We have had bad experiences with the rabbinate officials as recently as May 2011. We found that the rabbinate in Jerusalem's Maaleh Adumim is seriously out of line. And in keeping with the verse in chapter one of Ecclesiastes, which we just read in the synagogue, "The crooked cannot be made straight..." -- we agree with Haaretz and with many other voices on this matter.
The editorial "Israel's rabbinate must be stripped of its powers" is further headlined, "From every vantage point - social, civil and economic - it would be better to transfer the rabbinate's powers to local authorities that would serve the people based on the community's needs," and it concludes,
...The impression may be that only the silent secular public has been suffering from this poor combination of religion and state and that only this community must resort to steps circumventing the system, such as common-law marriage and a marriage ceremony in Cyprus. But it turns out that much of the national religious community is fed up too. For lack of any other recourse, they resort to steps such as private wedding ceremonies.
Such efforts to bypass the system reflect real distress, which raises a question: If most of the population is suffering from the dictatorship of halakhic bureaucrats who provide services that the ultra-Orthodox community does not use, who outside the religious parties still needs the rabbinate?
From every vantage point - social, civil and economic - it would be better to transfer the rabbinate's powers to local authorities that would serve the people based on the community's needs. Also, the Knesset must change the law and provide civil marriage to everyone, in addition to religious marriage. Israeli society has come out, albeit very politely, against religious coercion. The government must decide what is more important to it, its alliance with the ultra-Orthodox parties or the people's welfare.