’s rights to determine who enters and who stays in Israel.
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) asked Sa’ar two weeks ago to modify the language of the Convention, specifically in the clauses that could limit Israel’s ability to control immigration. Shortly thereafter, Sa’ar met with representatives of family and immigration organizations to discuss their objections to Israel joining the pact.
Sa’ar’s decision to postpone the vote came after mulling the feedback he heard at that meeting, which lasted about four hours.
“We congratulate Justice Minister Sa’ar on this courageous decision to re-examine the Convention and thank the civil society organizations that have joined the effort to halt it,” the Center for Israeli Immigration Policy said in a statement following the announcement.
“The fight against gender-based violence is important, but not at the expense of the state’s identity. We will continue the fight until the Convention is completely removed from the agenda.”
On its face, the Convention is meant to protect women from violence and domestic abuse. However, when one carefully examines the details in its articles, one can see the legal problems that might result if Israel were to sign this pact.
For more specifics on the problematic articles in the Convention, read:
Knesset About to Vote on Istanbul Convention Trojan Horse that Undermines Israel’s Immigration Policies
The Istanbul Convention was opened for signatories 11 years ago, in Istanbul, Turkey (hence the name). But last year, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his country would withdraw from the pact, explaining in a statement that “the Istanbul Convention, originally intended to promote women’s rights, was hijacked by a group of people attempting to normalize homosexuality, which is incompatible with Turkey’s social and family values. Hence, the decision to withdraw.”
The Convention may also be incompatible with Israel’s policies, specifically the determination to protect its population from the actions of illegal migrants and hostile residents of the Palestinian Authority (and other foreign residents) who marry Israeli citizens and want to enter the Jewish State via so-called “family reunification.”