You can't escape us .....
Shahar Ilan, the intrepid religion reporter for the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz publishes the following:
Monopoly on Dead Bodies
(you'll have to scroll down, it's the second part of the article)
Last week, an old point of contention between the religious (and particularly the ultra-Orthodox) and the secular was rekindled, one that has been nearly forgotten in recent years: the war over dead bodies. The war included a relatively old subject, autopsies, and a new subject, cremation. On Tuesday, the struggle hit a new peak, with hundreds of Haredim protesting in the Mea She'arim neighborhood in Jerusalem and at the Forensic Medicine Institute in Abu Kabir. And on Monday, the Chief Rabbinate Council decided to adopt sanctions against persons who die and have instructed that their bodies be cremated. (emphasis mine)
Ahem. What kind of sanctions can these rabbis make against people who are already dead. Unless this Chief Rabbinate Council contains some really big kabbalists who can go to the World to Come.... :)
Reading the article, further, it seems that what the rabbis are going to do is deny a Jewish burial to anyone who has been cremeated. And they're not going to observe shiva or follow any of the other mourning customs.
I realize that cremation is against traditional halacha, but who are these rabbis to tell people who aren't their followers hot to mourn their dead? Why punish the family for the transgression of someone else? I thought one principle of Judaism is that people are only punished for their own sins. I understand that, in the case of suicide, at least, many (most?) Orthodox rabbis, while they will not allow burial in a Jewish cemetery, certainly allow the family to observe the mourning rituals.