In Israel, 17-year-olds are minors for all intents and purposes - except when it comes to marriage. This is not merely theoretical: Every year more than 4,500 Israelis aged 17 or younger marry. The vast majority - around 4,000 - are female. For this purpose, they are not minors. After all, they can already cook and clean; more important, their wombs and all the organs leading to them are ready.
The Knesset plenum is to vote today on a bill to raise the minimum marriage age from 17 to 18; there is still a danger that the ultra-Orthodox parties will scuttle it.